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To Russia with love for the 9th time! All about Oslo Opera House and Green Buildings!
March 4, 2015

To Russia with love for the 9th time! All about Oslo Opera House and Green Buildings!

Swegon Air Academy seminar on 19th of February in Saint Petersburg in Russia was all about European Experience of Energy Efficiency in Buildings. Our lecturers Brian Edwards and Ida Bryn have given amazing presentations on topics of interesting examples of why Green Buildings Pay and technical challenges in Oslo Opera House.

Ida Bryn, Head of Department for energy, environment and security at Erichsen & Horgen AS, Norway, is one of the most knowledgeable and passionate engineers I had the pleasure to know and Oslo Opera and Ballet building is one of the most exiting projects that I had the pleasure to visit personally. The highest requirement in this project was the acoustics with maximum of 17 dBA from ventilation system. The main theater was designed for 1,350 people in audience, 80 people in orchestra and unknown number of people / equipment on the stage. The decision was to use displacement ventilation under the audience seating and orchestra pit, and mixing ventilation on the stage with controlled temperature between 20-26ºC (supply temperature 20ºC on the first floor and 17ºC on balconies, considering the temperature rise), humidity between 30-45% and CO2 levels below 700 ppm.

The main challenges were supply air units (size and positions in the steps with complex construction), and precise and controlled climate (including high humidity control) in orchestra pit. Other challenges were in foyer where there is large glazed area towards south (570 m2) and the occupancy can be between 700-1,500 people in the evenings when the solar gain is highest. The strategy in summer was to use cleverly hidden displacement ventilation and some extra cooling in balconies, but allowing the temperature rise in the higher places of the foyer. The glazing has solar protection and solar cells. In winter they use floor heating under marble floors, some radiators by floor windows and spoilers at windows and of course the installed windows have U-value below 1.2 W/(m.K).

After her presentation Ida has received numerous questions from the audience from very sharp young engineers from all over Russia. Even though the total energy consumption of Oslo Opera House is above 260 kWh/(m2.a) – and even more when they organize number of extra activities – this building is still a perfect example of how the architects and engineers can build together amazing buildings with a very good indoor climate.

Brian Edward´s presentation was an excellent presentation with numerous breath-taking examples of buildings. Brian has focused on how important is the design of a building and how it influences the productivity of people and how Green Buildings can enhance the user experience. The interesting debate was which of the factors matter the most: daylight or ventilation. Indoor environmental quality has large impact on staff and in Brian´s presentation you can find the critical relationships between energy, health and engineering.

At the end Brian got a question about if they should use Green Building standards if they own Russian building standards have high value. And I think Brian´s answer was the best as he said that it is all about sharing experience and learning from each other to improve the indoor air quality in our buildings whilst being energy efficient.

This Swegon Air Academy seminar was the ninth seminar organized in St. Petersburg and I was very pleased to hear from attendees that every year they look forward to Swegon Air Academy event. During this event they get the chance to hear amazing lecturers and they also have the opportunity to talk to each other and celebrate, as again this year many attendees have travelled thousands of kilometers just for this event!

You can download their presentations here: