'Good value for money'

By Kristin B Risvand Mo

24 February 2017 15:41

(updated: 24 February 2017 15:47)

'Good value for money'

On 9 February 2017, the Board adopted a plan for the renovation of the main building dating from 1963. The interior and exterior of the high-rise building will undergo a full upgrade and new technical systems will be installed, in addition to a number of other measures to facilitate increased cooperation and interaction and more flexible use of the premises.

‘In all, this will raise the standard of the building and underpin NHH’s high ambitions. We have emphasised cost-efficient measures that give good value for money,’ says Statsbygg’s project manager, Madeleine Torkveen Skjølås.

At the meeting on 9 February, the Board considered the final report from the concept study project. The project, which had been asked to outline three different alternatives, recommended the intermediate alternative to the Board. The Board endorsed this.

It was NHH’s project manager Anne Line Grepne who presented the alternatives together with Madeleine Torkveen Skjølås of Statsbygg.

‘The most reasonable alternative involves a full upgrade of the high-rise building, but only strictly necessary upgrades to the other buildings. This is not rational in the long term, because it will result in higher operating and maintenance costs. The ambitious alternative will be too challenging to finance. The intermediate alternative entails relative high investment costs, but lower operating and maintenance costs,’ explains Anne Line Grepne.

The project envisages near passive house standard for the building, in that it will be better insulated, have more efficient technical systems and ground source heating. Major alterations will also be carried out to facilitate flexible and forward-looking solutions that will contribute to increased cooperation and interaction.

‘We will take into account that NHH’s needs may change in the long term. In 10–20 years, teaching, work methods and organisational boundaries may be very different. This means that the design must focus on good, flexible solutions. Since we in any case have to renovate the main building, we will also make a number of changes that build a strong culture and create a sense of pride. We will develop NHH’s “heart”, the entrance and the most central area, and make some important plan changes that will greatly improve the appearance of the building compared with how it is today,’ says Grepne.

The next step is to initiate the pre-project, which includes detailed planning of solutions and preparing final cost estimates for the renovation work.
‘A renovation job is always demanding. The main building is a listed building, and we must carry out the renovation work without disturbing day-to-day operations at NHH. We must also ensure that asbestos, heavy metals etc. are removed and disposed of in a safe manner,’ says Skjølås.

The pre-project will probably start after the summer. The financing is contingent on funding being allocated in the revised national budget in June. The project will make effective use of the intervening period, and it is well under way with planning the activities scheduled for the spring.

User consultation processes will be carried out, room and function programmes prepared and a tender procedure will be held to hire a contractor for the building work.

‘The detailed planning starts now! It’s particularly important that NHH is involved in this phase. We want staff and students to help to decide what the common areas, workspaces and teaching premises will look like. We have drawings, but they are fairly general, so it’s possible to influence the final design,’ says Grepne.


- NHH’s main building dates from 1963 and is in need of extensive renovation. The main building complex consists of the high-rise building, which makes up 40 per cent of the complex, and the low-rise buildings and the main hall.

- The planning work started in spring 2016 with a concept study project that has looked at different alternatives for the renovation work.

- In February 2017, the Board decided to go for a complete renovation of the high-rise building, of facades, roofs and technical installations, and to carry out alterations to and upgrade the areas around the main entrance and main hall.

- User consultation processes and the preparation of room and function programmes will take place in spring 2017.

- A pre-project will start in 2017 and will last for approximately a year.

- The plan is to start the renovation work in spring 2019, and that the building will be ready for occupation in 2020. Political decisions may affect the schedule.

- The renovation will be financed under the same scheme as the new building that opened in 2013, with Statsbygg as contractor and owner and NHH as lessee.

- The scheme, which is administered by Statsbygg, means that the project can be implemented sooner than if NHH had to apply for a separate funding allocation over the national budget.

- In practice, the scheme also means that the investment cost will be covered by future rent. The rent covers building costs and operating costs. The scheme also means that Statsbygg takes over management of the buildings after the renovation.

- The condition for Statsbygg taking over the management is that the buildings are upgraded to a satisfactory standard. It is not an option for Statsbygg to take over a building with extensive maintenance needs without funding being available for necessary renovation.  

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