A country known for economic dependency on its rich oil deposits, Norway is now looking toward the future of energy production: net-positive architecture. Taking the lead in this initiative, developer Emil Eriksrød has commissioned American-Norwegian firm Snøhetta to design Norway’s first energy positive building, Powerhouse Telemark, a 6,500 square meter (70,000 square foot) office building located in the tiny Norwegian town of Porsgrunn, home to just 35,000 people. When completed, it will be the world’s northernmost plus-energy building.
The form of the 11-story building is dictated by site and environmental conditions, resulting in a diamond-shaped structure optimized for capturing and retaining solar energy. A system of heat exchangers and heat pumps will also contribute to producing energy for the building.
“Powerhouse Telemark will put Norway on the map when it comes to energy solutions and architecture,” said Snøhetta founding partner Kjetil Trædal Thorsen. “The future is all about thinking big, bold and long term, and we need someone to pave the way. With its innovative solutions and design, we believe this building will inspire commercial real estate developers worldwide to push the limits of what buildings can accomplish.”
Tenants will have access to modern office facilities, a foyer, gym, cafeteria and a open, vegetated roof terrace with views into town and of the water that the developers are considering opening up for public access.
“I hope we will be plagiarised and copied, replicated in all seven continents,” said Eriksrød, CEO of R8 Property.
“This building should do wonders in lowering the bar for daring to do both spectacular and environmentally forward buildings, hopefully in a combination. Just imagine, when Porsgrunn has the customer base for such a building, imagine how many other places that have the same potential. There are tens of thousands of cities with a bigger population in the world,” Eriksrød continued.
The Powerhouse Telemark team will also include real estate company Entra Eiendom, construction and development company Skanska, environmental NGO ZERO, aluminium company Hydro, aluminium profile company Sapa and consulting firm Asplan Viak. Together they will create a structure that is aimed at achieving a energy-positive metric over a life cycle of 60 years.
“The combination of extreme energy performance and a favourable indoor climate, low environmental impact and robust solutions at commercial terms requires a different approach than in most traditional building projects. Buildings that produce the same or a greater amount of energy than they consume could be an important contribution to reducing global energy consumption – and consequently also greenhouse gas emissions,” says Kim Robert Lisø, Chief Innovation Officer at Skanska and Managing Director of the Powerhouse collaboration.
Initial cost estimates for the project come in at $17 million USD. The project is scheduled for completion in 2019.
News via R8 Group.