With an impressive 110,500 m2 shopping area including 195 stores and a 40,000 m2 parking space, Sørlandssenteret is now northern Europe's largest shopping center.
The total development cost nearly one billion Norwegian Kroner and its completion took 1,100 workers close to 750,000 man hours.
To balance out the reverberation produced by hard building materials including more than 3,500 m2 of glass façade on the outside, glass walls that continue into the stores inside, and tile-covered common areas, the building needed to balance acoustics. This was achieved by installing 110,500 m2 Rockfon sound absorbing ceiling tiles.
LPO Architects have worked on the project since 2006 while Veidekke Agder AS and Block Berge Construction AS – both owned by Veidekke ASA – got the job in 2009 and made Atle Monan from Veidekke Agder the project manager. The largest sub-contractor was Caverion Norway AS (formerly YIT), who provided all engineering services, while Block Berge Construction AS drove in 2500 truckloads of concrete from the local area to deliver the concrete structures.
The project started with the demolition of the Berg Center, that used to be where the phase 1 with the Coop Obs Hypermarket is now located. Phase 1 opened in November 2011 while phase 2A opened one year later. The recent grand opening of phase 2B and 2C binds the new and old Sørlandscenter together, was held on 24 October 2013. Phase 2 is approximately 47,000 m2, while the total development is approximately 125,000 m2.
Sustainability was a strong focus throughout the process, and waste separation rate in the entire project was an impressive 78 percent. Heating and cooling is provided by 110 geothermal wells totaling 20,000 meters, while pipes distributing soil heat throughout the entire building make the center self-sufficient for heating and cooling. The project won the regional Safety Award, and is now nominated for this year's HSE prize.