Wood – for a green transition

As architects, we have a big responsibility to reduce our climate impact. White Arkitekter has an ambitious target – by 2030, all our architecture will be climate positive. To achieve this goal, we have stepped up our investment in research and development of our knowledge in timber construction. Our only renewable and carbon-neutral building material today.

Like timber construction, cold bathing is an old Nordic tradition, the Karlshamn cold bath house makes use of the tactile properties of wood by exposing this warm material in environments where people without clothes. Photo: Bert Leandersson

When designing with wood, we start from the material’s properties and let the living material drive the design. If we work with meticulous detailing, we create buildings that will be appreciated and last for a long time, and only then have we made something truly sustainable. This applies regardless of the material.

Developments in sustainable construction are rapid and interest is high. Taking our cue from Agenda 2030 and the government’s ‘Policy for a Designed Living Environment’, we work with our clients to develop carbon neutrality in our projects. Also important for genuine timber construction is awareness of sustainable forestry and knowledge of the type of wood we prescribe, as well as maximising the capacity of the material to minimise resource use and ensure sustainable construction at all stages.

Wood has many design qualities and a scale that means we experience the material differently depending on our distance. Wood is a living material and speaks to all the senses. We know that the built environment has a fundamental impact on us and research has established that people who spend a lot of time in nature feel better psychologically, have higher cognitive ability and lower stress levels. Many studies show that exposure to wood in the built environment also has a similar effect on us humans.

Sara Cultural Centre, Skellefteå

Sara Cultural Centre is Skellefteå's new meeting place. Art, performances and literature together with a hotel in one of the world's tallest wooden buildings. Photo: Visit Skellefteå

Wuddhouse1 was designed as a light industrial building but is now used as an office by the tenant thanks to the good indoor environment with exposed wood. Photo: Anders Bobert

Research in wood

White Arkitekter invests in collaborative research with both academic and industrial partners to continuously develop our knowledge and expertise. Research and development has been a fundamental part of our culture since White was founded in 1951 and approximately 10% of our annual profits are reinvested in our research. Our ‘Wood’ focus area is a creative cluster of architects and engineers who work on wood projects in their everyday lives, which means our knowledge is growing and our expertise in wood construction is constantly evolving.

By using real projects as case studies, the research is realised. Environmental properties are tested, timber construction techniques are evaluated and design strategies and processes are reviewed. Practical research at its best.

From innovation to implementation

Sustainability is our driving force for creativity, innovation, empowerment and better architecture. By putting sustainability first, we create buildings and an equitable society with people at the centre. We want to lead the way to a more sustainable future!

The global sustainability challenges are huge with climate change, diminishing resources and increasing inequality, but at White we are convinced that architecture can help bring about change. For us, sustainability is a driver for creativity, innovation, empowerment and better architecture.

Magasin X, Uppsala

Magasin X in central Uppsala is Sweden's largest wooden office building. With sky-high sustainability goals, the building's environmental profile runs through everything from innovative technical systems for energy supply and careful material choices, to climate-friendly commuting options. Photo: Måns Berg

Climate-neutral buildings

A clear climate impact reduction target for the project is needed at an early stage. Even in the initial sketches, we should aim to reduce the climate impact. We can plan for people’s needs in a way that encourages sustainable lifestyles. We should also make the most of what already exists on the site, for example by rebuilding, rather than demolishing and building new. Read more here!

Naturum Kosterhavet, Sydkoster. Photo: Åke E:son Lindman

Kärven Observation Tower, Varberg.

Every day, our architects and engineers work with the company’s sustainability specialists to translate sustainability ambitions into concrete solutions. We have more than fifty full-time employees who assist our projects with knowledge and solutions in daylighting, energy issues, certifications, building material assessments and many other types of calculations.

In our sustainability work, our focus is on wood. We conduct our own research, are co-founders of Tränätverk A (Wood Network A) and are a driving force in wood construction in the industry. We actively work to ensure that the conditions for timber construction are investigated in all our projects.

Contact Person

Daniel Asp

Daniel Asp

Methodology specialist, Head of Development Wood, Architect

Oslo

+47 476 281 68

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