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New homes in Longyearbyen

Skanska Husfabrikken has built 60 new homes in Svalbard in record time.

After two major avalanches in 2015 and 2017 in Longyearbyen, many residents had to leave their homes, Statsbygg decided to build new homes that set a new standard for buildings in Svalbard. This assignment went to Skanska Husfabrikken and they accomplished the project in record time.

© Skanska

The project consists of 60 homes. The first 30 homes were completed by July 2018, and the last 30 were completed by June 1st 2019. Prefabricated modular units from the Skanska Husfabrikken in Steinkjer were used to assemble the buildings on large steel structures staked into the bedrock after being hoisted ashore in Longyearbyen.

The first 30 homes (10 each in each building), were somewhat larger apartments over 2 levels, and consisted of 4 modules each. Exterior storage rooms were built under the buildings. The last 30 homes (10 each in each building) were in 2 sizes, and each apartment was on one level. These buildings are 3 stories high, with 2 homes and 10 storage rooms on the first level, and 4 homes on level 2 and 3. All the buildings are on pillars (which go down into the mountain) and a steel frame, so that all of the infrastructure is open underneath the buildings.

© Skanska

The contract was divided between 2 contractors, where LNS was responsible for foundations (with the hiring of Skanska Steel Factory for the supply and installation of steel frame) and external infrastructure. Skanska was responsible for everything above the finished steel frame, and some outdoor areas such as play stands, bars, gabion walls, etc. For each building, an exterior technical building and battery room were supplied for the use of future solar energy systems (in modules from Steinkjer), which were fully furnished.

"The modules are the largest that have been manufactured by the factory at Steinkjer. This has resulted in the construction of a large housing project in record time", says Håvar Feragen, who is an Engineering Group leader at Skanska Husfabrikken.

© Skanska

BIM, a necessity

Skanska Husfabrikken has been ARCHICAD users since spring 2006 and the buildings in Longyearbyen are a BIM project designed in ARCHICAD.

"BIM projections are an absolute necessity, as there are so many disciplines that need to be weaved together, as there is little room to be able to make changes once the modules are produced. Interdisciplinary engineering is entirely dependent on BIM to ensure both quality and progress in the project. We use BIM in all our projects. In this project we have had another contractor working on infrastructure and foundation, so here BIM has been necessary for collision control and visualization of the challenges that have emerged."

"To start us off we both shared drawings and models in IFC-, DWG-, and PDF-format at our shared online project hotel (ISI). With close collaboration between Skanska, Statsbygg and LNS the goals were met in good ways, despite time pressure."

"We use Graphisoft BIMx for our iPads and this makes it very easy to share production data and other relevant information directly from ARCHICAD. BIMx is used both at the factory and at the construction site."

Building with modules

"The use of modules is a good method of construction. Our construction system allows us to produce the modules in a dry and temperate regulated environment inside the factory at Steinkjer. We believe this leads to faster production, a high skill level, faster assembly and watertight buildings on site, construction of buildings simultaneously with foundation work and less rig on site, while reducing costs and improving safety", says Feragen.

© Skanska

"It is challenging to build the homes in Svalbard, but the technical solutions put in use here have worked very well. The biggest challenge has been transportation as the largest modules were approx. 50m² (5m x10m) and weighed approx. 13 tonnes."

The houses at Longyearbyen are a pilot in the R&D project in Climate 2050, and the buildings meet the requirements for low-energy class 1. This makes them some of the most environmentally friendly buildings in the Arctic. Skanska Husfabrikken is incredibly pleased that they were able to use the expertise and experience they have accumulate over the past 70 years to complete this project and help this community.

© Skanska
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About Selina Scott

Selina Scott is a Marketing Consultant at Graphisoft Norge.
  • Norway