Snøhetta, along with partners R8 Property, Skanska and Asplan Viak, has completed its fourth energy-positive building in the Powerhouse portfolio, a series of innovative buildings that produce more energy than they consume over their lifespans. Named Powerhouse Telemark after its location in the southern Norwegian region, the newly completed office building not only raises the bar for sustainable construction but also serves as a beacon for the area’s growing investment in the green economy. The 11-story building — which includes no basement to reduce the amount of concrete — has also achieved BREEAM Excellent certification.

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As with other Powerhouse buildings, the Powerhouse Telemark is topped with a striking angled roof for optimal solar access. A total of 1,482 square meters of solar panels cover the building — from the 24-degree tilted roof to the PV cell-clad, southeast-facing facade — to generate 256,000 kWh each year with surplus energy to be sold back to the energy grid. In addition to renewable energy generation, the office tower minimizes its energy consumption with a super-insulated building envelope, triple-isolated windows and strategic shading with wooden balusters. A gently skewed facade also maximizes access to natural light while ensuring tenant comfort.

Related: Snøhetta completes world’s northernmost energy-positive building

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“The skewed and slightly conical building features a clearly defined 45° tilting notch on the east-facing façade, giving it a clearly identifiable expression that stands out in the industrial context of the surrounding Herøya industry park,” the architects explained. “Just like its ambitious sister projects Powerhouse Kjørbo, Powerhouse Montessori and Powerhouse Brattørkaia, Powerhouse Telemark aspires to be model for environmentally, socially and economically sustainable architecture, while also challenging our conception of what our offices might look like in the post COVID-19 era.”

small chairs and desks by wall of glass
aerial view of brown building with slanted roof covered in solar panels

Inside, Powerhouse Telemark includes a “barception,” a series of office spaces with two stories of co-working spaces, a shared staff restaurant, penthouse meeting spaces and a roof terrace that overlooks the fjord. The interior not only adopts an eco-friendly materials palette — with materials such as local wood and carpet tiles made of 70% recycled fishing nets — but also design standardization across all floors to allow for easy re-programming and flexibility.

+ Snøhetta

Photography by Ivar Kvaal via Snøhetta

aerial view of solar panels on a roof