Aerial photo of Ulsmåg School in Bergen, Norway, during the dawn.

Ulsmåg Primary School

The new Ulsmåg Primary School in Bergen is a low-energy building with grass on large areas of the roof. The school is built in solid wood and solar panels give the school an additional power supply.

School 90 percent wood

Bergen has seen the addition of several wood construction projects in the city. One of these is Ulsmåg Primary School, which is 90 percent wood. Building in wood releases less CO2 into the atmosphere, since the wood continues to store the CO2 that was absorbed by the growing tree.

Ulsmåg Primary School has space for 600 pupils and 50 teachers spread across seven grades and 14 large rooms (bases). The school is split up into infants, grades 1-4, and juniors, grades 5-7. The new technology at the school was tested in spring 2015, so that everything was up and running for the new school year 2015.

In addition to Ulsmåg Primary School, Bergen can also boast the world's tallest wooden building, the apartment block Treet. A growing municipal focus on choosing eco-friendly materials is encouraging the industry to become more innovative.

Natural surroundings

Ulsmåg Primary School's nearest neighbors are a field of sheep. For NCC, it was important to continue the natural theme by making use of wood inside and out when building the school. Externally, the sedum roofs help give the sense that the school is at one with nature. The structure uses solid wood and glulam beams, which have been left exposed to create a warm and natural feeling. Only the foundations, the stairwell and the lift shaft are made of concrete.

Built-in acoustics

The school was constructed under a huge marquee, to prevent the risk of mildew or rot. The whole project was a positive experience from which NCC learned many useful lessons.

Acoustics are a key consideration when constructing a building like this. To achieve the right acoustic profile, sound dampers were incorporated into the ceiling.