GALLERY | BIG to unveil greenest furniture factory
Street furniture maker Vestre’s new €30m factory nestled in a forest in Norway opens next week and is set to become the greenest facility of its kind in the world.
Images by BIG architects and Vestre Street Furniture
Click image to launch gallery
About The Plus, Norway
- Vestre is a Norwegian manufacturer of street furniture. For more than 70 years, it has been involved in creating social meeting places for millions of people.
- Vestre built The Plus because it needed a factory with more space to assemble furniture and for woodwork and powder coating workshops – The Wood Factory and The Color Factory. In 2013, Vestre opened its factory in Torsby. When the main production moves into The Plus, the Torsby factory will be used solely for the production of steel and aluminium components.
- The Plus is well-placed to become the world’s first project of its type to achieve the highest BREEAM environmental classification – Outstanding.
- Building’s energy consumption 60% lower than equivalent conventional factories
- Releasing 55% less greenhouse gases than similar buildings. If you include the manufacturing equipment in the equation, energy consumption in The Plus is reduced by 90%
- As the name The Plus suggests, the building has been constructed with four propeller-like wings in a geometric shape like a plus sign. The factory lies in an area of woodland outside Magnor, near the border with Sweden. Its geometry provides an open and efficient workflow, while allowing all four wings of the factory to be in direct contact with the forest. In the middle of the building is an experience centre which gives 360 degree insight into the four production areas – the colour factory, the wood factory, the assembly department and the warehouse.
- Energy efficiency rated A+ The Plus qualifies for the highest energy efficiency rating – A. The building is on track to score 12 out of a possible 12 points for energy efficiency and Passive House standard, under BREEAM Ene 1 and Ene 23. The factory has an exceptional insulation rating, windows with minimal energy loss and an advanced energy supply system combining solar power, heat exchangers and a series of geothermal wells. The energy rating is based on the estimated amount of energy supplied to the building and runs from A to G, with A as the best.
- Near-zero energy The Plus will have a supplied energy requirement of 27.1 kWh/m2 and therefore meets FutureBuilt’s near-zero energy definition of 30 kWh/m2 by a substantial margin. In practice, the building will not need any heating before the outdoor temperature sinks below 5 oC. Vestre Energy Center The Plus will generate around 250,000 kWh of renewable energy per year, from nearly 900 solar panels distributed across the roof. In addition, The Plus will use surplus heat from production to heat the building. The surplus heat system is connected to an ice-water plant for cooling, heat and cold storage tanks, heat pumps and geothermal wells that provide storage support.
- Vestre keeps the planted fir forest as close to the building and the path as possible. The forest floor is carefully set aside so that the seed bank is preserved. This will be reused on the building’s green roof and in the surrounding areas. The timber that had to be cut down will be recycled as construction materials in The Plus.
- The factory covers an area of around 7,500 m2 GBA.
Visit The Plus