A new hotel called the Svart is designed to produce more energy than it consumes over the course of the next 60 years. This project is a creation of a Powerhouse collaboration in Norway, which is pushing itself to one-up the European Union’s demand that all new construction buildings after 2020 be net zero structures in terms of energy consumption, reports Engineering.com.
The project is called “plus houses” and Powerhouse buildings explained it as “generate more renewable energy than the total amount of energy that would be required to sustain daily operations and to build, produce materials and demolish the building” over the course of 60 years. The group has worked on one project—a renovation of two 1980s office buildings that use solar panels to generate more electricity than they require for operation—and has several more in the works. This includes Svart, the “world’s first energy positive hotel concept above the Arctic Circle.”
Snøhetta, a member of Powerhouse, designed the building in partnership with Arctic Adventure of Norway, Asplan, Skanska, Svart is to be constructed by the base of the Svartisen glacier that goes through Meløy in northern Norway. The hotel is designed to use 85% less energy than a comparable contemporary model.
The clean method by Powerhouse was chosen, in part, because of the location set for the hotel, where minimal environmental footprint is needed. This makes the Svart well suited for its dual purpose as a tourist destination and an eco-friendly facility.
For example, consider the circular design of the hotel. This is meant to do two things: maximize the absorption of solar energy, and offer a panoramic view of the Holandsfjorden fjord. This design plan was accomplished through thorough mapping of the solar radiation in the area. The roof features solar panels that get hit by ample solar energy, while the facade of the hotel protects the interior of the hotel while it is at its highest point in the summer, which is intended to cut down on the need for AC.
The building also has large windows to let light in during winter, and geothermal well hooked up to heat pumps for additional heating. The poles that elevate the hotel above the fjord also serve as a boardwalk.
The Svart has not been constructed yet, leaving room for many of its elements to change. The weather itself is changing as well, with data indicating the Arctic sea was 10 percent smaller in Jan. 2018 for recent decades and temperatures popped up 45°F above normal. The planet’s northernmost weather station in Greenland is logging above-freezing winter temperatures.