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World’s most environmentally friendly office building opens in Norway

Norwegian Minister of Trade & Industry Monica Mæland today opened the door to the world’s most environmentally friendly office building, Powerhouse Kjørbo outside Oslo. Hydro is a partner in the project consortium, and Hydro's part-owned extrusion producer Sapa supplies aluminium to the project.

“Buildings account for 40 percent of energy consumption in Norway and in the rest of the world,” says Mæland. “Powerhouse Kjørbo has been designed to generate more energy than it uses, and thereby represents a large and important breakthrough in efforts to reduce energy consumption and climate gas emissions. It is wonderful to see private industry taking the lead in this way.”

World sensation

Never before has a typical office building with average energy consumption been renovated such that it produces more renewable energy than it uses.

During the course of its anticipated life expectancy of 60 years, Powerhouse Kjørbo will generate enough energy to cover the total amount of energy used to produce the building materials, construction, operation and disposal. The utilization of geothermal energy for heating as well as the largest rooftop solar photovoltaic system in Norway are among the features that will put the building in the “plus” category.

The consulting firm Asplan Viak has just moved into the building.

“Our ambition is to be the leading consulting company in the area of energy and environment, and I can’t imagine a building that better fits our profile,” says Øyvind Mork, managing director of Asplan Viak. “We are moving into the office building of the future – an energy-positive building with an excellent indoor climate."

Unique collaboration

“We are showing that the private sector can work together in a unique collaboration, using existing technology in new ways. The result is solutions that we would never have come up with individually,” says chief executive officer Klaus-Anders Nysteen of Entra Eiendom, which owns the building.

“Powerhouse Kjørbo illustrates that it is possible to construct a building that is both environmentally correct and profitable, and this makes us tremendously proud.”

Asplan Viak, Entra, Skanska, Hydro, Snøhetta, Sapa and Zero are the seven companies that have worked together to develop the solutions for the forward-looking environmental building. Top managers and experts representing each of the partners celebrated together at the formal opening.

“As far as we know, this is the first building in the world that has been renovated into an energy-positive structure. It is the unique collaboration we have had from the very start that has made this possible,” says Ståle Rød, chairman of the Powerhouse consortium and CEO of Skanska Norway.

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