The Oslo-based Snøhetta architects office has just materialized the world’s northernmost “energy-positive” building located in Trondheim, Norway.
Energy-positive means that the building is producing more amount of energy than what it’s consuming for its operation and resident needs. The particular building is named “Powerhouse Brattørkaia”, and it’s a 180000 m2 office building that is located right by the side of the city harbor. Because the “powerhouse” produces twice the energy it needs, the surplus is passed to the neighboring buildings as well as nearby charging outlets that are used by buses, cars, and boats.
The main way through which to achieve this feat is by using almost 3000 square meters of solar panels that are strategically placed on the building to harvest as much solar power as possible during the day time. The building’s facade and roof feature such an inclination that makes it both architecturally interesting and also suitable for the collection of solar energy.
Powerhouse Brattørkaia from Snøhetta
As the architects point out, energy-positive constructions are the buildings of the future, combining multiple functions and saving space in crowded cities, and also reducing their environmental footprint.
Snøhetta is proud of their latest 11-story creation and especially for the fact that it sits in Norway, and in a city that only gets five hours of sunlight on average each day. This makes the feat of designing an energy-positive structure much harder, and also makes it pretty radical for what the citizens of Trondheim are used to.
By proving that this idea can work in the north, Snøhetta is wiping all “efficiency” and “feasibility” excuses out of the board for any other location in the world. As for the initial cost of the investment for an energy-positive building, it certainly is higher compared to conventional solutions, but the return of investment periods are short enough to justify it.