Kebony transforms a 76-year-old house into an eco-friendly Passive House


GJOVIK, Norway, Oct 6, 2015 - A traditional Scandinavian "Funkis" style house has been modernized and refurbished in line with "Passive House" standards, which has strict environmental credentials, bringing the house into the 21st century in terms of both design and performance. Kontur Architects designed this stunningly refurbished home, which overlooks Lake Mjosa and now attains a high level of energy efficiency. The house is clad in Kebony, the sustainable alternative to tropical hardwood, which is both refined and hardwearing to deliver spectacular Scandinavian style and Passive House credentials.

The four-bedroom house, which has  been subject to a complete renovation, has only the base walls, load-bearing wooden structure, staircase and chimney remaining from the original Funkis "functionalist style" house, built in the 1930s. The interior of this house is now light and spacious with a minimalistic approach maintained throughout. In addition, sustainability was fundamental to the design of this remarkable house, which now meets the Passive House requirements, wherein the energy consumption is minimised.

The owner and architect, Lasse Haldrup Juul, first discovered Kebony at the Aarhus school of architecture, when he became fascinated by the technology and the superior structural properties of the modified wood. The versatility of the wood enabled the architect to make use of the leftovers to create sustainable starling boxes, storage boxes for recycling and plant boxes to hold spices and vegetables.

Kebony’s superior environmental credentials set it apart from more conventional woods, which would likely deteriorate over time or involve the use of environmentally damaging treatment. It requires no maintenance beyond normal cleaning and has no harmful effects on the environment. Kebony wood proved to be an ideal material for the architect, who required a low-maintenance material that would be "as green as possible," with the ability to stand the test of time. 

Juul commented, "The feedback I have received for the Passive House has been immensely positive. Timber is a material that has a particular visual appeal and Kebony allows its use without causing environmental degradation. Working with Kebony has transformed the character of the house, giving it an impressive yet neutral and organic finish."

Adrian Pye, International Sales Director at Kebony, said, "This Passive House is a fantastic example of how Kebony can be used to transform the exterior of a house into a sustainable home with exceptional quality design."

About Kebony Technology

The Kebony technology is a patented process that enhances the properties of non-durable wood species to give them similar characteristics to the best performing woods. Through a sustainable process, wood species such as pines and some non-durable hardwoods 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.

About Kebony Wood

Kebony is suitable for both internal and external applications that demand high performance and great aesthetics, including decking, flooring, cladding, roofing, windows, indoor and outdoor furniture. Over time, Kebony acquires its characteristic silver-grey patina while not losing its performance characteristics. With improved durability and dimensional stability, Kebony is becoming increasingly the choice of leading architects and developers, enabling them to use wood in projects without causing environmental degradation. Kebony has been used internationally in commercial, public, residential and marine projects, like Hunter’s Point in New York, the Mary Rose Museum and both residential and commercial buildings on the UK’s seafront. A recent study by Norwegian environmental consulting firm Bergfald & Co demonstrated that Kebony has a substantially lower carbon footprint than its tropical hardwood equivalents.

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