Kontur Architects have modernized and refurbished a traditional Scandinavian “Funkis” style house in Gjovik, Norway to bring it up to Passive House standards. The four bedroom house was completely renovated. Only the foundation, timber frame, staircase and chimney remain from the original “functionalist style” house, which was built in the 1930’s.
The refurbished home, which overlooks Lake Mjosa, is now clad in Kebony, a sustainable alternative to tropical hardwood. According to the manufacturer, Kebony is both refined and long-lasting. It delivers spectacular Scandinavian style along with a high level of energy efficiency.
Kebony’s superior environmental credentials set it apart from more conventional woods, which deteriorate over time or require the use of environmentally harmful preservatives. It requires no maintenance beyond normal cleaning and has no harmful effects on the environment. Kebony wood has proven to be an ideal material for the architect who requires a low maintenance material that is as green as possible but has the ability to stand the test of time.
The Kebony technology is a patented process which enhances the properties of non-durable wood species to give them similar characteristics to the best performing woods. Using an environmentally friendly process, woods such as pine and non-durable hardwood are impregnated with a bio-based liquid derived from agricultural crop waste. With the addition of heat, the furfuryl polymer is permanently grafted into the wood cell wall, resulting in greatly improved durability and dimensional stability.
Kebony is suitable for both internal and external applications that demand high performance and great aesthetics including decking, flooring, cladding, roofing, windows, and both indoor and outdoor furniture. Over time Kebony acquires an attractive silver-grey patina while maintaining its high performance characteristics.
Kebony is becoming the first choice of leading architects and developers because it makes it possible for them to use wood in projects without causing environmental degradation. A recent study by Norwegian environmental consulting firm Bergfald & Co showed that Kebony has a substantially lower carbon footprint than its tropical hardwood equivalents.
Lasse Haldrup Juul, the owner and architect of the property, says, “The feedback I have received has been immensely positive. Wood has a particular visual appeal. Working with Kebony has transformed the character of the house, giving it an impressive yet neutral and organic finish.” The interior of this house is now light and spacious with a minimalist approach throughout.