Oslo Airport Utilizes Natural Coolant

The renovated airport in Oslo has become the world’s first airport to receive a BREEAM “excellent” rating for sustainability, due to its innovative use of snow as coolant. BREEAM is touted as the world’s first sustainability assessment method for buildings and other infrastructure.


The airport relies on natural lighting, which reflects the current weather or season. Photo by Ivan Brodey.

Designed by Oslo-based firm Nordic — Office of Architecture, the airport was expanded to 115,000 square meters, and features the addition of a new, 300-meter-long pier. The redesign will help the airport accommodate up to 30 million passengers, a significant improvement from its previous capacity of 19 million. In spite of its larger size, the average walking distance from one point to another within the airport is only 450 meters.


Recycled steel, forest timber, and environmentally-friendly concrete were used in the expansion of the airport. Photo by Dag Spant.

However, the most interesting design element is its use of snow, which will be harvested from the runways during the winter season. By nixing air conditioners, the airport’s carbon emissions are reduced by 35 percent.


Energy consumption has been cut down by 50 percent compared to the existing older terminal. Photo by Knut Ramstad.


Lighted steel dividers provide privacy for passengers who wish to catch up with work before their flights.By Ivan Brodey.

For more information, visit Oslo Airport.

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