The Ruselokka Skole in Oslo has built an ambitious new building that meets the highest standards for an energy-efficient and eco-friendly school building. The new building is a model project from FutureBuilt, a regional initiative dedicated to creating climate-neutral urban spaces with quality architecture. The project features SageGlass dynamic glazing to create the building’s ambitious daylight concept.
The Ruselokka Skole in Oslo is a school for all ages ranging from elementary to junior high. In 2017, after extensive discussion, the decision was taken to demolish the old school building and build a new school in the same spot. The new school was planned in line with high environmental standards and was completed in 2021 as a nearly zero-energy building.
A model project from FutureBuilt
The modern school building has seven floors and a total surface area of around 110,860 square feet. It provides space for a school population of almost 1,000 students from first to tenth grade. One special aspect of the school is its collaboration with the Norwegian Opera in Oslo. A large dance hall and special music and practice rooms were included in the new building for the school’s national ballet and dance division. A green roof terrace creates additional outdoor space for the inner-city school building.
The school is a model project from FutureBuilt, a Norwegian platform for urban climate innovation aimed equally at developers, architects, municipalities, contractors and building users. The aim is to produce 100 model projects that meet the sustainable development goals of the UN and the Paris Climate Conference and reduce CO2 emissions by at least 50 percent. Sixty-nine model projects have already been implemented since 2010.
The materials cycle and carbon footprint
Innovative strategies were used to build the Ruselokka Skole in order to fulfill the initiative’s stringent requirements. One focal point was the circular reuse of materials and building components from the old school building to boost the local value chain, save gray energy, reduce waste and keep CO2 emissions to a minimum. Another focal point was construction as a nearly zero-energy building (nZEB) to the Passivhaus standard. A third aspect of the ambitious strategy was high quality standards for a healthy indoor climate, a lighting concept based on daylight, and high standards for acoustics and noise protection. During the construction process, operations on the building site were free from emissions and fossil fuels.
Before demolition, 4,500 reusable bricks, wooden beams and granite blocks from the old school were saved, mapped and stored temporarily. These were intended for reuse in the new school wherever possible. Unfortunately, for structural reasons, the old bricks from the school could not be used to build the new brick façade, so they were used on two interior walls instead. You can now find the granite from the old stairs being used as outdoor seating. Many of the building components and materials that were stored were also used in other construction projects.
The reinforced concrete structure of the building used special low-carbon concrete. The CEM III/B blast furnace cement used for concrete production reduced CO2 emissions per cubic meter of concrete by up to 25 percent. The concrete takes longer to harden, but this wasn’t a problem on a summer building site. Reinforcements were made from recycled steel.
Energy production and smart solar protection
Solar cells on the façade and other solar modules on the green roof help produce energy. Each year, the building operators expect the solar energy system measuring over 7,500 square feet to yield 75,000-kilowatt hours of energy. This is intended to contribute to the school’s power supply.
Dynamic solar protection glazing from SageGlass, a Saint-Gobain company, also helped achieve interior comfort. The adjustable glass adapts to weather conditions and regulates light and heat in the building automatically. The transparency of the glass and the unimpeded view of the outdoors are always preserved, offering teachers and students alike a high level of visual and thermal comfort.
Merete Hansen, Principal of the Ruselokka Skole, is impressed by this innovation in glazing. “I’ve got a large corner office with a view of the schoolyard, looking out toward the city. Thanks to SageGlass, I can always keep track of who’s coming to school and what the kids get up to on their break. Although the electrochromic glass darkens on sunny days, the view is always unimpeded, and I can still see what’s going on. I’m delighted with the sense of transparency and the possibility to screen myself without the outside world seeing me ‘draw the curtains.’ I would warmly recommend this innovative technology to other school buildings.”
News courtesy of SageGlass