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Powerhouse Kjørbo - is world's first 'energy positive' building

By Kaustubh Katdare in 'Civil | Structural', May 13, 2014.

  1. Kaustubh Katdare


    Engineering Discipline:
    Norway gets the crown for having the first building in the world that is energy positive - aka the building that produces more energy than it consumes. The building (pictured below) is located at the Sanvika seafront in Norway and occupies a total of 2600 sq.m area. Prior to its renovation, the building consumed about 650,000 kWh every year. However, after renovating the building with the help of Snohetta (architecture firm), Skanska (construction) and ZERO (environmental organization), the energy requirement of the building has been reduced to just 100,000 kWh.


    The buildings in Norway consume about 40% of the energy and efforts are being made to make these buildings energy positive, by capturing the solar energy and transforming it into useful electrical energy. The Powerhouse Kjørbo will generate about 200,000 kWh annually using its array of solar panels and the extra energy will be fed to the grid.

    The architects worked on minimizing the energy losses using tight-fitted walls, ceiling, windows and high quality insulation. Sun shading has been deployed to control the heat during summer. Ståle Rød, chairman of the Powerhouse consortium said that he and his team believes that it's the first building of its kind in the entire world. Fore more information, check the official press release linked in the source.

    Source: Powerhouse.no
    • Like Like x 1


Discussion in 'Civil | Structural' started by Kaustubh Katdare, May 13, 2014.

    1. Satya Swaroop Dash

      Engineering Discipline:
      Computer Science
      Powerhouse Kjørbo shows the way how minor architectural changes along with the use of conventional renewable sources of energy can make a building energy efficient. The best thing about it though, is that they have not constructed a new building but instead applied the energy saving to an existing building.
      In India, many office buildings can take the inspiration of Powerhouse Kjørbo and modify their premises and moreover I read somewhere that some electricity board is association with the state governments give energy subsidies to the buildings that use solar power.
      • Like Like x 3
    2. Kaustubh Katdare


      Engineering Discipline:
      I think this might be the first building; but one very innovative project was executed by the Gujarat government. They put the solar panels on the top of a water canal. Not only it saved land; but also controlled evaporation of water to greater extent. I also heard that the street lights in Gujarat are solar powered; which is quite impressive.

      If fitting up solar panels is the way to go forward, we should cover all our windows and terraces with solar panels. The only limiting factor seems to be the cost of installation.
    3. Nayan Goenka

      Engineering Discipline:
      The main problem is not the cost but the tendency and willingness to do so. Still people don't think Solar energy harvested is that powerful to run a building. They still think it is better in calculators and water heaters. The area panels need to produce enough energy is too huge. That is a big factor as well.
      • Like Like x 1
    4. Rajni Jain

      Rajni Jain Star

      Engineering Discipline:
      Computer Science
      With my limited knowledge, it is not that easy as it looks.

      Before installing / fitting the solar panels one has to think about the angle of fitting the solar panels which should be in a way that allows the power generation (In Gurgaon there was a building that had the solar panels, and another building had a case filed against them that the reflection of their solar panels are bothering them ). Also, the foundation of existing buildings must have constructed with a limited load calculation, that can/should not be increased by any margin.

      In the end, just installing solar panel's doesn't save the problem, one have to install the plant that will convert the energy in electricity as well and will take some installation and maintenance cost.
      • Agree Agree x 1