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Økern Façades Use Hydro’s 75% Post-Consumer Aluminum

© by Dark Arkitekter

Økern Portal, a building project in Oslo, chose Hydro’s CIRCAL 75R aluminum for its façade. The innovative office and retail building is one of the largest development projects in Norway. Scheduled for completion in 2021, the aim for the building is to create a sustainable community that offers office space conveniently located near to restaurants and other cultural experiences. The Økern Portal is owned by Oslo Pensjonsforsikring, with Stema responsible for project management, Vedal Entrepreneurs as project lead, and Dark Arkitekter as lead architect.

Certified Post-Consumer Alloy

Taking a lead on circular economy, Hydro is supplying high-quality end-of-life recycled aluminum. “CIRCAL 75R is the world’s first aluminum alloy that is based on containing a minimum of 75% post-consumer scrap,” said Egil Hogna, executive vice president, Hydro Extruded Solutions.

Hydro’s aluminum building systems brand Wicona is the supplier of CIRCAL 75R façade elements, which are certified to contain a high content of post-consumer scrap. According to the company, its advanced scrap sorting capabilities make it possible for the company to offer the best quality aluminum with the most post-consumer recycled content available on the market. Composition of CIRCAL 75R is verified by DNV GL, an organization dedicated to supporting corporate sustainability, in part by following the framework of the UN’s Sustainable Development goals to solve societal needs.

Hydro demonstration of the CIRCAL 75R façade elements.

A Natural Design

Dark Arkitekter has noticed an increased demand for sustainability-focused projects, not only from their customers but increased awareness about sustainability from their end-users, the building tenants. The public is becoming more aware of the benefits of a circular economy. Not to mention, The European Commission’s sustainability targets require all new buildings to operate with net-zero carbon emissions by the year 2030 (and all old buildings by 2050).

“Sustainability is very important. We work in an industry that leaves a big footprint,” said Tor Christian Møgle Bust, partner at Dark Arkitekter. “We’re very much preoccupied with leaving a positive footprint.”

The new Økern building is designed to resemble a forest with pathways connecting east to west. The ‘stems’ that grow out of a lightweight base at the building’s foundation look like they are branching out to help support the structure. The aluminum façade’s individual pieces are almost like ‘leaves’ that are designed to catch the light, creating an illusion of movement. The building is cantilevered to allow the neighborhood park to flow through the site, inviting the public to use it as a shared space. The park and surrounding infrastructure feature restaurants, markets, and nightlife.

“The whole Økern project is to a degree guided by circle economy,” said Torstein Blumer, Økern Portal project manager, Vedal Entrepreneurs, “[even] support structures and facades can be dismantled and reused.”

Illustration of the future Økern Portal by Dark Arkitekter.

History of the Site

Økern was historically a farm dating back to 1279 in the former municipality of Aker (now a district in the borough of Bjerke in the city of Oslo). The municipality of Oslo purchased the farmland in 1938. After World War II, the land was developed into apartments, industry and retail businesses, and offices. The district is served by the Oslo Metro, and the Økern Portal project is part of the plan to turn the dwindling urban wasteland into a regional hub with connections to high-end transport links and modern housing developments.


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