Case Study: Telenor Headquarters Complex, Norway

NBBJs Telenor Headquarters. Fornebu, Norway.

NBBJ’s Telenor Headquarters. Fornebu, Norway.

Architects: NBBJ

Telenor Headquarters PlanThe Telenor Headquarters Complex is framed by two openended and over-lapping curved boulevards that define a central plaza. Four office wings connect to each boulevard at clearly defined circulation nodes. The design of this project was inspired by its site and takes full advantage of its natural surroundings. The Building is a metaphor that references both the former airport (on which this building is sited) and the ships/sails on the Oslo fjord. The design also articulates the new wireless contacts of a global information technology center.

High Performance Design:

Telenor reports that the building’s energy consumption, per employee, is about half of what it was in its older facilities. Consumption was 14,000 kilowatt-hours per person per year in the old buildings and 7,000 kilowatt-hours per person per year in its new headquarters. The following strategies contribute to the buildings energy performance:

Passive Solar and daylight:

The overall layout and design of the 2 million square feet office complex maximizes the envelope surface for natural ventilation and for daylight to reduce energy consumption caused by cooling loads and artificial lighting. As part of the passive solar heating strategy, the building on the south side is 2 stories shorter than the building on the north (the north building is 5 stories while the south building is only 3 stories) letting the low winter sun reach the entire glazed facade of the north building.

An advanced double exterior skin was used for 15 % of the building’s curtain walls, with the space between the glazing incorporating the flow of warm air in winter and cool air in summer. The double skin also allows for regulated natural ventilation and daylighting, as well as noise control. Mechanically operated exterior sunshades reduce solar gain in summer and electronic photo cells/sensors control glare when the sun is too intense.

Atrium spaces between office wings are designed to capture direct sunlight in winter and provide for daylight to adjacent offices throughout the year. Daylight reaches almost all corners of the building and floor plates are never more than 15 meters deep. No work place is located more than 9 meters from an exterior glass wall to provide daylight and views for all staff. Operable windows allow for natural ventilation when the weather permits.

Telenor Headquarters Inner Courtyard

“Comfort cooling” with chilled ceilings:

Model of Telenor HeadquartersThe design of the mechanical cooling and heating systems take advantage of the building’s waterfront location. Cool water is circulated through ventilation ducts as well as in each building’s ceiling elements. Warm water leaves the building and is re-cooled via a heat-exchange system that utilizes cold water from the nearby North Sea/Oslo fjord. This system provides 80% of the building’s heating and cooling needs.

The heat pump is powered mainly by water from the North Sea. Water is heated using electricity, and its steam is compressed to to become a high-pressure vapor that eventually travels through the building’s radiators.

Automation System:

The innovative cooling and heating systems precipitated the development of a complete building automation system (BAS). The building’s major systems – HVAC, lighting, electricity, conveyance – are connected together digitally by a centralized energy management system (EMS). The electronic devices that run the building’s system speak a digital language called LON (for Local Operating Network). LON allows these devices to be configured for maximum efficiency, share data and communicate with each other. The HVAC system powers down when the building – or portions of it – are unoccupied. The lighting system is also “scenario controlled”, meaning lights are adjusted automatically when sunlight levels changes or when people enter or exit. With this system one does not use more energy than one actually needs.

Telenor Headquarters Outside Courtyard

Mazria to Address US Conference of Mayors

Architecture 2030 continues its dialogue with professional organizations and government at all levels in an effort to implement the targets outlined in the“2030 Challenge”.

The Architecture 2030 message will be delivered in a keynote speech by Edward Mazria at the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Emergency Summit on Energy and the Environment, May 11, 2006 in Chicago. At the summit, a letter from the president of the American Institute of Architects, Katherine Schwennsen, will be delivered urging mayors to adopt the 2030 targets.

Also, a resolution calling for cities to adopt the “2030 Challenge” for all city funded buildings has been introduced to the US Conference of Mayors (USCM) by Albuquerque’s Mayor Martin J. Chavez, Chicago’s Mayor Richard M. Daley, and Miami’s Mayor Manny Diaz.

The USCM will vote on the resolution during its upcoming Las Vegas meeting June 2-6.

A Historic Moment

(Excerpt from the article “Beauty and the Beast”,  by Ed Mazria which  appeared in the April 2006 Issue of Design Intelligence Magazine.)

Throughout most of the twentieth century, contemporary global architecture has been characterized by a reliance on seemingly inexpensive fossil-fuel powered “active” technology to the exclusion of other factors. We are currently dependent on the mechanical control of sealed indoor environments, rather than the designed exploitation of climatic and other natural processes, to satisfy our comfort requirements. As a result, today we can see the same basic building type in all climatic regions throughout the world. And so we have become prisoners of complicated mechanical systems, since a minor power or equipment failure, or fossil fuel delivery disruption, can make many contemporary buildings uninhabitable.

Historically, significant transformations in building design and planning have always followed great world events, and as such serve as a record of the times. In some instances, as with the Industrial Revolution and the grand engineering structures that followed, architecture has reluctantly held on to the past until pushed into the present. There is always a concept, a spark, a significant event that ignites the profession and seems to turn it in another direction, grab its attention. We are, I believe, at one of these moments. Never before in human history has the earth been so threatened, and never before has the design community been challenged to lead the world in a new direction, helping it avert large scale dislocations and setting the tone for international cooperation as we struggle to stem the tide of global warming.

We have all heard the arguments surrounding climate change, from impending doom and draconian GHG reduction measures at one end of the spectrum to the destruction of the global economy and the characterization of global warming as fiction, at the other end. Each extreme cites only the information that suits its cause and ignores the rest. Nevertheless, the latest scientific data recently published confirms that we do have a serious global warming problem, that it is human-caused and that we humans must now take reasonable measures to address the situation. The studies I draw your attention to include:

The “2030 Challenge” clearly outlines a global strategy to immediately stabilize and begin reducing building sector GHG emissions, with the goal of realizing a 60% to 80% reduction below today’s level by 2050. What makes this strategy unique is that it is mostly achievable through design, through creative problem solving and the application of information and innovation, the very elements that are the foundation of the design professions.

There is no short-term or long-term GHG reduction solution possible without involving the global design community. To date, this community has not been invited to participate in meetings, policy setting sessions or UN and IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) gatherings regarding climate change. This illustrates that the scientific community, government and general public do not really understand what architects, planners and designers do and how central their role is in crafting meaningful mitigation strategies. With time running short, and abrupt rather than gradual climate change looming as a distinct possibility, the design community must be quickly engaged.

> You can read the full article here