Buildings in steel/concrete have a high climate footprint due to energy-intensive production/transport.
Needed: Strategy/handbook for sustainable construction
New buildings are often based on the materials: steel, glass and concrete, as well as mineral-based insulation and climate shell. Building elements are produced in larger factories, with a considerable distance to the construction site. The total climate footprint for this type of building is very large.
Elverum want to use more sustainable materials in our buildings, initiated by the municipality's goals for sustainability, and because we have a long tradition of building in wood. Wooden buildings represent carbon storage with a lifetime of 100 - 200 years before the materials can be recycled in an environmentally proper way.
Elverum Municipality has a handbook for sustainable construction from 2008, which is outdated. The development of material technology in recent years has made it possible to utilize the properties of wood material to a greater extent, but the building regulations etc. have not always reflected this. In addition, there are a number of purchasing issues that need to be taken into consideration, as public regulations on procedures, technical conditions, transparency and documentation.
Elverum Municipality is now revising the handbook. Two documents will be prepared:
- A strategy for sustainable buildings that will be adopted politically and will be binding on all the municipalities' own projects.
- A handbook with guidelines, practical details and recommendations that will be available to everyone and more easily accessible in an innovative way.
The work is carried out by the municipality of Elverum (self-financed with support from Hedmark County and the Norwegian Environment Agency) and in cooperation with the CircPro project.
In addition, implementation / training will require some resources.
Evidence of success
The existing guidelines (from 2008) have led to good solutions for energy, carbon footprint and indoor climate, without cost increase. Examples: Ydalir School and Kindergarten, Lillemoen school and extension Hanstad school.
For some of the buildings, a separate climate accounts will be prepared.
With an improved strategy / handbook /tool, we expect that in the future the solutions will be standardized, and will also be implemented in other municipalities, as well as in the private sector.
Potential for learning or transfer
In Norway, and in the other Nordic countries, we see that interest in sustainable buildings is growing.
However, this positive development is hampered by:
- Fear of building in conflict with current rules and regulations
- Fear of increased costs
- Uncertainty about the contractor's knowledge and experience of the technical solutions
- Architectural oppositions
The manual will be a tool to counter this.
Although the documents are in Norwegian, they will also be useful at European level. The Norwegian framework conditions are largely the same as in the EU
Norwegian documents are easily available in Scandinavia (Sweden, Denmark) as the language barriers are low.