The Oslo firm Snøhetta – in collaboration with R8 Property, Skanska, and Asplan Viak – has completed this office building that will consume little energy and produce more than it will need over its lifespan (estimated at 60 years), including in construction and demolition as well as in the materials used to raise the building. It will create renewable energy by means of photovoltaic cells – 256,000 kWh per year – and the surplus can be sold to the electricity grid.
Clad in wood on the outside and super-insulated, the 11-floor volume presents inclinations and perforations that will maximize both the harnessing of solar energy and the natural lighting of the interior spaces, thus minimizing artificial illumination requirements. In addition, through geothermal wells dug 350 meters underground, a system of water loops will cool and heat the spaces efficiently.
The materials used in the Powerhouse Telemark Project were selected on environmental sustainability criteria. The ‘environmental concrete’ of the structure, left exposed and untreated indoors, was prepared with less energy than the preparation of traditional concrete requires, and also with less generation of carbon dioxide.