Norwegian aluminium producer Hydro and the Powerhouse alliance are planning to retrofit old offices outside Oslo, turning them into the world's northernmost energy-positive buildings.
Planning for the project in Sandvika, just west of Oslo, has begun. Work is to begin in 2013 and be finished in 2014, dependent upon approval from the authorities.
The Powerhouse alliance consists of property management firm Entra Eiendom, developers Skanska, the aluminium company Hydro, architects Snøhetta and the environmental organization Zero.
The consultancy company Asplan Viak will be a tenant of the Sandvika project, but will also contribute its energy expertise.
"It is quite a challenge to renovate the existing buildings to be energy-positive. Older, existing buildings will represent the majority of buildings for some time to come. So to significantly reduce energy consumption, we must address existing buildings," says Kyrre Olaf Johansen, head of Entra Eiendom.
Buildings represent 40 percent of global energy use. Johansen says that 80 percent of the buildings in use today will continue to be in use 40 years from now.
Hydro President and CEO Svein Richard Brandtzæg says: "We have façade solutions for renovations that can really help reduce energy consumption, and we're looking forward to showing that our solutions will also function here in 'cold' Norway."
In the Sandvika project, Powerhouse will employ new façade solutions, interior solutions, and advanced control systems. These systems will optimize energy consumption, and energy-producing technologies will contribute as well.