Powerhouse Brattørkaia, built by a sustainability alliance

04 October 2020

Smothered in solar panels

Mabe this is a lesson for Guildford to create truly sustainable buildings.  The Photovoltaic Cells will pose a design issue in many locations but the ideas and thinking could be utilised in Guildford.

Smothered in solar panels, Powerhouse Brattørkaia in Norway is one of several such projects built by a sustainability alliance.

The aim of the project was threefold: to maximise the amount of clean energy produced by the building, to minimise the energy required to run it, and to serve as a pleasant space for its tenants and the general public. 

‘Form follows environment’ is the mantra that guides Powerhouse Brattørkaia in Trondheim, the first office building in Norway that produces more energy than it uses. It is energy positive in construction as well when all its figures cradle to grave are included. The building is expected to use 21kWK/m2/year, and has embodied energy amounting to 22kWK/m2/year, but will produce 49kWK/m2/year, enough to power neighbouring buildings and a fleet of the city’s electric buses through a local micro grid. it is a speculative office for commercial tenants.

‘Buildings account for 40% of the world’s energy consumption,’ explains Rune Grasdal, Snøhetta senior architect and project manager for the scheme, ‘Energy positive construction is an important part of the solution to global warming.’

The building occupies a brownfield site next to a public plaza in the city’s former industrial port area, which has been redeveloping over the past 20 years. One neighbour is Entra’s headquarters, the other is a new business school commissioned by Entra. The site is an important route to the city centre for people arriving at/leaving from the speedboat terminal via an existing walkway and series of stairs and lifts over the railway tracks that needed to be integrated into the scheme.  

RIBA journal has a interesting article See more


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