The new GRID House was purchased because GRID-Arendal was in need of larger office spaces and GRID-Arendal wished to be more visible in the local as well as national public sphere. One of the reasons for buying this particular building is the building’s placement; right at the centre on the waterfront, giving the building a perfect possibility of serving a lot of people and being visible as well as helping create an international image of Arendal.
GRID-Arendal is interested in developing the building to becoming an Information House on UNEP and UN information in general. The House will be open to people locally, nationally, regionally and internationally for getting information, viewing films, exhibitions and listening to lectures on UNEP and GRID-Arendal work in particular and UN work in general.
The environmental approach lies at the heart of GRID-Arendal’s work and it is of outermost importance that this GRID House becomes a showcase for green office and public building practices.
(PICTURE: Arendal, September 2, 2003 - The former Norwegian Minister of Environment Borge Brende, launched the GRID-House in Arendal. )
Role and purposes
The UN eco-efficient house can serve multiple purposes, supporting the goals of both the UNEP and the Ministry of Environment. It will become:
The UNEP/UN Information House and capacity building facility for people locally, regionally, nationally and internationally;
a showcase for environmentally friendly reconstruction in the Nordic region and under a UN aegis
a functioning example of an attractive, eco-efficient, sustainable office building, focusing on protecting employee’s health while operating in an ecological and resource efficient manner;
a capacity building tool for UNEP’s work with international community in helping governments to promote environmentally friendly solutions in building industry;
a tangible demonstration case for the Ministry of the Environment on the Norwegian environmental solutions in eco-design, architecture and engineering.
The international school in Arendal is a new school opening in September 2006. It will be located in the GRID-house. The school offers programmes in English based upon the Norwegian National Core Curriculum for children aged between 6 – 16 yrs.
High international, national and local visibility
Lasting and tangible show-case for good environmental practices
Highlighting of contributions in a personalized manner
Possible synergy in the PR sphere
Architect: A7 ARKITEKTER AS