As blogged on TreeHugger.com, the Norwegian Powerhouse energy standard is, far and away, the toughest in the world. In fact, I once described it as “crazy talk”. The building is not only Net Zero Energy, balancing energy production and energy purchases over the course of the year; it’s not only Passive House — it is “plus energy.”
That’s the full embodied energy in all the materials and construction equipment and trucks doing deliveries for the construction of the building, paid back over the estimated 60 year life of the building, generated through self-produced solar, wind, and cooling from the sea, air or the ground via heat pump. And this is in freaking Norway, north of the Arctic circle, where the sun barely shines much of the year. Where some would say that Passive House is not practical and solar power is impossible. It’s nuts.
Yet somehow, Snøhetta keeps doing it; Svart is their third Powerhouse or Zero Energy Building. And they are all gorgeous.