SVEN, ARCHITECT - OSLO, NORWAY

The project is an exceptional glasshouse, developed by the Sørensen workshops, that we are entering on this spring morning in a vibrant district of northern Oslo (Norway).

 

 Behind a red plank fence (like a well-kept secret, stands an ultramodern house filled with light. Sven greets us with a big smile. Used to handling projects of all kinds, this thirty-something graduate of the Oslo School of Architecture and Design is in a big hurry to show us the digital model for one of his recent undertakings. Mouse in hand, he treated us to a masterful guided tour, showing us click by click how to bring up details for a wall, a window or a door. It seems so real, almost as if we were actually inside this stunning glass house amid green surroundings.

The commission for this atypical project came from a big family interested in space, the outdoors and an adaptable design that could be scaled down after the children left home. Sven recalls the parents’ specifications: “Liv and Johan were looking for the comfort of modern technology combined with an eco-friendly approach. The house had to have plenty of light and it had to breathe. It needed to be open to and harmonize with the beauty of the natural surroundings. In other words, glass was the way to go.” A major design challenge, the commission differed from any of the architect’s previous projects. It went farther than building codes, imposing “many requirements and constraints, especially regarding insulation.”

In search of inspiration, Sven headed for Larvik, south of Oslo, where Norway’s first Multi Comfort House by Saint-Gobain opened in 2014. Sven was intrigued by this positive-energy building, designed by the Snøhetta architectural firm, that produces more energy than it consumes (84kWh/m2/year and 15kWh/m2/year, respectively). The house also met his clients’ requirements. It was full of light, healthy for its occupants and modular while delivering high acoustic and insulation performance. “Most interesting of all,” commented the architect, “the design was totally user-centric. For instance, speakers had been built into the into the walls for the benefit of the hearing-impaired youngest child.”

The house had to have plenty of light and it had to breathe.

Impressed with these findings, Sven thought that Saint-Gobain’s expertise on building materials could help him take Liv and Johan’s house from drawing board to reality. He went to stores and showrooms run by Optimera in Norway to investigate their many solutions and talk to their experts.

“The ultimate goal was to create an attractive, low-energy home that would be pleasant to live in. For best results, I had to select the building materials, especially the glass, with great care. We chose the glass based on its aesthetic, thermal and acoustic properties. With a view to improving the indoor air, we used paints low in volatile organic compounds in addition to bacteria-, mold- and mildew-resistant wall and floor coverings.”

Today, the finished house stands proudly in its naturalsetting, flooded with light and transparent, with greenery showing through it. With its sleek, minimalist lines – and despite the rather singular appearance of the shell – the look is distinctly Scandinavian. As for Sven Sørensen, he continues to delight in discussing this original project with others.

 

 

MULTI COMFORT BY SAINT-GOBAIN
ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES

AIR QUALITY
A key health consideration, the quality of the air inside buildings is at the heart of the Multi Comfort approach. To reduce polluting emissions at the source, low-emission materials are used, such as mineral wool with reduced volatile organic compound emissions' or active materials such as paintable glass-fiber wallcovering that prevents bacterial growth. Combined with ventilation systems to limit the presence of odors and dust, these materials help provide healthy air in living spaces.
ACOUSTIC COMFORT
The Saint-Gobain Multi Comfort approach tracks down decibels originating both outside and inside. Insulating glazing, acoustic plasterboard and mineral wool create a peaceful atmosphere in homes and buildings by protecting users from outside noise pollution and keeping noise from travelling inside. This level of calm is conducive to the family’s enjoyment of their home and to good working conditions in the office.
THERMAL COMFORT
Multi Comfort buildings provide an ideal temperature year-round. Latest-generation insulation materials and solutions provide this wellbeing in living spaces. Double- and triple-glazing with enhanced thermal properties and new generation glass wool are among the solutions used to manage heat gain as best possible and to maximize energy performance. This reduces the need for heating and air conditioning' which of course delivers considerable energy savings. And with SageGlass®, smart glass that changes in its level of tint on demand depending on the level of sunshine, it is possible to reduce the level of air conditioning while still benefiting from natural light gain.
VISUAL COMFORT
Wanting a living space with a high level of comfort and low consumption does not mean having to compromise on design and overall aesthetics. The Multi Comfort approach makes the most of natural light and solar gain by orientating the building and its large glazed openings in the right direction, which also brightens residents’ daily lives significantly. Seen from the exterior, the materials are attractive and the solutions harmonious resulting in an outcome that is as appealing as it is effective.
MODULAR COMFORT AND SAFETY
Saint-Gobain’s Multi Comfort takes a long-term view and seeks to anticipate, right from the construction phase, the life events and changes in usage that will undoubtedly occur. If the family grows or if the children leave home: when a company adopts a collaborative working style or when its headcount increases apace with its business: the Multi Comfort design provides safety and modular reconfiguration of spaces to ensure accessibility for everyone at every time in their life.

THE ARCHITECT’S
TOOLBOX

BIM FOR CONSTRUCTION 4.0
A showcase of Saint-Gobain solutions, the BIM object library combines all the characteristics of a digital model. The constituent parts can be optimized one by one, shared with all the parties involved in a project, or even a region, enabling everybody to work better together at every stage in a building’s life. For example, with just a few clicks, it is easy to find the reference for the 27,432 lights on the 30th floor of a building, along with their lifespan. This information can be used to estimate the number of replacements to be ordered each year throughout the building’s use. This technology is enhancing the customer experience and speeding up Saint-Gobain’s digital transformation to the benefit of the entire construction industry.
IDEAL GLAZING IS HERE
The CalumenLive online app introduced by Building Glass Europe enables users to create their own glazing and immediately assess its technical performance, or to find the ideal glazing based on the required Multi Comfort criteria. This intuitive, expert, responsive tool is available in ten languages at no cost.
COMPARE PRODUCTS AND OFFERS
In the United States, the CertainTeed website has an all-new feature enabling users to compare the ceiling panels and suspension systems it offers with those of local competitors, making it quick and easy to find the best performance at the best price.
IMPROVING LIFE THROUGH AUGMENTED ADVICE
Saint-Gobain’s salesforce has access to GLASS Pro to recommend the best glass solution. This mobile app presents 3D glazing under various light conditions and from different angles, giving a good idea of the tints and physical properties of glass once installed.

 

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