From industry to homes: five successful transformations

Fewer resources are required, and a high design factor added, when developers preserve and renovate rather than build new. We take a look inside a number of aesthetic private homes in Sweden, Denmark, Germany and the UK. What they all have in common is that the owners have transformed former industrial buildings – and supplemented them with Troldtekt acoustic solutions.

17.05.2024

While transforming and renovating will often have less climate impact, converting decommissioned industrial buildings into contemporary homes requires extensive work: which materials are robust and healthy enough to conserve, and where can new ones fit in? Are there hidden risks in the old building?

Conversely, the transformations also allow original details to be preserved. These can be old wooden beams, special tiles or raw bricks that add soul to the building.

Get inspired by five projects below, where architects have given their ideas on the balance between the new and the original. In all five cases, these are industrial buildings that have become residential. Common to the homes is that new Troldtekt acoustic panels have been added as part of the characterful interior and to ensure pleasant acoustics.

Photo: Olaf Wiechers, arkitekt

#1

Modern home in a former barn (Trebbin, Germany)

This former barn on the outskirts of Berlin, which now houses a family of three, is part of a farm from around 1910. The structure of the building was well preserved, and the old wooden beams now serve as the basic structure for the rooms. Wood is used extensively and the original rafters of the barn are visible in the middle section.

The living room has a ceiling height of no less than nine metres, and a loading door in dark wood over four metres high has been preserved. To ensure good acoustics in the room, a large end panel is clad in Troldtekt panels in natural wood, while black-painted Troldtekt panels are used for the ceiling. Wood is a primary raw material in the acoustic panels, which match the rest of the interior beautifully.

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Photo: Helene Høyer Mikkelsen, arkitekt MAA

#2

Dramatic interior design in a former dairy (Køge, Denmark)

A Danish couple, who also run an interior design company, dreamed of transforming an old industrial building into a combined home and workplace. The choice fell on the former Vallø Dairy near Køge. A number of features from the dairy have been preserved – including the white tiles in the main room. The holes in the ceiling, which were previously used for suspended milk silos, have become round glass floors that beautifully connect the storeys in the building.

Grey Troldtekt panels were chosen for the ceiling in the large room, significantly enhancing the acoustics of this architecturally raw space. The look and feel of Troldtekt fits in well with the industrial space and the desire to create a welcoming home ambience.

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Sound-absorbing cement-bonded wood wool panels from Troldtekt are often used as acoustic ceilings in private homes

#3

The Barnhouse – an exclusive longhouse (Kristianstad, Sweden)

This home is an old barn, with an area of about 400 square metres and eight metre-high ceilings. The owners have converted it into an exclusive longhouse. In addition to being a home, it can also be booked for meetings and conferences. In addition, the couple manufactures specially designed furniture.

Design factor is a keyword in The Barnhouse, where local wood is a consistent material. For the ceilings, the couple have chosen a black-painted variant of the Troldtekt line design solution, which visually extends the room with long grooves milled into the surface of the acoustic panels.

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#4

Creative and visionary in a former barn (Norfolk, UK)

In a fascinating renovation, this former barn has been transformed into a four-bedroom family home. The house presents a calm facade made of corrugated sheet metal and a roof with vertical larch slats. Inside, the residence stretches over two floors of the original 450 square metres of the barn.

With a large and spacious interior, the architects had to find a sound-absorbing solution to avoid poor acoustics. The choice fell on white-painted Troldtekt panels in all the family rooms and for the 15-metre-long swimming pool area – a central design element in the former barn.

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#5

Passive House in 300-year-old farm (Hudiksvall, Sweden)

People have lived at Stenberg farm in Hudiksvall since the 1700s. The farm has now been converted into eight apartments built according to the Passive House Standard.

According to the developer Klas Boman from Boman & Compani, the project aims to demonstrate how you can build and live with a low carbon footprint – and that you can take an approach to housing construction that allows a building to last for another 300 years. The idea is that all materials are selected from a life cycle perspective.

The interior walls are made of birch plywood. The ceilings in six of the eight apartments have been fitted with Troldtekt acoustic panels. Good sound absorption is important, as ceiling heights reach over six metres in some places and the floors are made of concrete and oak.

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Home transformations with potential

  • In 2020, the Department of Building, Urban Development and Environment (BUILD) at Aalborg University analysed the climate impact of materials for 60 newly constructed buildings. The median value for this so-called embedded climate impact was 7.1 kg CO2e/m2/year.
  • The Council for Green Transition reviewed eight transformations in 2022. The inherent climate impact will be lower than the BUILD report’s value for new construction in every case. It's important to emphasise that none of the five examples from the article above are included in the analysis.
  • The analysis includes, for example, a former monastery in Østerbro (Copenhagen), which has been converted into 29 senior housing units. The new materials used in the transformation have an inherent climate impact of 2.95 kg CO2e/m2/year – i.e. 59 per cent lower than the median value for new construction.
  • In comparison, the Danish Building Regulations require that new buildings of more than 1,000 square metres may have a maximum climate impact of 12 kg CO2e/m2/year.
  • The limit is 8 kg CO2e/m2/year in the Voluntary Sustainability Standard.