Powerhouse Brattørkaia


The energy sector and building industry accounts for over 40 % of global industry’s heat-trapping emissions combined, according to the World Resources Institute. As the world’s population and the severity of the climate crisis continue to grow, we are challenged to think how to build responsibly – creating high quality spaces for people while also reducing our environmental footprint.

As the world’s northernmost energy-positive building, Powerhouse Brattørkaia aims to set a new standard for the construction of the buildings of tomorrow: one that produces more energy than it consumes over its lifespan, including construction and demolition. This also includes the embodied energy in the materials used to construct the building. Powerhouse Brattørkaia is located in Trondheim, Norway, 63° north of the Earth’s equator, where sunlight varies greatly between the seasons. This presents a unique opportunity to explore how to harvest and store solar energy under challenging conditions. The building is designed following the principle “form follows environment”, centering the architecture around the environmental impact of the building through its full lifespan. The aim of the project is threefold; to maximize the amount of clean energy produced by the building, to minimize the energy required to run it, and to serve as a pleasant space for its tenants and the general public. The project has received several international acknowledgements and was selected for the virtual exhibition “Build Better Now” at COP26 in Glasgow as one of 17 projects that inspire and encourage pioneering ideas and efforts within sustainable architecture and construction.