In Magnor, which is located in Norway, Vestre’s new furniture factory The Plus has just opened its doors. The Plus is the world’s most environmentally friendly furniture factory and on the way to becoming the first project to achieve the highest environmental certification “Outstanding” according to BREEAM.
Vestre wants to attract and inspire other similar projects and show that it is possible to invest heavily in sustainability while being profitable, which The Plus is a prime example of. WICONA has delivered 23 tons of recycled Hydro CIRCAL aluminum through WICTEC facades and WICLINE windows. The door WICSTYLE 75 evo has also been delivered to the project.
At Magnor, in the forest east of Kongsvinger and a few kilometers from the Swedish border, the furniture manufacturer Vestre has recently opened the next generation furniture factory. The Plus, as the factory is called, is named after its plus-shaped figure, and has become the biggest investment in the Norwegian furniture industry for several decades.
In the middle of the building, you will find the heart of the factory, here visitors and the public can have a unique experience. The four factory sections that form the plus sign shape are based on the four different manufacturing steps. Where the first step is the storage for the material, then the lacquer production comes followed by the woodworking department and lastly the assembly department. Every piece of furniture is created and completed in the factory and later on shipped out to the world. The architect of this unique project is Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) architects.
The world’s most environmentally friendly factory
Vestre uses the world’s purest aluminum in several of their furniture’s and the new factory is also the closest neighbor to Hydro Extrusions in Magnor. With the help of WICONA’s facade system, 23 tons of Hydro CIRCAL recycled aluminum have been delivered to the project. Hydro CIRCAL is at least 75% recycled aluminum from post consumer scrap such as glass facades and windows that have been demolished from buildings and are completely recycled. Aluminum can be recycled infinitely many times. Its quality and material properties are never lost. In addition, Hydro CIRCAL uses only 5% of the energy required for primary aluminum production.
“The glass facades are specially developed for The Plus to ensure maximum transparency and the lowest possible energy consumption. The WICONA profiles that frame the glass are delivered using Hydro CIRCAL alloys,” says Frank Føleide, sales engineer at Hydro Building Systems.
The Plus has more than 2,000 square meters of glass facade and is up to 14 meters high, which constitutes extreme requirements regarding energy performance and insulation. The stair railings that are inside the building are also made in aluminum which we have delivered and with an architectural touch are connected to the floor. The Plus aims to reduce energy consumption by 90% compared to similar factories.
To reduce energy consumption, The Plus has 900 solar panels, 17 geothermal wells and heat pumps that are implanted in the walls in order to absorb excess heat from the production process. The excess heat that is produced from the solar panels on the other hand is used to heating but also to a cooling system for domestic water, in the production cycle 90% of the water is also recyclable. The four section wings of the building are covered with a beautiful greenery that has picked seeds from the near forest, which creates a natural forest vegetation and together with the solar panels produces 250,000 kilowatt hours of renewable energy per year.
“We are happy to be able to contribute to a project that is as future-oriented as Vestre’s The Plus. We have collaborated with Vestre for many years already, including the furniture series “Folk”, and we look forward to now having the world’s most environmentally friendly furniture factory as a neighbor at Magnor,” says Morten Bråten, Managing Director at Hydro Extrusion Norway AS in Magnor.
The Plus are on its way to become the world’s first project to achieve “Outstanding” according to BREEAM, which is the highest environmental class that can be achieved.
“With The Plus, Vestre has shown that it is possible to invest heavily in profitable and environmentally friendly finished goods production in a high-cost country such as Norway and we believe that if we can do it, so can others. The goal is for the project to inspire others to establish similar projects. We hope that The Plus will be a strong symbol and create a significant ripple effect both for Norwegian mainland industry and exports and for Scandinavian cooperation,” says Stefab Tjust, CEO on Vestre.
Vestre wants to attract other factories to Magnor
Vestre wants to break the pattern of what a furniture factory can look like by adding colorful combinations that are painted on the production floor. Each individual section has a selected color from Vestre’s RAL color palette and with a beautiful cut, the color of the floor leads back to the central roundabout. With this unique color mapping of the production, this creates a visual reference that is easy to orientate in. Moreover, also to track, identify and explain how the workflow goes. The idea with the color combination map is to attract and make the factory more appealing to all people, including children.
The Plus, want to attract more visitors to the place and that it will eventually become a tourist attraction that people want to visit. The ambition is to get on Tripadvisor’s list of attractions to visit in Norway. In addition to the roof, which is already open to the public, an adventure park will be built around The Plus. Vestre also wants more companies to pay attention to Magnor, which has an excellent location near Sweden’s borders and will then become a junction for cross-border business.
“We hope that The Plus will enable more companies to discover all the opportunities that exist here in Innlandet and in Magnor. The companies in Norwegian mainland industry need to work together to bring out the best in each other, so it would be great if more Norwegian companies chose to move their production here,” says Tjust. “There’s certainly plenty of room here for more,” finishes Tjust.
WICONA-products: WICTEC facade, WICLINE windows and WICSTYLE 75 evo doors (Hydro CIRCAL alloy)
Architect: Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) architect
Photograph: Photo: Einar Aslaksen/Vestre
Article courtesy of WICONA