Oslo Airport Opens World’s Greenest Terminal

By Rachel Leber

OSLO, Norway — The greenest airport terminal in the world opened at the Oslo airport in Norway on April 28. The new terminal not only just doubled the size of the existing terminal building through the expansion, it is also setting new airport standards in sustainability for the world at large.

The 377,296-square-foot expansion was designed by Nordic Office of Architecture in Oslo, and doubled the size of the terminal by adding a new almost 1,000-foot-long pier. The firm’s design increased the airport capacity from 19 million to an anticipated future capacity of 30 million. The firm also updated the existing train station in the terminal, which is located at the center of the airport, which enables 70 percent of all passengers to access the airport by public transport. The new terminal has been awarded an ‘excellent’ sustainability rating from BREEAM, the first of its kind for an airport building.

One feature that earned the new terminal its high rating from BREEAM includes the use of snow as a coolant for the building. Snow from the runways will be collected and stored during wintertime in an onsite depot to be used as coolant during the summer. Natural materials were used throughout the building during construction, including recycled steel and environmentally-friendly concrete mixed with volcanic ash. Additionally, the new pier is made from timber sourced from Scandinavian forests. As such, the building’s CO2 emissions were reduced by 35 percent through the use of these environmentally-friendly building materials.

Additionally, enhanced levels of insulation in the terminal have enabled the new terminal to earn Passive House level performance standards. As a result of all of these holistic and sustainable efforts on the part of Nordic, energy consumption in the new expansion has been cut by more than 50 percent compared to the former terminal.

On an aesthetic level, the terminal possesses green walls and water features, with a goal by Nordic to create a feeling reminiscent of Scandinavian forests to enhance passenger experience while traveling through the terminal. Additionally, retail stores in the duty-free sections of the airport use organic stone forms associated with Norwegian landscapes to further impress this natural Scandinavian theme throughout the terminal.

“We are delighted to have delivered a project which not only develops Oslo Airport’s distinctive architecture, but one which also provides a greatly enhanced experience for passengers,” said Gudmund Stokke, founder and head of design at Nordic Office of Architecture in a recent statement.

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