Grid Positive Building Coming To Norway

Centrally located in Trondheim, Norway, between the city’s main train station, fast-ferry connection, and coastal ferry terminal, a grid positive building has broken ground. This despite the fact that Trondheim’s cold winters and big fluctuations in solar energy potential, combined with warm summer days, make for climate challenges found in few other parts of the world.

This project — which will go beyond net zero to pump power back onto the local grid — is a collaborative effort between developers Entra Eiendom, construction group Skanska, architects Snøhetta, environmental group ZERO and aluminium company Hydro, which together form the Powerhouse alliance. The Trondheim building will be developed for commercial use, and is projected to be Norway’s first — and the world’s northern-most — energy-positive such building.

Powerhouse One

image via Powerhouse Alliance

The company Brattørkaia AS (with Entra Eiendom as a majority owner) will hold the keys to the building, while Snøhetta will design it, Skanska will buid it, and Hydro will supply the energy-efficient aluminium façades. ZERO will handle the data necessary to ensure the building meets its ambitious energy use and generation goals.

The Powerhouse parties signed an agreement in late April to build an energy-positive building in Norway and “have taken a big step in a short time,” according to Hydro’s President and CEO Svein Richard Brandtzæg. The Powerhouse One, as the name suggests, is expected to be the first of several developed by the alliance, which hopes to inspire builders around the world to build greener.

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.