Customers are increasingly demanding buildings that are better for the environment and the climate. The Powerhouse collective is a collaboration, including Skanska, focusing on the development of energy-positive buildings, i.e. buildings that produce more energy than they consume over their entire lifecycle. Powerhouse Brattørkaia is the new biggest energy-positive building in Norway. With a total area of 18,2000 m² across eight floors, the building will generate more energy in its operational phase than it consumed through the production of building materials, construction, operation and disposal.
Brattørkaia has achieved the BREEAM Outstanding environmental classification and has achieved sustainability in several ways. The building’s iconic architecture was designed to ensure optimal use of solar energy, which is captured through photovoltaic panels on the roof. In parallel with the extremely low energy consumption, the produced energy makes the building become positive. As energy use is closely correlated with carbon emissions, material re-use and upcycling were encouraged to reduce emissions from materials and building processes. The building is well-insulated, with open floor plans for energy-efficient air distribution. The concrete structure of the building serves as an ‘energy battery’, in which the energy produced in summer is thermally stored for the colder winter months.
For the energy-positive buildings concept to gain momentum, the construction phase will also need to decarbonize significantly. In Norway, Skanska has already pushed for having zero-carbon construction sites with equipment powered by either electricity or fossil-free fuels.