The Ticon building in Drammen, Norway, was recently modernized using Hydro’s low-carbon recycled CIRCAL aluminum to revamp the façade. Built in 1963, the building was constructed in an architectural style typical of that time period, which is quickly diminishing today. For that reason, it’s considered an icon in Drammen and its exterior is historically protected by the local building authorities.
Building owners, Ticon Eiendom, wanted to prepare the building for the future, but due to its historical listing, any upgrades needed to be done with as little change to the original design as possible. “We were told this project was impossible, and there is no denying it has been challenging,” says Vegard Foseid, project manager at Ticon. “To solve it, we established a project group that deeply involved the architects, the entrepreneur, and our suppliers, among them Hydro.”
Hydro, through its building systems brand WICONA, contributed aluminum expertise, training for the metal builder FacadeConsult, and what the company claims is the world’s most sustainable aluminium, Hydro CIRCAL. The aluminum consists of a minimum 75% recycled consumer scrap, such as old window frames, aluminum packaging, and car parts.
“It looks like a simple architectural challenge, but there are a lot of things in the facade that have never been done before,” said Foseid. “It’s a unitized curtain wall façade, with listed exterior, four-layer insulated glass, integrated solar panels, and electrochromatic sun screening.”
During construction of the new façade, each element was lifted into place by crane and assembled in horizontal rows. The rows were then stacked on top of each other, to create the “curtain wall” façade.
A Sustainable Feat
When all was said and done, the owners were able to bring the building up to contemporary standards while keeping the original architectural design. Moreover, they accomplished this feat while making it into a near energy-neutral, high-tech sustainable building. The result is a design that reduces heating needs by 80 percent.
Erik Hoen Lund of DRMA Architects is proud of the project. “Here we show that we can actually bring old buildings to life and lift them to something that is [modernized for] 2020 and rigged for the future,” said Lund. “It is also an important sustainability aspect that we can increasingly maintain our old buildings to further expand on what makes them truly unique.”
Hydro’s Building Systems business unit launched recycled aluminum brands CIRCAL and REDUXA a little more than a year ago. Since then, the unit passed a milestone of 40 building projects with CIRCAL façades using more than 2,300 tonnes of greener aluminum, with big and small projects of up to 400 tonnes. This year, according to Hydro, all of Building Systems’ solutions in Europe will be available in either CIRCAL or REDUXA.