Power-Positive Norwegian Office Building Generates Energy And Interest

When most people picture the hum of a bustling city, one of the obvious factors includes the tremendous amounts of energy being expended to keep the wheels of business in motion. However, in Norway, one very northerly city has turned the tables on the necessity of incessant influxes of industrial power, leading to the world's first "power-positive" office building.

As inhabitat.com reports, the Powerhouse at Brattorkaia building relies greatly on solar power, using solar cells as well as heat pumps and heat exchangers to power and warm the building. This solar power is augmented by the crafty construction inherent to the building, which uses a sloped roof to augment optimum solar collection, well-placed solar cells and windows to allow for maximum natural lighting indoors, and practically-sized window openings to maintain temperature. To keep temperatures consistent, water from a nearby fjord will be drawn and used throughout the infrastructure to regulate cooling.

The Powerhouse at Brattorkaia building, designed by the pro-sustainable company Snøhetta, is the most northerly of its kind, and the first in Norway. Snøhetta aims to show the world that power-positive buildings can work even in difficult (read: super snowy) climates. With projected power needs of 21 kWh/m²/year and energy production estimated at 49 kWh/m²/year, the building's excess energy generation will easily compensate for the power it took to create it. Other projects from Snøhetta include a "plus house" that creates fully twice the energy that it needs to operate, thus not only being entirely self-sustainable but also generating enough power to charge a car or to give back to the community.

If Norway can fight their serious snow to make a solar building, what is America waiting for?

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