Verksbyen – sustainable neighbourhood

Location Verksbyen, Capjon Park, Capjonstien 1-9, 1651 Sellebakk Norway
Building Year 2019
Architect Frogner Arkitektkontor, architect Mats Bjørklund
Structural Design Sweco
Constructor Arca Nova Entreprenør AS
Customer Arca Nova Bolig AS
Products Used Kerto LVL
Type Residential Buildings And Gardens
End-Use LVL is used in prefabricated wooden intermediate floor and wall elements

Sustainable living in Verksbyen – floors and structure using Kerto LVL

​The whole Verksbyen area in Norway presents the future of sustainable living – and Metsä Wood’s Kerto® LVL (laminated veneer lumber) is part of the story.  Prefabricated elements incorporating LVL are used in the construction of a block of ecological apartment buildings.

Fredrikstad’s new green neighbourhood, Verksbyen, will become home for 5,000 people within the next 10 years. It aims to be Norway’s most innovative housing project. In the long run, the developer, Arca Nova Bolig, has ambitious plans to change the housing market in the same way as Tesla has transformed the car industry. It is a lot said, but they strongly believe in growing demand for sustainable building, which is the  backbone of Arca Nova’s Future Living concept.

“We have managed to reduce CO2 emissions in a variety of ways. The houses are built with timber elements according to the passive house standard, and electricity is produced with solar energy and heating with solar thermal energy. Smart house technology with voice control adds an extra touch to all of this. As a result, the inhabitants will not only live sustainably, but enjoy reduced living costs too,” says Ruben D. Hansen, CEO of Arca Nova Bolig, part of the Arca Nova Group.

Open Source Wood

The designs for this project’s wood elements (or similar) are available for download on the Open Source Wood platform, for free.

Download element designs:

 Metsä Wood is an important partner in the project as the constructor Arca Nova Bolig uses Kerto® LVL products. The constructor also had help from Metsä Wood for developing its own construction concept to build tall timber apartment buildings. Arca Nova Bolig is building a total of five five-storey apartment buildings incorporating Kerto® LVL Q-panels and S-beams in the wall and floor elements. The buildings are situated in the Capjon Park area in Verksbyen, close to a beautiful lake called Sorgenfridammen.

The first multi-storey building will be finished by the end of this year, and the rest by the end of 2020.

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Fast, light and green construction

Values guide Metsä Group's operations 

It is easy to understand why Arca Nova Bolig and Metsä Wood make such great partners. Hansen highlights the lightness and load bearing capacity of the Kerto® LVL products. Building with sustainably sourced wood is also an environmentally friendly and sustainable way to build now and in the future.

“Constructing with prefabricated elements using Kerto® LVL products, we reduce both building time and CO2 emissions quite substantially compared to the traditional way of building with steel and concrete. Also, the dimensional accuracy of Kerto LVL is a benefit, as the materials do not shrink during construction,” says Hansen.

Thanks to the prefabricated elements, Arca Nova Entreprenør is building at a fast pace in Capjon Park: one floor a week. That is just five weeks for a building.

The wall elements for the first building were produced by Punkaharjun Puutaito in Finland, and the floor elements have been produced by a Finnish company, VVR Wood. For the next buildings, Arca Nova Entreprenør will carry out part of the element production at its own factory in Estonia.

  Load-bearing structure


Frame with prefabricated LVL elements

In the first three floors, the load bearing structure consists of wall elements, which are made with 67 mm thick Kerto® LVL Q-panels. In addition, Kerto® LVL S-beams have been glued and screwed on the outside of the elements to stiffen and stabilize the construction. The S-beams are also used for installing an insulation layer. In the two top floors, there is a traditional timber frame construction reinforced with CLT plates to take up the loads.

“We have a stiff, yet elegant and slim structure, which transfers the heavy wind, snow and seismic loads to the foundation made of concrete,” points out Hansen.

The intermediate floor consists of elements, which form a stiff plate to transfer the loads to the end walls and the walls in between the apartments. Each element consists of Kerto® LVL Q-panels on the top and Kerto® LVL S-beams as ribs and bottom flange. The unique structure allows floors of up to 9 metres in open span.

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The intermediate floor consists of Kerto LVL Ripa floor elements. Kerto LVL Q-panel is used as the top panel and the S-beams act as ribs and a bottom flange. All the elements contribute to the stiffness of the floor.

​The floor elements also include fibre-reinforced cast and impact sound plates on top of the Kerto LVL layer, and a sound construction with acoustic hangers and double layer of gypsum boards under the Kerto LVL layer.

​In the first three floors, the load bearing is handled with wall elements made of Kerto LVL Q-panels. The structure is stiffened with glued and screwed S-beams on the outside of the elements.


Values guide Metsä Group's operations 

Strong connections

Various steel plates and parts, bolts, screws and glued-in rods are used together with the floor and wall elements to create a stiff, stable and massive construction.
The wall elements of these multi-storey buildings are connected with bolts to steel plates on the bottom, and the beams are assembled in between the elements with strong steel angles. The frame is connected to the floor elements with adjacent steel parts and massive bolts.


Values guide Metsä Group's operations 

Highly fire-resistant materials

The multi-storey apartment buildings are built according to strict fire-safety regulations. The building has a sprinkler system installed.

The exterior walls are constructed as R90 walls, and the intermediate floor elements are constructed as REI60 floors. Part of the fire concept is the massive use of Kerto® LVL, which has 60 minutes fire resistance, which is combined with gypsum boards  to provide fire protection layer in the floors.

Long-term cooperation

Hansen talks about Metsä Wood in a positive way. Arca Nova wanted to develop its own construction concept to build tall timber apartment buildings and was impressed with Metsä Wood's Kerto-Ripa® design system.

"They have supported our learning with their help and knowledge. It was great to visit Metsä Wood's mill and see showcase buildings in Finland. Our cooperation has been vital for our success to create a new design system for the Norwegian housing market," says Hansen.

​Ruben Dahl Hansen (MBE) is the CEO of Arca Nova Group in Norway. He has helped to lead and build their business from the start in 1998. Hansen is an advocate for sustainable and future proof building.

Arca Nova is working as a real estate developer and contractor and has broad building expertise using wooden house elements. They are now developing Verksbyen, a new green part in their hometown Fredrikstad with more than 1,500 new homes. All of it is built with their Future Living concept. It utilizes sun producing electrical and thermal solar energy, as well as smart house technology, passive house standard and low CO2 emissions.

Read more (in Norwegian):

​The wall elements are connected with bolts to steel plates on the bottom.

​The frame consisting of wall elements is connected to the floor elements with adjacent steel parts and massive bolts.

​The Kerto-Ripa® elements are joined together with steel plates to form a stiff diaphragm.

Download element designs

Open Source Wood - wood elements 

Open Source Wood

Open Source Wood initiative aims to speed up the growth of modular wood construction by offering a platform for sharing knowledge, ideas and collaboration. 

Download element designs

From Open Source Wood service you can find design elements and drawings for some of the elements used in this reference case

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