Powerhouse Kjørbo

Bærums Verk / Norway / 2014

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Snøhetta is one of the partners in the Powerhouse project, along with the construction company Skanska, the environmental organization ZERO, the aluminium companies Sapa and Hydro, the consultancy company Asplan Viak, and the property management firm Entra Eiendom. The team’s ambitious goal is to develop and construct buildings that produce more energy than they consume over the course of their lifetime – positive-energy buildings.
Powerhouse Kjørbo, located outside of Oslo, Norway, opened in April 2014 and is the first Powerhouse project to be completed by the collaboration. By optimizing and combining existing technologies in new ways, the two office buildings from the 1980s were renovated into positive-energy buildings.
After the renovation, the buildings’ energy needs have been reduced by 90%. Local energy production is done using solar panels installed on the roof. These can supply over 200 000kWh each year – double the amount of the building’s need. Ground wells in the park outside the buildings provide heating for radiators, water and ventilation air, and cooling in the summer.
In addition to producing more energy than it consumes, the project has also been rewarded with the highest classification in the BREEAM-NOR environmental certification system ‘outstanding’ for the design phase. Powerhouse Kjørbo is as far as we know the first rehabilitation office project in the world to have received this certification.
Powerhouse Kjørbo
Location Typology Size Status Client
Architecture, Landscape and Interior 2014
Bærum, Norway Office buildings 5.200 m² Official opening 25.04.2014 Entra Eiendom
A comfortable and attractive indoor environment has been an important factor for the success of the project. The whole building is upgraded into top modern office spaces. The facades consist of charred wood, which retains the dark colors of the existing building and provide environmentally friendly and maintenance free material that is beneficial in terms of embodied energy.
Walls, ceilings, and windows are well insulated, the cold bridges massively reduced, and the detailing ensures an extremely airtight climate shell. To avoid overheating in the summer, exterior sun shading screens will come down automatically. They are see-through so that the view is not obstructed.
There are a number of factors working together that makes this building unique. Amongst these are exposed concrete decks and the halving of the speed of the ventilation air, and thus using the main staircase as a ventilation channel. Zoning of the plans and sensors that controls the need for light, ventilation and heat/cooling ensures efficient use of energy. There has been a huge effort in securing that all the materials brought into the project meets the highest environmental standards, at the same time as they are low in embodied energy.

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    Snøhetta is one of the partners in the Powerhouse project, along with the construction company Skanska, the environmental organization ZERO, the aluminium companies Sapa and Hydro, the consultancy company Asplan Viak, and the property management firm Entra Eiendom. The team’s ambitious goal is to develop and construct buildings that produce more energy than they consume over the course of their lifetime – positive-energy buildings. Powerhouse Kjørbo, located outside of...

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