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Latvian Businesses Begin Building Charging Stations for Electric Cars in Denmark Made from Glued Lami

BC, Riga , 16.12.2020.Print version
Three Latvian businesses—IKTK, Rodentia and Igate Būve—have implemented an innovative green solution, manufacturing and constructing a modern electric car charging station from Glued Laminated Timber, or Glulam, in Denmark

The station was commissioned by Clever, a Danish electric charging station and mobility solution company, and it was designed by Cobe, a Danish architecture firm. The project aims to build a network of ultra-fast charging stations throughout Scandinavia based on a unified green design concept. 

The ultra-fast electric car charging station at Aarhus port, near the passenger ferry port, was manufactured and built by three Latvian companies which specialise in designing, manufacturing and building Glulam constructions. Structural design and timber engineering office Rodentia consulted the Danish client and developed detailing and technical drawings for manufacturer IKTK, from Ozolnieki Municipality, who manufactured the main structure from FSC-certified spruce timber; while Igate Būve, a construction company specialising in timber construction, was responsible for the rest of the manufacture, delivery and the installation of the almost-five-metre-tall structures in Denmark. 

Electric cars are associated with green energy, which is why the stations were designed to reflect green thinking in their architecture, materials and concept. Cobe’s architects conceived them as green oases in which to charge your car as well as recharge your mental batteries and take a break from the industrial architecture of the city. The construction uses FSC-certified spruce timber, and the station roof is covered in plants; it was created as an extensive green sedum (stonecrop) roof and requires minimal upkeep. At the centre of the design is a wooden roof module whose silhouette echoes trunks and a canopy. Two cars can charge simultaneously under one canopy. This modular approach means that, when combined with other modules, the canopy will create a forest-like oasis. The station has been manufactured and constructed in a way which means that it can easily be disassembled and the materials can be recycled or upcycled.

Founder and Chairman of the Management Board of IKTK Māris Peilāns explains: “This project was interesting and valuable due to the client's priority of sustainability in all phases of production, its well-considered concept, architects’ design philosophy, and attention to detail. When we began this collaboration, we prepared and built a prototype on the IKTK workshop grounds, where it remains to this day. The structure for Denmark was developed and manufactured in Latvia, like a Lego building set. Project-based manufacturing and solutions are our strong side; we have also built larger structures according to a similar Lego principle, such as road bridges. We are pleased that Clever entrusted us with this, and we are already manufacturing the next “green oases”, this time for Norway.” 

Pēteris Supe, Structural Engineer for Rodentia, adds: “This station design is intended for the whole of Scandinavia, so our greatest challenge was to develop the existing project and design the structure’s connection points to ensure that they can withstand even more extreme snow and wind conditions.” 

Jānis Kuļikovskis, Head of Igate Būve, says: “In its construction, we implemented sustainable construction principles which were central to this project. Almost all the details and joints were made and put together in our workshop, and as a result, the assembly and installation in Denmark left a minimal impact on the environment; construction took place almost without waste, with minimal involvement of heavy machinery, and with a low noise level. We also organised the logistics to reduce the distance travelled by the materials, and some elements of the station which had to be ordered separately were ordered directly to the port in Denmark, rather than through Latvia. This is our first construction project outside of Latvia, so on the practical side, the challenge was to arrange our employees documentation for the construction work in Denmark, to transport the structure to Aarhus and to install it quickly, precisely and delicately, despite COVID-19 and the strong wind. The powerful port wind knocked our builders off their feet, but our structure was stable. Our specialists were able to complete the task in seven days.”

Glulam constructions are noted for their extreme strength and ability to be shaped in almost any form or size. IKTK specialises in manufacturing these systems for buildings and bridges, and can create monolithic structures of up to 32 metres long. Rodentia practices in designing these types of structures and builds, while Igate Būve does their construction. Specialised knowledge in manufacturing, designing and  constructing Glulam structures is a crucial prerequisite to ensure that the buildings are safe and long-lasting. 

Rodentia, IKTK and Igate Būve have provided a full design-manufacture-construction cycle for more than 10 builds, from the head of the company’s home and office to public buildings: open-air stages and concert halls in Jelgava and Krimūnas Parish, bridges, and other structures. These projects have been recognised with Latvian Construction of the Year Awards, Latvian Association of Structural Engineers and Latvian Builders Association Annual Awards.

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