Calm and recirculation in Oslo’s new emergency medical unit

The new building at Aker Hospital is the first emergency medical unit in the world to be certified according to the BREEAM standard. Oslo’s sick or injured citizens are received in a calm and warm environment. And despite global turmoil, the project stayed on schedule and on budget.

Troldtekt acoustic panels have unique sound-absorbing properties and ensure superior acoustics in, for example, hospitals

A visit to A&E is often associated with pain, anxiety and perhaps even panic. The newly built emergency medical unit at Sinsenkrysset in Norway’s capital is therefore designed to signal the opposite. The atmosphere is simple, light and harmonious. Aesthetically and functionally, the materials help to create a sense of calm upon arrival. The elegant marble floor, frosted glass panels, light-coloured bricks and Troldtekt acoustic ceilings all play a role here.

Behind the harmonious architecture lies years of thorough preparation by the team behind Oslo’s emergency medical unit. Nordic Office of Architecture designed the 27,000 square metre building, with Skanska Norge as main contractor, COWI as landscape architect and Advansia as project manager. Despite the corona virus, war and supply chain pressures, the emergency medical unit opened as planned in 2023 November and built within the agreed budget.


Thoughtful choices behind certification

In addition to creating the best possible atmosphere for both patients and staff, the team was tasked with building the world’s first BREEAM-certified emergency medical unit. The international sustainability standard emphasises nine environmental areas, requiring thoughtful decisions on everything from energy and water consumption to indoor climate and material health.

The emergency medical unit in Oslo has achieved certification at the 'Excellent' level, which is the second best of the six levels in BREEAM. Solar panels on the flat roofs, an overall passive house standard, recycled waste materials and a fossil-free building site are among the many sustainability measures.


Robust and recycled materials

On the outside, the two buildings blend in beautifully with the hospital's green grounds. The south-facing facades let in plenty of natural light. The use of light-coloured bricks provides both a welcoming architectural expression and ensures robust facades with a long service life.

Visual tranquillity and durable materials were also taken into account on the inside. Tiles and stone from Oslo’s old government building were reused. The same is true of the stones and marble left over from the construction of Oslo’s new National Museum, which instead of being discarded now constitute a unique floor in the emergency medical unit’s reception area.  

The Troldtekt ceilings are in natural wood, supporting the harmonious expression, and the ceilings help to ensure the right acoustics in large parts of the building. At the same time, Troldtekt cement-bonded wood wool is one of the building materials that contributes positively to several areas of the BREEAM certification.