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The first building to receive the Nordic Swan Ecolabel in town


The apartment building at Drangaskarð 11 and Hádegisskarð 20 is the first Nordic Swan Ecolabelled building in Hafnarfjörður. RENTUR ehf. stand behind the build of the seven apartments that the building consists of. Father and son Ingimundur Þór Þorsteinsson and Adrian Sölvi Ingimundarsson received the award from representatives of The Environment Agency of Iceland on Friday.

The first building in Hafnarfjörður to receive The Nordic Swan Ecolabel

The apartment building at Drangaskarð 11 and Hádegisskarð 20 is the first Nordic Swan Ecolabelled building in Hafnarfjörður. The Environment Agency of Iceland (Umhverfisstofnun) awarded Rentur the first Nordic Swan Ecolabel in Hafnarfjörður on Friday.

Ingimundur says that the row of buildings, which have now received the certification, bind carbon but do not emit it. “We were under strict control of what materials we were allowed to use in the building. To meet the requirements we needed to get them all approved and only use environmentally friendly materials — not only for the environment, but also for the people.” says Ingimundur, who is very proud of the final result.

Respect for the environment and people

“It’s all about respect for the environment, sustainability and those who work with the materials. Last but not least for the residents who live in the houses. This is a quality process. Swan-certified houses are better houses,” says Ingimundur. “We went further than the building regulations stipulate, and I often like to say that once upon a time there were no seat belts in cars. Now they are in all of them. It is the same with the environmental certification. I believe that in the future, the entire housing industry will be environmentally certified.”

The mayor, Rósa Guðbjartsdóttir, representatives of Renta ehf. and the residents of the first Nordic Swan Ecolabelled building in Hafnarfjörður.

Mayor, Rósa Guðbjartsdóttir, visited the newly certified building earlier this week and Ingimundur and Adrian showed her the apartments. “We are very proud of the first Nordic Swan Ecolabelled houses in Hafnarfjörður. It’s nice to see that the construction industry has welcomed this environmental project, as well as the 20% discount off the plot price, when requirements of the environmental certification are followed through,” she says. “The result of the municipality’s decision and encouragement to build environmentally friendly houses is now becoming clear and I congratulate the father and son duo on their success.”

Ingimundur said at the presentation of the certification that there was never any other option than to build environmentally friendly. “And it was definitely an encouragement to get a 20% discount on the plot from the town of Hafnarfjörður.” Now that the certification is in place, Rentur will receive a refund of 20% of the plot price. “I like to put it the other way. We are not getting a discount. The others are actually paying a fine,” he says and smiles.

The goal is to ensure a healthy indoor environment

Guðrún Lilja Kristinsdóttir, Director of the Nordic Swan Ecolabel at the Environment Agency of Iceland, formally presented the certification to the father and son on Friday and celebrated with them. “The goal of Swan-certified buildings is to ensure good indoor conditions for people,” she says. “We look at three pillars: the environment, ensuring good health, and then it is a mark of quality.” Guðrún Lilja says that people like to take themselves out of the context of nature. However, environmental issues and health, go hand in hand. “What is bad for the environment is also bad for us.”

The Environment Agency of Iceland states on its website that Rentur was among the first applicants in Iceland to initiate the Nordic Swan Ecolabel process according to the new construction criteria. They built with idealism. Great emphasis has been placed on working with environmentally friendly solutions, such as the reuse of building materials. Soil that came from the foundations of the houses was also used on the plot next to it. Plot barriers were built and filled with stones from the plot. Great emphasis was placed on making the best use of the building materials, the CLT units were designed with little or no cut-offs during the project, fastenings were minimized and so on.

Good air quality in the Nordic Swan Ecolabelled apartments

Ingimundur is proud of the houses. He shows an air exchange system in the apartment. “It’s not an air conditioning system, it’s an air exchange system.” Air is pumped both in and out of the apartment. This means that there is always good ventilation and airflow in the apartment. In fact, there is no need to open the windows. “People who get to know it don’t want anything else after that,” he says. “These are the lungs of the apartment.” The air is heated on the way to the apartment, which maintains the ideal temperature in the building, while keeping the air fresh.

In 2019, the town council of Hafnarfjörður approved measures to encourage construction companies to prioritize the environment. It was also agreed that a discount on the price of the plot for a Nordic Swan Ecolabelled building would be 20%.

Hafnarfjörður and Rentur: Congratulations on this milestone!

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