Construction of the world’s most environmentally friendly furniture factory has started
On Friday, 25 September, we started building the world’s most environmentally friendly furniture factory. Named The Plus, the factory is located in the town Magnor, in eastern Norway, and will be the largest single investment in the Norwegian furniture industry for decades. The Plus has been designed by the world-famous firm of architects BIG Bjarke Ingels Group, and will serve as a global showcase for outstanding architecture and high-efficiency industrial production.
“Through its use of cutting-edge technology, The Plus will prove that Vestre and Scandinavian industry can produce faster and greener than ever before, and thereby ensure our global competitiveness,” says Vestre’s CEO Jan Christian Vestre.
The new factory will cost close to NOK 300 million, and is scheduled for completion as early as the autumn of 2021. All-electric Tesla trucks will shuttle between the company’s existing factory in Torsby, Sweden, and the new factory in Magnor, Norway.
Leading the way on sustainability
The Plus will be the first industrial building in the Nordic region to achieve the highest environmental certification, BREEAM Outstanding, by using solid wood and ensuring a fossil-free and emission-free construction site.
The Plus will employ several Industry 4.0 solutions, such as smart robots and self-driving trucks, and the whole factory can be run from a tablet device. Every aspect of the factory will be based on principles of renewable and clean energy to ensure eco-friendly production. The Plus will be “Paris Proof” and have at least 50 per cent lower greenhouse gas emissions than similar conventional factories.
“Man-made climate change is the greatest challenge of our time. I sincerely believe that everyone can save the planet, at least a little bit. Sustainability is a result of the choices we make every day,” says Jan Christian Vestre. He hopes to inspire people to act and take part in the green shift.
World famous architect
Vestre’s attractive urban furniture creates meeting places that transcend social, cultural and economic divides. When people come together, trust and a sense of community emerge. This was an important principle when the renowned architectural firm BIG Bjarke Ingels Group designed The Plus.
“The Plus has a simple, x-shaped geometry, which leaves you with a feeling of being in the woods at all times, but allows the production flow to remain highly efficient. The midpoint of the cross creates an effective logistics hub and a meeting place for the both employers and visitors,” architect Bjarke Ingels says.
Scandinavian production and Tesla transportation
The Plus will consist of spectacular architecture, a visitor centre and a 300-acre park, making the town of Magnor an exciting destination for visitors from all around the world. Magnor has a long cultural and industrial history, and is strategically situated between Oslo and Vestre’s factory in Torsby, Sweden.
“We are passionate about Scandinavian industrial cooperation and believe that Scandinavian countries should work together in global markets. Our goal is to locate production in both Norway and Sweden to exploit historical, industrial and cultural advantages, and benefit from a wider range of skills and expertise,” Jan Christian Vestre explains.
Opened in 2013, Vestre’s factory in Torsby, Sweden, was designed by the award-winning Norwegian architectural firm Snøhetta. When the bulk of production is transferred to Magnor, Torsby will provide steel and aluminium components, which will be sent to The Plus for surface treatment and assembly.
“The investment will strengthen both Norwegian and Swedish industries,” Jan Christian concludes.