Grand opening of The Plus!
The official opening of The Plus – The world's most environmentally friendly furniture factory
In just 18 months, Vestre has completed the world's most environmentally friendly furniture factory, The Plus. The investment of almost NOK 300 million makes The Plus the single largest investment in the Norwegian furniture industry in decades. The factory will be a global showcase for sustainable and highly efficient production and an experience destination for people around the world. And the community of Magnor with its location close to Sweden, has gained another factory and tourist attraction.
”The Plus is a factory for the people! It is a project we have put an enormous amount of soul and energy into. This is an important day for us, but also for the Norwegian mainland industry and the Scandinavian export cooperation”, says Stefan Tjust, CEO of Vestre.
The Plus designed by the renowned Danish architectural firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). BIG has, among other things, designed Google's head office and the Kistefos Museum, The Twist. For The Plus, BIG developed its form as a natural transfer from logistics to architecture. The four production areas – the Color Factory, the Wood Factory, Assembly, and Warehouse – are placed in the four wings around the Courtyard. At the heart of The Plus lies the visitor centre, which can cater to school groups, students, companies, organisations, and private individuals.
In the surrounding the factory, there is a pine forest and a large and open recreational area with a network of hiking trails. Visitors can walk up the outer ramps and get an overview of the building's interior and the surrounding pine forest, where there is a large network of hiking trails. The factory roof is covered with natural forest vegetation, which coexists with the almost 900 solar panels that supply energy to the building. The roof will be open to everyone, all year round.
”The Plus will be a great attraction, for both locals and visitors, where people can visit and experience a modern factory built in the most sustainable way possible”, says Tjust.
A new standard for industrial sustainability
Sustainability, environmental considerations, and transparency have been central to exactly all aspects of the factory, both in terms of the building itself and everything around it. From ensuring good working conditions to facilitating electrified heavy transport and managing the forest areas around The Plus.
Together, Vestre and BIG have thereby created an entirely new typology, where people, production, technology, architecture and nature are completely integrated in each other.
The Plus is well-placed to become the world’s first project of its type to achieve the highest BREEAM environmental classification: “Outstanding”. The factory has been built as a ‘plus house’, which means that the building’s energy consumption is 60 percent lower than equivalent conventional factories, while releasing 55 percent less greenhouse gases than similar buildings. If you include the manufacturing equipment in the equation, energy consumption in The Plus is reduced by 90 percent.
“With The Plus, Vestre has shown that it is possible to invest heavily in profitable and environmentally friendly finished goods production in a high-cost country such as Norway and we believe that if we can do it, so can others. The goal is for the project to inspire others to establish similar projects. We hope that The Plus will be a strong symbol and create a significant ripple effect both for Norwegian mainland industry and exports and for Scandinavian cooperation,” says Tjust.
Vestre has invited more than 800 guests to a forest festival for the official opening of the factory. Performers will include Norwegian singer Dagny, who has been streamed over 450 million times, and Swedish band The Mamas.
“It’s incredible to finally be able to open the doors to everyone who wants to come and experience the factory. It feels good to complete this extensive project – despite the pandemic and unforeseen events, we have essentially completed it on schedule. We achieved this through a fantastic combined effort and advice from all the local suppliers who have been involved in the project,” says Tjust.
Vestre’s goal is not just to attract tourists, but also to help Magnor and Innlandet attract more leading Norwegian industries. Partly thanks to its location so close to Sweden, Magnor has always been a hub for industry development across the national border.
“We hope that The Plus will enable more companies to discover all the opportunities that exist here in Innlandet and in Magnor. The companies in Norwegian mainland industry need to work together to bring out the best in each other, so it would be great if more Norwegian companies chose to move their production here,” says Tjust.
“There’s certainly plenty of room here for more!”
Read more about the project and discover the new The Plus university at www.theplus.no/en/