Powerhouse Kjørbo outside Oslo has been designed to generate more energy than it uses and thereby represents a large and important breakthrough in efforts to reduce energy consumption and climate gas emissions.
During the course of its anticipated life expectancy of 60 years, Powerhouse Kjørbo will generate enough energy to cover the total amount of energy used to produce the building materials, construction, operation and disposal.
The utilization of geothermal energy for heating as well as the largest rooftop solar photovoltaic system in Norway are among the features that will put the building in the “plus” category. This is the first building in the world that has been renovated into an energy-positive structure. Even its stairwell is part of the ventilation system.
According to Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, director and partner of the architectural firm Snøhetta, the building has a façade of charred wood and it will reuse existing structures and building elements. All new materials are recycled after use, without losing any of their qualities. At Kjørbo in Sandvika near Oslo, it is expected that the two buildings will use solar cells to produce over 200,000 kWh annually. This power can be supplied to the technical installations in the buildings and also at times to the power grid.