The Norwegian building and construction industry - with its modern approach to such traditional materials as wood, stone and metal - has attracted international attention for its innovative design and outstanding products. Along with cutting-edge expertise in the building of large timber structures, and road and bridge construction, it can boast world-leading competence in the areas of tunnel and underground construction.
Given its mountainous terrain, Norway has opted to build a wide variety of facilities underground, including hydropower plants, oil storage caverns, water treatment plants, subway stations, military installations and sports facilities. Nearly half of the world's 400 underground power plants are located in Norway. Road construction in a country of mountains and fjords is also an engineering challenge, and Norwegian rock engineers have learned to excel in tunnel and cavern excavation, bridge construction, rock mass properties, geological analysis, drilling and blasting. In fact, techniques and routines for blast tunnelling have even earned the name the "Norwegian Tunnelling Method", which includes its novel method of using steel fibre-reinforced shotcrete.
Norway can now claim to be the world leader in underground transport construction, both in terms of the number of constructions and the boldness of them. There are now 914 tunnels on Norway's road system, with a total length of 802 kilometres. Norway has the most tunnels per capita, the longest road tunnel in the world and the deepest.
As for building materials, Norwegian pine is an ideal raw material, and Norwegian manufacturers export first-class timber and wood products such as wood flooring, prefabricated houses and other building components worldwide. Glued, laminated timber ("glulam") is a specially developed, lightweight and extremely strong product that has added a new dimension to the design of homes, large public and commercial buildings and even bridges. The main terminal building at Oslo Gardermoen Airport is the largest laminated wood structure in the world. Norway is also a major supplier to the global market of granite, larvikite ("Blue Pearl"), marble, schist and several varieties of slate for construction purposes.
For more information on the Norwegian building and construction industry, see www.nortrade.com.