Sustainable retrofitting in focus at FutureBuilt

The theme for the second day of the FutureBuilt-conference at Bærum Kulturhus in Sandvika, Norway, was climate-friendly transformation and rehabilitation.
Published 10/06/2013 | Last updated 10/06/2013

Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, state secretary at the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development, opened the day with the sentence “the future has already been built”.


- 80% of the buildings we use today, we will still be using in 2050. Therefore, we need to look after the existing buildings, and prepare them for the future. When it comes to both old and new buildings, the keywords should be sustainability and quality.


Tvinnereim highlighted the power of examples, with pilot projects paving the way.


- However, to push the limits for sustainable building, we need to spread the knowledge as widely as possible.


Bjørn Holm, director project development, and Einar Børve, project manager, at Entra Eiendom presented the Powerhouse project in Kjørbo together with Camilla Moneta, architect and project manager, from Snøhetta.


Powerhouse Kjørbo is not only one of the first retrofitted energy-positive office buildings in the world; it is also a unique cooperation between leading actors in the Norwegian building industry.


- Sometimes bigger players have to go in front and show the way for the rest of the industry. We hope that our experiences can inspire others, Børve said.


- It lies a huge business potential in sustainable building. By sharing competences across disciplines, we can reach further, Monetta added.


Guy Jackson, director at atelierBUILD and non executive construction director at Urban Splash, listed 10 commandments for changing an old, problematic area into a community where people actually want to live – using the transformation of an empty office building in Bristol, Great Britain, as an example:


  1. Secure funding
  2. Build for long terms
  3. Engage community, sales force and end users
  4. Use an engaging and stimulating design
  5. Involve technical builders in the early design phase
  6. Design in sync with tech and cost advice
  7. Use proven technology in a proven way
  8. Test prototype and witness commission
  9. Contract in-use responsibility
  10. Be wise and realistic


Johan Eklind, architect at Wingårdhs, and Berth Olsson, energy specialist at Bengt Dahlgren, talked about how to combine protected buildings with modern architecture and environmental technology.


- Sustainability consists of three aspects: ecological, economic and social. To be successful, all of them must be in place.


At the end of the day, the participants got a presentation of four out of the five competitions in the Nordic Built Challenge (Swedish Botkyrkabyggen was unfortunately not able to participate).


- It is about time that we put retrofitting on the agenda, said Pernille Egelund Johansen from KAB, adding that the Danish competition will function as demonstration project for what is actually possible within sustainable building.


- It is extremely important that we start focusing on existing buildings. This is a learning process, which can set the standard for what we can do with our building stock, said Øystein Grønning from Migrant.


- The most challenging about this competition is probably what is happening in our heads. Sustainable building takes a change of mindset, said Guðmundur Tryggvi Sigurðsson from Reitir.