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Powerhouse at Brattørkaia

Powerhouse at Brattørkaia

The Powerhouse Group is creating the first office building in Norway that produces more energy than it uses. The result  is a completely new architectural concept for what will be the world's northernmost energy-positive building. Buildings account for 40 percent of the world's energy consumption, and energy-positive construction is an important part of the solution to global warming.  "This is a complex and challenging task that requires holistic approaches and thinking. We have designed a unique building shaped by its surrounding conditions. The architectural and aesthetic expression of the building is defined by the  mantra 'form follows environment'," says Founding Partner, Kjetil Trædal Thorsen.


Solar energy harvesting is the main design driver for this project. Solar cells, heat exchangers and heat pumps will produce electricity and heat for the building, and sea water will contribute to both the heating and cooling system. The building rises from the fjord towards the north creating a south-facing sloping roof, an optimal condition for solar energy production. The location of the solar cells and windows in the façade accounts for the sun’s intensity to optimize daylighting conditions and minimize energy consumption. In the areas most exposed to the sun, the window openings are reduced to minimize the solar heating of the building, while the dense construction of the façade maximizes use of solar energy.

Landscape, Interior, Work Spaces, Sustainability, Architecture

2012 - 




Brattørkaia, Norway


Work Space




Skanska, Zero, Entra, Sapa, Asplan Viak


Brattørkaia is located by the sea in downtown Trondheim and is the planned site of Norway's first energy-positive office building. 

This new construction is designed with the intent that the excess energy produced during the building's operational lifetime will exceed the energy used to create the building.

The building's estimated energy needs are only 21 kWh/m²/year and estimated energy production is 49 kWh/m²/år. Bound energy is estimated at 22 kWh/m² per year. The building will have a 26 degree sloped south-facing roof to best utilize solar energy.

Snøhetta was also commissioned to design the landscape and public spaces surrounding the building.

Seawater will contribute to cooling and heating of the building as needed. The design of the building has achieved the environmental classification "Outstanding" according to BREEAM NOR.