Aiming for top marks in energy efficiency

When Roligheden School in Arendal opened its doors last autumn, it was in all respects, a progressive and environmentally-friendly building that greeted pupils and teachers. Energy wells, solar panels and energy-efficient lighting ensure a minimal climate footprint.

Arendal municipality has been committed to ensuring that Roligheden school should be a building for the future with environmentally-friendly solutions as an important initiative. The school has therefore been planned as a zero-energy building. This means that the building will produce at least as much energy as it consumes in a year. Much of the responsibility for fulfilling this ambition has gone to Arendal El Team, the electrical contractor on the project.


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Solar panels and energy wells

According to project manager and chairman of Arendal El Team, John Harry Simonstad, there are several smart solutions that bring the figure down to zero. For example, almost 1000 solar panels have been installed covering an area of approximately 1800 square meters. During the summer, these produce more energy than the building uses so the school supplies Agder Energy with power.
“We have also worked extensively to reduce the energy consumption of the building. For example, there are energy wells that supply heat pumps and operate the heating system.

LED and light control

According to Simonstad, the lighting system also plays an important role with regard to reducing energy consumption. That’s why they have chosen to use energy-efficient LED products from Glamox throughout the building. Glamox has also been involved in designing the lighting control system, a Glamox KNX system which e.g. prevents the light from being switched on in rooms that are not in use. All stairs and corridors are equipped with motion sensors that automatically turn the light on when motion is detected and switch it off when there is no movement. In the classrooms, the light is turned on manually and turns off 15 minutes after activity has been registered.

“We are very pleased with the follow-up from Glamox. Salespeople have been on the ball the whole time. The deliveries were also extremely efficient so that everything that was required to be in place on a particular floor was delivered together. When the next floor was ready, it didn’t take long before this lighting was in place and ready for installation, resulting in very efficient lighting installation”, says Simonstad.


Zero-energy building calls for good collaboration

He also boasts of the collaboration with the main contractor BRG as well as the other contractors on the build.
“The interaction with Arendal municipality’s building management and the school’s management has also been very good. This has also been a prerequisite for achieving good effective solutions”, says Simonstad.

“To succeed with a zero-energy build requires good planning and good collaboration along the way”, he continues, emphasising the importance of a good Central Operating System. The Central Operating System at Roligheden is delivered in collaboration with Kverneland Automasjon. Here, all the information from the lighting control system, heating system, ventilation systems, solar cell system and other technical installations is gathered on a PC so that operational staff are able to gain a good overview and operate the building efficiently.

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Light and space for learning

The pupils at Roligheden school have an enviable building. A holistic way of thinking around learning characterizes the design. It also includes lighting that will help pupils become more alert and able to concentrate.

A school building is so much more than walls, floors and ceilings. It is a building you should enjoy and feel safe in, a place for play and activity and not least for learning. Therefore, the principal Hans Georg Toreskaas is very pleased that he has been allowed to participate in the planning of the new Roligheden school from an early stage.

“Children and young people learn in different ways. That is why it has been important for me to have a versatile learning environment that encourages activity”, says the principal.


Different rooms for different activities

The solution has been to give each grade access to traditional classrooms, auditoriums and a workspace with different zones.
“With the solution we have now, the children can work independently in the classroom and use the workspace for group work. The auditoriums are used both when teachers want to initiate projects and when the students present work they have done”, explains Toreskaas, who is delighted with the result.


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Left to right: Foreman Nils Ove Bjørkli of Arendal El Team and project engineer Stian Harring from Glamox. Glamox and electrical contractor Arendal El Team have worked closely in order to get smart and energy efficient lighting solutions at Roligheden school.

‘Daylight’ in the classroom

The school also has Human Centric Lighting in every classroom and workspace. That is, the intensity and colour temperature of the light varies throughout the day to mimic daylight. In the mornings, pupils are given a boost with intense cool white light to help them wake up and focus. After 2 hours, the colour temperature changes and the light dims to standard interior lighting. Teachers are also able set the lighting on focus light during tests and other activities requiring concentration. In addition, there is a setting that provides a warm and subdued light to be used when pupils are to have a quiet and calm period.

“I’m impressed with the technology behind this lighting. It’s too early to say anything for sure, but I think this will have an effect on children’s learning. Whether it is due to lighting or air quality is difficult to say, but we already notice that the children are more stimulated”, says the principal.