Sustainability and environment

Developing and disseminating knowledge and innovative solutions.

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Featured project: Sørenga development, Oslo. 

Sørenga was developed between 2009 and 2016 with over 100 000 m2 of new build. As part of the Bjørvika city centre area the development had to comply with strict environmental criteria within 15 different urban sustainability issues, including energy use, climate gas emissions, water, waste, materials, local climate and vegetation.

Context was the environmental coordinator for the entire Sørenga development.

The work spanned from establishing environmental goals and management plans for the individual projects, facilitating workshops and giving consultancy to the design teams, to the development of environmental indicators and requirements in tenders, as well as following up the environmental indicators throughout the construction period.

Context was also commissioned independently as architect and building physics specialist on several projects within Sørenga. 'Sørenga 3' - a collaboration between achitecture firms Jarmund Vigsnæs Arkitekter MNAL, 4B Arkitekter AS and Context AS was a candidate for the Oslo City Architecture prize (Oslo Bys Arkitekturpris) in 2013. This building was also featured in the Nordic Pavilion under the Venice Biennale in 2016.  

Responsible Partner: Rolf Hagen

 

Planning and architecture

Shaping sustainable places based on interaction between design, technology and the natural environment. 

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Featured project: Gvepseborg Restaurant, situated in the UNESCO heritage town of Rjukan, the gateway to theHardangervidda National (mountain) park, Norway.

Gvepseborg Restaurant is a simple volume situated on the edge of the valley, cantilevered out towards the view. The volume is conceived of as a protective shell folded around a warm and sheltered internal space, formed to reduce the effects of wind and snow gathering around the building in winter. The inner space opens itself out towards the spectacular view. From the town the building is seen as a warm point of light above the valley.

The building is constructed with prefabricated timber elements and clad internally with a smooth pine cladding. It is designed to fulfil Energy Class A, and satisfies the Norwegian low energy standard despite the area of glazing constituting 30% of the heated floor area. Daylight sensors control the lighting levels. Heating is based on bio energy and a heat pump and the building has been constructed to allow for the possibility of installing south-facing solar panels on the roof. A hybrid ventilation system combines natural and mechanical systems. The hygroscopic and low emitting properties of the internal surfaces contribute to a stable internal climate and good air quality.

Responsible partner : Rolf & KAT Hagen

 

Community and art

Developing sustainable communities through participation, art and design.

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Featured project: Shared living ® - Shared living arrangements in cost & environmentally effective buildings. A Context initiated research project; part funded by Husbanken. 

Background: Today's society and traditional family forms are changing. New mobile populations, a growing elderly population and the decline of the traditional nuclear family challenge our current living arrangements and requires new thinking in relation to the design and organisation of modern homes. Meanwhile general construction costs are increasing alongside increasing demands for environmental performance and technical solutions. There is an urgent need for the development of building solutions that can reduce construction costs while quality of living and environmental responsibility is maintained.

We invited four of our clients to participate with specific projects Context was already engaged in to come together to work with Shared living® solutions. The project focused on living quality, implementation models, low construction costs and high environmental performance. The participating developers represented a range of public to private practitioners which was important for both the scope of our research and - as they were not in direct competition with each other - it enabled us to create an open forum where challenges and experiences could be openly shared / discussed within the group.

The initial report is publicly available and can be downloaded here. 

Responsible partner : KAT Hagen

Participants: Heistad Utvikling AS, Skien Boligbyggelag, Urbanium AS, Arendal kommune and our sister company bECOs AS.