Environmental work and urban development

Vulkan is near self-sufficient in energy for heating and cooling. The sharing of energy, buildings and services allows for a smarter city.

Sharing is caring

During the development of Vulkan we looked at how buildings, equipment, energy and urban spaces can be shared and thus utilized more efficiently. One example is the breakfast and dinner restaurant at the PS:Hotel which doubles as as a canteen for those working in the area. Another is the car sharing system organised by Hertz Car Pool, where anyone can rent cars (electric and hybrid) and vans on an hourly basis. This allows individuals and businesses to make do without a car of their own. Our parking garage offers more than 100 charging stations for electric vehicles as well as indoor bicycle parking.

Vulkan’s energy plant

Vulkan has it’s own energy plant, distributing heat and regulating temperatures amongst the buildings. Excess heat generated from refrigeration and other facilities is used to heat rooms or hot water. This redistribution of energy gives significant environmental benefits. When more energy is needed, it can be drawn from a series of geothermal wells reaching 300 meters below the surface.

In cooperation with ORAS, Abicon Elektro and Norconsult, Aspelin Ramm has created a web-based animation of Vulkan’s energy plant displaying it’s output in real time. Through this initiative we hope to spread information on how local energy plants can be utilized. To see for yourself, please visit

Environmentally friendly buildings and renewable energy

Vulkan is home to Norway’s first hotel to be graded energy class A, Scandic Vulkan, as well as the first class A office building, Bellonahuset.

Bellonahuset was developed in cooperation between Aspelin Ramm, Bellona and FutureBuilt. The project has placed great emphasis on using eco-labeled materials with a small carbon footprint. Bellonahuset is an integrated part of Vulkan’s energy supply. The building’s facade collects solar energy which, via the local energy plant, is distributed to the entire area in the form of heat and hot water. Vulkan’s energy plant is connected to Oslo’s district heating system, which is used as a reserve.

Vulkan beehive

Two of the world’s finest beehives are placed on the rooftop between Mathallen and Dansens Hus. Vulkan beehive has brought more bees to town, contributing to the effort to save these important insects. Billions of bees have disappeared in recent years. This is a big problem as bees are vital to food production through their role as pollinators.

The areas around Akerselva, Telthusbakken and Gamle Aker Kirke provide abundant sources of pollen, nectar and water, used by the bees to make Vulkan honey during the summer season. This locally produced honey can be purchased at Torget in Mathallen.

The project’s initiator and beekeeper is Alexander Heier Du Ritz, and the two hives were designed by Snøhetta. You can see how much honey the hives contain by following this link. If you’d like to learn more about beekeeping in urban areas you’ll find a master thesis on the subject here.

An urban and environmental laboratory

Constantly changing and developing, Vulkan is our “test lab” for trying out new and innovative urban and environmental solutions. Vulkan is a dense area shared by the people who live, work, and study here and our many visitors. Take a look at Byvettreglene for tips on how to improve day-to-day life in the city, these guidelines will benefit any place where people.


Read more about Vulkan, the sustainable urban project here (pdf)