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Eco-friendly retirement home in the Arctic Circle

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Project Description

The Kautokeino Home Care Centre is a 1,000m2 structure designed to ease accessibility for its residents, provide spectacular views of Finnmark, Norway and be environmentally friendly. The unique architecture of the single floor horse-shoe shape provides views from many different angles and alleviates the need for elderly residents negotiating stairs; in addition the eco-home meets the environmental requirements of the Norwegian Standard NS3700, the national equivalent of the ‘Passive House’ standards.

The eco-friendly care home was prefabricated by Q-haus, an Estonian producer of prefabricated wooden structures, and transported to the remote location in Kautokeino using 22 trucks. Kebony, the sustainable alternative to tropical hardwood, was used for the cladding of the care home, carefully selected to complement the natural hillside surroundings of the building, whilst maintaining the building’s rounded structure and providing a hardwearing exterior. Additional materials were used to ensure the care home meets Passive House requirements including glass wool insulation and triple glass windows that are highly air tight, a fundamental feature in low-energy buildings.

Due to the remote location of Kautokeino above the Arctic Circle, the care home is exposed to extreme weather conditions with temperatures lower than -40°C over the winter months. As such, the façade of the care home required a material that will withstand harsh conditions. Kebony proved to be the perfect material for this project; its technology enhances the properties of non-durable wood species to give them similar characteristics to the best performing hardwoods although unlike tropical hardwoods or other treated timber products Kebony does not involve rainforest deforestation.
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