Architecture

Sustainable design takes flight at Oslo's airport terminal extension

Sustainable design takes fligh...
Nordic – Office of Architecture designed Oslo Airport back in 1998 and the new extension officially opened this week
Nordic – Office of Architecture designed Oslo Airport back in 1998 and the new extension officially opened this week
View 6 Images
Nordic – Office of Architecture designed Oslo Airport back in 1998 and the new extension officially opened this week
1/6
Nordic – Office of Architecture designed Oslo Airport back in 1998 and the new extension officially opened this week
The new extension consists of a large 300 m (984 ft)-long curved building 
2/6
The new extension consists of a large 300 m (984 ft)-long curved building 
The new extension provides an additional 115,000 sq m (1,237,849 sq ft) of floorspace
3/6
The new extension provides an additional 115,000 sq m (1,237,849 sq ft) of floorspace
In all, the airport's capacity has increased from 19 million to an estimated 30 million passengers per year
4/6
In all, the airport's capacity has increased from 19 million to an estimated 30 million passengers per year
Natural and recycled materials were used throughout the extension's construction
5/6
Natural and recycled materials were used throughout the extension's construction
The interior is mostly lit with natural daylight during the day and the glazing is extensive
6/6
The interior is mostly lit with natural daylight during the day and the glazing is extensive

Norway's Oslo Airport has received a smart-looking new terminal extension courtesy of local architects Nordic – Office of Architecture. Featuring an attractive curved form, the building is hailed as the "world's greenest terminal" by the firm and certainly boasts an impressive amount of sustainable and energy-efficient design.

Nordic designed Oslo Airport back in 1998 and its new extension has been in the works since 2009 before finally opening this week. It consists of a 300 m (984 ft)-long new building that provides an extra 115,000 sq m (1,237,849 sq ft) of floorspace, doubling the size of the existing terminal building.

The project has increased the airport's overall capacity from 19 million to an estimated 30 million passengers per year. Public transport links have also been improved and up to 70 percent of passengers can now potentially arrive by public transport.

Natural and recycled materials were used during the extension's construction and it includes curved glulam beams and recycled steel. Nordic also used concrete mixed with volcanic ash. This is said to be more environmentally-friendly than standard modern Portland cement-based concrete by its proponents, in part due to the lower temperatures required to mix it and an expected longer lifespan.

Indeed, it's a similar mix to that used to construct Ancient Rome's buildings, which have certainly stood the test of time.

The interior is mostly lit with natural daylight during the day and the glazing is extensive
The interior is mostly lit with natural daylight during the day and the glazing is extensive

In a nice touch, snow from the airport's runways will be collected during winter and stored to use as coolant in summer. The interior is mostly lit with natural daylight during the day thanks to extensive glazing. A panoramic window dominates the north end of the building, while additional windows and a skylight are also installed.

The shape of the terminal extension and its glazing promote passive solar heat gain, warming the interior naturally in the right conditions. Green walls and water features are installed inside and meant to invoke Scandinavian forests. Duty free retail units are conceived as organic stone forms associated with Norway's landscapes, and – judging by the photos – the interior looks spacious and light-filled.

The terminal extension has excellent insulation and has achieved Passive House-level performance, which is impressive as Passive House is a very stringent green building code. The building also achieved the world's first BREEAM "Excellent" sustainability rating (another leading green building code) for an airport building.

Source: Nordic – Office of Architecture

2 comments
ljaques
Again, how can an all-glass enclosure ever be considered either Green or Sustainable? HORSE PUCKEY! Compare that to any other edifice when it comes to BTU loss or gas/electric use and you'll get the truth. What's the EUI, EnPI, or zEPI on this thing? I'll bet it uses an entire town's worth of energy per year, despite the passive solar features. BTW, it may be an interesting looking building, but the floor is oogly.
jeritilley
Even with the new extension, it is still not a good airport for passengers. Huge lack of chairs (there are very few) and places to wait, lack of powerpoints to charge items, no entertainment and few facilities for passengers in transit, and no showers for travellers arriving off long distance flights. The lack of seats for travellers is unforgivable. Lots of space given over to the duty-free shop (of course) but little thought given to making life easier for passengers. Compared to airports like Singapore, Oslo is a disgrace for a Scandinavian capital. Bigger is not better.