Jan 19, 2011

Houses in Norway

It's probably the houses you see around Norway that often remind you you're in a different country.

Since Norway usually has a very cold temperature, houses must be built to certain "guidelines" in many places, so that they can handle the temperature changes, the snow, the rain and so on.

Usually, housing in Norway is considered a little expensive (That linked house is about 2.1 million kroner, 360k USD, which here isn't so bad, but some countries are a lot cheaper), and the high quality of building is the reason why. Houses almost everywhere must have double glazed windows and insulation as a bare minimum, otherwise the occupants would freeze in the winter!

One thing you will definitely notice in Norway is the lack of brick and stone buildings. They exist, but there isn't very many in most places. This is because the change in temperature from below freezing to more 'average' temperatures (anywhere from 10-30 degrees Celsius is common) results in the expansion and contraction of most stone, especially if it is wet from rain, thus the stone cracks and breaks apart, not lasting very long. In a way, this is a similar concept to how some parts of the Fjords formed.

Many houses are A-framed and have small windows, which were usually the ones made a little while ago. There are many modern houses in Norway with large double glazed windows (to keep the heat inside) and a more square frame and rooftop, like the one to the side. Houses are also commonly brightly painted, in White, Red, Yellow or Black (Hvit, Rødt, Gul eller Svart) though other colors are also seen.

Some of the black houses are actually painted in tar.

From a long time ago, houses were fairly simple, but got the job done. The grass is on the roof as a type of natural insulation, which was very common during Viking times.

Nowadays, like most countries you can find a mix of old and new, and here is a new Norwegian building, very modern, in it's design and shape, lots of large glass windows, but the common material is still there - wood.

One of my favorite buildings however,
is the Stal Tre Hus (Steel tree house)

On another quick note, the image of the first black house above is taken by another blogger here on blogspot. He has lots of photos up from around Stavanger in Norway, so if you like to see photos of Norway and Stavanger (a very pretty town, too) you might be interested in following his blog.

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