Sustainable building will produce double the energy it uses

An office building in Norway will produce twice the amount of energy that it uses on a daily basis.

Built by Snøhetta, an architecture firm with offices in Oslo and New York City, the Powerhouse Brattorkaia building in Trondheim is located on the harbour overlooking Trondheim Fjord.

The angular building is wrapped by 3000 square metres of solar panels and measures 18000 square metres. Over the course of the year, it will create around 500,000 kilowatt hours of clean, renewable energy which will then provide energy for the building itself as well as neighbouring buildings and city transport.

“Energy-positive buildings are the buildings of the future. The mantra of the design industry should not be ‘form follows function’ but ‘form follows environment’”, said Snøhetta founder Kjetil Traedal Thorsen.

The mantra of the design industry should not be ‘form follows function’ but ‘form follows environment’

“This means that the design thinking of today should focus on environmental consideration and reducing our footprint first, and have the design follow this premise.”

Any excess solar energy produced over the warmer months will be stored in large batteries to be used over the winter. An atrium which will also be used as a public garden will bring daylight into the office spaces and canteen.

The building will have a bridge that connects to the city’s train station and will also have a space on the ground floor that will be used to educate the public on sustainable buildings.

Earlier this year, a warehouse in the Netherlands was awarded the highest-ever rating for an industrial building from sustainability assessors BREEAM. 

The site, owned by logisitics firm Rhenus, produces enough energy to powers the country's general supply lines as well as its own operations. 

On top of being environmetally-friendly, the sustainble nature of the building is also believed to have improved employee well-being and productivity. 

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