'Quiet, clean and green are not words you would typically use to describe a
construction site. But the site at Olav Vs gate, one of the busiest streets in
the heart of Norway's capital city, Oslo, was special. In a first of its kind
in the world, all the machinery used on site – excavators, diggers and loaders
– were electric.
Work began on the site in September 2019, converting what was once a hectic
turning zone for the city's taxis into a new pedestrianised area. Locals may
have initially raised eyebrows at what appeared to be just another inconvenient
construction site, but soon it was clear there something very different about
it. In fact, this was a pilot project for the first zero-emission urban
construction site in the world.
"When I visited the zero-emission construction site I was extremely impressed,"
says Mark Preston Aragonès, a policy advisor at environmental non-profit
Bellona. "I was looking at these big excavators that you generally associate
with fumes and noise and general annoyances, but on this site, when the
operator turned it on you couldn't tell the difference between when it was on
or off. It was really impressive to see such big machines make such little
Via Robert Sanscartier.
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*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics