Author:Ruth Woods (Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
Paper short abstract:
Planning zero carbon neighbourhoods is on the political agenda in larger Norwegian cities, but sustainable visions can be contested. Using a zero emission neighbourhood in Lø as an example, methods to bridge the gap between sustainable visions and existing practice will be considered.
Paper long abstract:
Planning zero carbon neighbourhoods is high on the political agenda in most larger Norwegian cities, but sustainable visions can be contested (Gansmo 2012). The NRK building in Lø, Steinkjer is a building with character. Built during the 1980's and until recently offices and studios for the Norwegian Broadcasting company, it is full of references to the people and technology that it previously housed. Steinkjer Municipality now owns this building and plans to put it to good use by transforming it into a kindergarten, part of what will become a zero emission neighbourhood. Two existing kindergartens, both in need of larger more up-to-date buildings, are to be merged. The NRK building will be transformed into a plus-building, nine detached single-family houses will be built in the grounds, and the surrounding area, including a school and sports facilities will be part of a new energy sharing community. From the outside, this would appear to be a win-win situation, combining a number of positive aspects. From the inside, particularly from the standpoint of the staff in the two kindergartens, the project is chaotic and complex. An unpopular merger is combined with a building unsuited to the practice of running a modern kindergarten. The zero emission vision makes things worse; it is being forced upon them. Using insight from interviews and meetings with participants from both sides of the sustainable vision, this paper will consider potential methods to bridge the gap between sustainable visions and existing practice.
Mainstreaming zero carbon buildings in Europe?