«The architects set out to explore what the “green house” is. Not to consider it merely as a technical challenge but rather a way of using space and experiencing space. In the same way gravity has given beautiful constructed columns and beams, the recycling of materials and energy saving in building will generate its own beauty. They investigated how temperature zoning and solar power not only could provide efficient energy use, but also give a meaningful extra layer of quality in the everyday life.

A solid wall covered with clay divides the main plan of the house. The wall serves as insulation between two temperature zones, as a thermal collector and a humidity equalizer.This wall also separates the house into a secluded part and an exposed part. The exposed part contains entrances, stairs and openings towards the garden. The secluded part contains the hearth, bathrooms and bedrooms. Two different old building techniques have been tested in this building. Clay from the site is used as clay plaster. The rendering of clay is used on both sides of the solid inside wall, dividing the whole building in two different temperature zones(See LEIREPUSS). Outside facades of the house is covered with short-traveled pine panel, treated with fire, «yaki sugi», an old, Japanese technique (See KULLSVART). The charred wood is burning 2-5 mm of the surface of the paneling, both as an esthetic and well functioning surface treatment».

Closer to the seasons- about craft, knowledge and care

What is an «whole year home»? How to use local materials and old building techniques in new ways?

The project is an example on reusing and mixing old architectonical qualities and knowledge with modern notions of living and dwelling. The background for this homepage is formulating experiences from this process.

Under the topics LEIREPUSS, KULLSVART og TO TEMPERATURSONER, you will find what is rare or special for this housing project. Other aspects of the projects of more general character like the using of local materials, time of dwelling spaces, and creating form in dialogue with the existing, is discussed under "MATERIAL", "MELLON INNE OG UTE", and "STED".

The architects behind the project, Nina Haarsaker and Sevrin Gjerde, are married and living in this building. They are both involved at the university of natural science and technology, NTNU in Trondheim,  and this page/blog is made as a reference for students, colleagues and other of interested in architecture and place.

What general or overall discussions finds place when you build a new house or say renovates a building -and how does your solutions subsequently work?




The building: Årstidshus Blaklia 

Address: Blaklivegen 18/20 Trondheim.

Completion: 2014

Energy source: An hybrid energy solution; using the sun, both the three solar panels and the hothouse/ winter-garden, air to air system on low pressure difference, electricity and clean-burning fireplace using dried wood from nearby forest.

Energy performance kWhm2
Calculated energy use was 106 kWH/m2. Actual annual use first year was 88 kWh/m2.

Square meter/ plan

The building is divided horizontally in a family part, and an apartment.

Family part (2 floors) total area 186m2 BRA. Heated area in winter 110m2. 
Per person: 28- 40 m2, depending on season, per person /family of 4.

Flat for rent (one floor) total 57 m2 BRA, for couple: 28,5 m2 per person.

Comparing to Norwegian statistics:

In summertime, 5 person living in this house gives 42 m2 pr person. This  is still 18 m2 under Norwegian average pr.2016: ca 60m2 pr person. In  2002 it was  52 m2 pr person, (source: https://www.ssb.no/a/samfunnsspeilet/utg/200404/10/tab-2004-09-15-01.html) 

Alternative possibilities in the plan solution :

The building is designed to have the flexibility from being one big three floor family home, or easily divided horizontally into three flats, collective housing, and even part of the building becoming commercial/ office. First floor has universal access. 



Material use; construction and surfaces

Focus made on use of durable, natural and easily recycled materials. Only sparely use of toxic substances on some of the bathroom walls and mandatory plastic radiation/gas-barrier between fundament and the ground.

Construction: In situ concrete foundation (with the long time future possibility of becoming a beautiful ruin). Central LECA wall surrounded by framework wood construction, (materials from Støren, local spruce).

Insulation in wooden frame-walls: reused cellulose 25 cm, and 5 cm hemp. 

Surfaces on facades: charred cladding (yakisugi), using local mountain pine wood.Three layered glass with wood-frame, two-layered glass and aluminum frame towards the south, Composite concrete panels on the three walls of the apartment. 

Surfaces inside: visible Wood- construction in the "buffer",wall and roofs covered with plywood of birch (both as vapor- barrier and inside surface) treated with organic oil/wax and pigment. Rendering of clay from site (on both side of inside zone-parting, main clinker-wall). Reused doors from local office, found cheap on net. Floors: pine, oak, concrete tiles, clinker-tiles.

buffer lecavegg foto nh.JPG


Nina Haarsaker <nina.haarsaker@ntnu.no> / 0047 41542722

Sevrin Gjerde <sevrin@sunne-hus.net> / 0047 90638390