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“I Hope We Will Be Plagiarised”: Snøhetta’s Energy-Positive Powerhouse Leads by Example in Sustainable Design

It’s no secret that Scandinavia aims to take the lead in sustainable design. After all, if green buildings can be successfully constructed in their extreme climates, then these strategies can surely be applied anywhere. Norway — a global front-runner in oil production and hydroelectric energy — is on its way to setting a precedent for a new industry: energy-positive architecture. At least that’s what Powerhouse, a collaboration of Nordic companies dedicated to the task, hopes to accomplish in the small city of Porsgrunn, home to a population of 35,000 people. Upon completion in February 2019, Powerhouse Telemark, an office building designed by Snøhetta, will become the most northern net-positive structure in the world. Video via R8 Edge At 11 stories tall, the 70,000-square-foot building will be constructed in the shape of a diamond, a decision shaped by site and environmental conditions. The building’s highest point, closest to the hill behind it, is a green façade in which local artists can envision the meaning of sustainability. A dramatic sloped roof faces south and features an open, vegetated terrace for public use. This design maximizes the building’s ability to capture solar energy. Solar cells, heat exchangers and heat pumps together produce electricity ...
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