Europe’s largest cross laminated timber structure built in Norway
Trondheim’s latest student accommodation, is set to become Europe’s largest cross laminated timber structure and a welcome addition to the city. With construction now drawing to a close, this new student village is expected to reach completion in December 2016. The sleek and stylish development has a sustainable Kebony façade and will comprise five blocks housing up to 632 students at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
The vision for this student village is not only to provide simple and affordable housing, but also to make everyday life easier for students to allow greater focus on their studies. With a strong environmental and community focus, Moholt 50|50 is intended to be a valuable addition to the area which will benefit the local community, rather than being simply an extension of the university’s existing accommodation.
The project aims to demonstrate that good architecture can create a sense of place and of belonging, irrespective of such a high turnover in tenants. The main structure of the accommodation is built using cross laminated timber, a relatively new product which is increasingly popular within the building industry.
Trondheim will also benefit from large inward investment initiated by this development, with the construction of a new 1000m2 parking facility, activity and fitness centre, library, medical centre, hairdresser, supermarket and clothes shop. Moholt 50|50 will create new jobs for the local community, while developing much needed facilities, such as a kindergarten for 171 children whose parents study at the university.
Throughout the development process there has been a significant emphasis on promoting environmental construction. As a result, MDH Arkitekter chose to use Kebony wood as the main building material for the façade, offering a sustainable alternative to tropical hardwood, cement and brick. Norway has a long tradition of building with wood and Kebony’s environmental attributes perfectly complement this sustainable design.
The patented Kebony technology treats sustainable softwood with furfuryl alcohol, an agricultural by-product, to polymerise the cell wall which gives the final product greatly improved durability and dimensional stability. The resulting timber is a high performing, beautiful wood product. A recent study by environmental consulting firm Bergfald & Co. demonstrated that Kebony has a substantially lower carbon footprint than its tropical hardwood equivalents, between 15 and 30 times lower, inclusive of treatment and transportation to Northern Europe, thus certifying that Kebony was the perfect choice for Moholt 50|50.
Dagfinn Sagen, MDH Arkitekter commented: "This is an incredibly ambitious project, and once completed it will be the largest cross laminated timber (CLT) construction project in Europe. We chose Kebony for the build as it requires no treatment throughout its whole life cycle, and is the perfect choice when you need a cladding material that is maintenance free. Over time, it also naturally develops an attractive silver grey patina, an aesthetic that we believe really works for this project."
Mette Valen, Sales Manager at Kebony added: "The project team working on Moholt 50|50 have done an incredible job, creating a large and striking building in the midst of a built up residential area. We were really pleased to see that they placed such importance on environmental values, and we hope that the size of the build will show others that even large scale projects can place sustainability as a key focus."
Read the September 2016 issue of Construction Global magazine
Masdar, PT PLN begin work on floating PV solar project
UAE-based renewable energy company Masdar, in partnership with PT PLN, an organisation specialising in electrical power and owned by the Indonesian government, has announced today it has started work on a floating photovoltaic (PV) solar project in West Java. The company says the 145MW plant is the first of its kind in the country. The project, which will be constructed on the Cirata reservoir in West Java, was financed by the Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Societe Generale, and Standard Chartered Bank.
Developing the project is PT Pembangkitan Jawa Bali Masdar Solar Energi (PMSE), a joint venture between Masdar and PT PLN subsidiary PT PJBI. Bahlil Lahadalia, Minister of Investment for the Republic of Indonesia and chairman of the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board, said: “This is a flagship project of the UAE’s investment in Indonesia, and most importantly, it is in line with the Indonesian Government’s target to increase renewable energy by 23% by 2025.”
Ladhadalia added: “The Ministry of Investment fully supports the investment realisation of the Cirata Floating Solar Project by PT PJBI and Masdar.” The plant is said to be the largest in south-east Asia, and one of the biggest in the world. Around 800 jobs will be created during its construction phase.
During the project’s development, Masdar has conducted several social initiatives to raise awareness of sustainability and strengthen the engagement of the local community. Talking about the partnership with Masdar, Amir Faisal, president director of PJBI, said: “We see tremendous potential for similar projects in Indonesia and we look forward to continuing our fruitful collaboration with Masdar to work on more renewable energy projects and help our nation achieve its clean energy objectives.
“This floating power project is a first for Indonesia and is also a significant step in PJBI’s renewable energy journey,” he added.
Facts about solar energy
- Solar power is the most abundant energy source on earth: There’s enough solar energy reaching the earth every hour to meet all of humanity’s power needs for a whole year.
- The cost of solar panels has fallen by 99% since 1977: The price per watt for a single solar cell in 1977 was US$77. Today that same cell costs Us$0.21 per watt US$0.39 per watt for an assembled module, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.
- China is the global leader in solar energy: Whilst solar power is increasing in popularity in the US, China is currently the country with the biggest uptake. Research conducted by GTM in 2017 predicted that the US would install 12.4GW of solar power during that year. China, on the other hand, installed 24.4GW of power in the first half of 2017 alone.