A User Friendly Recycling Centre

Hilary Edesess
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The Smestad Recycling Centre in Oslo marks the beginning of a new era: It is one of the first recycling centers for the public in which waste management takes place entirely indoors.

Longva Arkitekter, the firm responsible for the center, chose low-impact materials for the building’s construction, composing facades in concrete, brick, laminated wood and weathering steel. The saw-tooth roof is planted with sedum.

The main unclimatized section of the recycling center is a vast hall divided into two units, one open to the public and the other for operations. At one end is a smaller climatized section dedicated to service and management. It contains areas for hazardous waste and maintenance, changing rooms, an employee cafeteria, offices and technical rooms. It received a EU energy label A (yellow).

ArchiExpo talks to Knut Longva of Longva Arkitekter about its design, shortlisted in June for an Architecture Prize of the City of Oslo, and the advantages offered by this type of industrial structure.

ArchiExpo: Where did the low-impact materials used for building construction come from?

Longva: Both the concrete elements and the laminated wood beam facade are from Norwegian companies Opplandske Betongindustri and Moelven Wood, respectively. The bricks are from Danish company Petersen Tegl. We also used a metal mesh of COR-TEN steel for the façade because it only needs to be treated once and doesn’t require maintenance.

ArchiExpo: What was the purpose of planting sedum on the roof?

Longva: The plants reduce the impact of rainwater on the roof but also are visually pleasing for people living above. The roof’s incline made it challenging to plant, but was an important part of the design. The saw-toothed roofing is a kind of icon for industrial buildings, but at the same time looks like a landscape from the slope behind.

ArchiExpo: Did you use any fixtures to ensure planting?

Longva: No, only rainwater. The roof is actually a bit brown right now at the end of summer, but the rain in autumn will make it green again.

ArchiExpo: How did you achieve a EU energy label A [yellow] in the climatized part of the building?

Longva: We achieved it mainly with insulation. We used 30 cm of Paroc stone wool.

Courtesy of Longva Arkitekter
Courtesy of Longva Arkitekter

SMESTAD RECYCLING CENTRE by Longva Arkitekter

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