Degree of Freedom together with Saaha and the energy specialists Gether were finalists of the Nordic Built Challenge in a sustainable building renovation competition for the Posthuset building.
Our motto, Harvest, embodies the importance of our approach to designing a truly sustainable building. Our strategy was to use materials, construction methods and energy systems that follow the main principles of the C2C (cradle-to-cradle) approach where «buildings are as trees and cities are as forests». This type of building can produce more energy than they use, can store CO2, can reduce and recycle the use of other materials, and can create a healthy, safe, beautiful, and inspiring environment whilst also being economically viable. These principles guided our team to design the renovation and extension of the Posthuset in a congested urban area.
One of the most innovative proposals for turning this into reality was the use of massive timber elements as the principal structural material. Timber is a natural, healthy, renewable resource and for this building locally produced. Another proposal was the Active House Concept that harvests energy and excess heat trapped in the building. By harnessing ambient energy by means of storage techniques adapted to local conditions and opportunities it is possible to supply in situ renewable energy when most needed. The real challenge lay in proposing the above solutions that radically improve the environmental performance while balancing costs with market willingness.
Harvest goes beyond this one project, it is a concept of a new and innovative way to meet the challenges of tomorrow.
Structural engineering during architectural and engineering competition (1 of 4 finalists).