E39 highway in Mandal, Norway achieved BREEAM Infrastructure Excellent

E39 highway in Mandal, Norway achieved BREEAM Infrastructure Excellent

This 7 km, four-lane highway provides safer and easier travel. It includes two bridges, wildlife crossings and a tunnel.


The E39 highway in Mandal consists of a 7 km long four lane highway that together with the new E39 Kristiansand-Mandal øst reduces the travel time from Kristiansand to 20 minutes. It is also supported by a 6 km two lane access road to the city of Mandal. The project includes two long bridges, wildlife crossings, a tunnel and 2 two-level intersections.

A total of 7 million cubic metres of different masses were moved within the project, which has a value of NOK 1.7 billion, and includes a twenty year warranty period.


Nye Veier is Norwegian company whic plans, builds, operates and maintains traffic-safe main roads. It aims to reduce travel time and improve road safety and connectivity.

“The way Nye Veier involved us from the early beginning and challenged us made it possible to regulate, project and build a completely new European highway in less than four years.”
– — Olav Gunnar Tveiten, Project manager Hæhre Entreprenør


One of the main challenges was the cost limit, which challenged us in some of the wanted solutions. Compromises had to be made, but not at the expense of the environment. Also, the very tight time schedule was a challenge, as there were a lot of mitigation measures to be made before entering the undeveloped land – to keep the land use at a minimum.

The motivation for undertaking such an evaluation was twofold; firstly, a greater awareness in the organization, and a more continuous and specific planning towards achieving the most sustainable result possible; and secondly a BREEAM Infrastructure certificate is well recognized in the industry,and could as such give advantages in future tenders.


Landscape and historic environment

To preserve the landscape and the heritage environment during construction, both registered and non-registered heritage assets were moved and integrated in connection with the new road works. In addition, a major archaeological excavation was performed by the University of Oslo. The site was open for public visits and the findings has resulted in several films for social media, technical reports. Objects from the stone age is now on view at the local museum.


No incidents that resulted in damage to water bodies or other natural environments. At project finalisation, the water recipients was in the same ecological and chemical state as before start-up, as a result of monitoring and carefully planned measures.


Careful planning and optimisation of the mass balance enabled all excavated materials to be reused in the road structure. This meant more than 70% of the blasted materials from the tunnel were diverted from landfill. Surplus soil were used to improve existing cultivated land and fallow land.

We are proud that we together with Hæhre, despite the pandemic, has managed to keep progress more than optimal. The highway opens six months ahead of schedule, thereby avoiding another winter season on a stretch that has had a lot of accidents and operational disturbances.
– — Anette Aanesland, CEO, Nye Veier


A 24% reduction in CO2 emissions can partly be credited the use of BREEAM Infrastructue. Nye Veier focused on environmental product declarations, and planning transportation and resources, resulting in great savings.

Also, several mitigations for amphibians and fish were identified and done, although outside of the scope. This would probably not have been the case if it was not for BREEAM Infrastructure and the increased awareness it brought to the table.

Financial benefits

The BREEAM framework helped to identify that it was necessary to reduce the size and transport distances of the concrete constructions, in order to reduce costs. Most of the sub-contractors and materials were sourced locally.

The short transport distances reduced the energy consumption substantially. By using BREEAM we managed to have a more holistically sustainable approach to the project execution.

The project saved approximately £1.3 million (17 million NOK) through improved soil handling. The overall cost reduction of using BREEAM Infrastructure was around 20%.

The certification is well recognised in Norway. A completed evaluation with a good score will potentially give a greater chance of new contracts.

“The green transition is fast approaching, and we need to initiate action and track our environmental and sustainability results. In collaboration with our client, we set a target of a Very Good rating. It is therefore very exciting that Veidekke`s team with our client has achieved an Excellent score.”
– — Hans Aakre, Project executive, Veidekke

E39 Mandal Ost Mandal Summary


Nye Veier
Assessed by:

Elisabeth Larsen, Kristian F. Kristiansenr- Hæhre Entreprenør AS

Verified by:
Mark Barrett, Independent Sustainability Advisor
BREEAM Infrastructure rating:
Excellent (75.9%)

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