NORWAY’S GREENEST SWIMMING POOL COMPLEX HAS OPENED!

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Holmen Swimming Pool in Nesbru in the Municipality of Asker was ready for its first users to dive into this summer. The complex was fully financed by a green loan from KBN.

The Municipality of Asker’s new complex for swimming enthusiasts, Holmen Swimming Pool, opened to the public at the end of June. The complex has a 25m pool with eight lanes, a therapy and exercise pool, a gym, a social area and a café. Its roof is an attraction in itself, as parts of it are covered in grass and can so be used as a recreation area. The roof also offers beautiful views towards the fjord and Holmenskjæret, a bathing and recreation area on the seafront.  

Energy-efficient building

The great new complex has been built in low-carbon concrete, which has lower emissions than traditional concrete. Thanks to numerous smart energy solutions, the complex’s emissions will be around 45% lower than a swimming pool complex built in accordance with Norway’s current building regulations. Its large windows let in a lot of daylight, reducing the need for indoor lighting. The showers in the changing room are eco-showers, and the heat in the water that flows down the drain from the showers is recovered using a heat pump.

Making the most of the sunshine…

16 geothermal boreholes, which is to say boreholes that harvest the heat from the sun stored in the ground, have been drilled under and around the complex. These boreholes can be ‘charged up’ like a battery in summer using heat from solar thermal collectors. In addition, there are photovoltaic solar panels on the roof and on one of the sides of the complex as well as on the roof of the bicycle park. The complex therefore produces a lot of the energy it requires itself.

The municipality has also sought to reduce the emissions generated by users travelling to and from the swimming pool complex; there are a number of bus stops near it, and it has plenty of bicycle parking.

Financed through a green loan

The complex was fully financed through a green loan from KBN. Green loans are loans with a reduced interest rate that are only available for ambitious climate and environmental projects. The Municipality of Asker also received government support totalling NOK 46 million from Enova, the Norwegian State Housing Bank and the Norwegian Ministry of Culture, with the latter’s contribution in the form of lottery funding.

Pilot project

Holmen Swimming Pool is what is known as a pilot project at FutureBuilt, a collaborative project between the Norwegian Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation, Enova, the National Association of Norwegian Architects, the Norwegian State Housing Bank and several large municipalities in Eastern Norway. To qualify as a pilot project, a building must generate no more than 50% the emissions a reference project would generate as a result of the building materials used, its energy consumption, and transportation to and from it.  The aim is for the municipalities involved to become experienced in such projects so they can share this with other municipalities, making it easier for the next municipality that might want to construct an energy-plus building.

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