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Energy-Efficient Living: Inside Oslo’s Vertikal Nydalen Building

Vertikal Nydalen Building, Olso, NO / Snøhetta

Architecture firm Snøhetta has recently finished the Vertikal Nydalen office and apartment building in Oslo. This remarkable structure features two angular towers that serve a dual purpose – providing stunning views of the surroundings and promoting natural ventilation to reduce energy consumption.

Vertikal Nydalen Building, Olso, NO / Snøhetta

The unique angled facade is specifically designed to create pressure differences, allowing air to flow through the building effortlessly. The air enters through valves in the facade, which open and close as needed, ensuring optimal airflow. By strategically opening windows on different sides of the building, the pressure difference forces the air to circulate throughout the premises.

Vertikal Nydalen Building, Olso, NO / Snøhetta

The building itself is divided into two volumes of varying heights, with the taller tower housing apartments on the top levels and offices on the floors above. On the street level, you’ll find inviting restaurants that add to the vibrant atmosphere of the area. To add a touch of visual interest, the building features angled steel balconies with perforated railings, which beautifully complement the pine-clad facades.

Vertikal Nydalen Building, Olso, NO / Snøhetta

What sets this building apart is its commitment to sustainability. Snøhetta has implemented a “triple zero solution,” meaning the building does not rely on external energy sources for heating, cooling, or ventilation. Instead, it utilizes geothermal wells, photovoltaic panels, natural ventilation, and a low-energy system for heating and cooling. This innovative approach not only reduces the building’s environmental impact but also ensures a comfortable and energy-efficient space for its occupants.

Vertikal Nydalen Building, Olso, NO / Snøhetta

The concrete core of the building was predominantly left exposed in order to gradually release heat and cold within the interior. Snøhetta stated that water from geo-wells in the ground circulates through the clay walls and concrete slabs when heating or cooling is required. The heat absorbed by the concrete walls during the day is released at night, contributing to stable temperatures within the building. Additionally, the heat pump, powered by photovoltaic panels on the roof, controls the heating and cooling system.

Vertikal Nydalen Building, Olso, NO / Snøhetta

The design of the public space surrounding the building aimed to create a “new town square” for the local area, with an emphasis on sunlit plazas and pathways that minimize wind. Snøhetta plans to collect feedback on the building’s thermal comfort and air quality, allowing for adjustments to the programmed vents to best suit the users’ needs.

Vertikal Nydalen Building, Olso, NO / Snøhetta

Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, founding partner of Snøhetta, expressed pride in showcasing the entirety of Vertikal Nydalen and the extensive effort put into designing a multi-use building with natural and balanced ventilation, as well as minimal energy consumption. He encouraged others to challenge existing regulations and explore unconventional approaches in order to evolve and improve.

Image courtesy of Lars Petter Pettersen