Powerhouse 1 is a joint project of Entra Eiendom (property management company), Skanska (building company), Snøhetta (architect’s office), Zero (environment organisation) and WICONA. The Ulm-based aluminium systems company has been involved since the initial planning stage in 2011, contributing its expertise in the field of façade and window technology for zero energy buildings (ZEB). During the planning stage, the (modified) architectural slogan “Form follows environment”
came to light.
Based on a spherical shape, the façade design of the building was adapted until it achieved the optimum solar radiation and maximum energy generation via the shell by means of building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV). Planners then developed a roof with a 26° incline facing due south, by simply “cutting” the upper part from the sphere. The heart of the building features a cylindrical atrium which floods the rooms with light from within. A classic stick-system curtain wall was used here, based on WICONA’s WICTEC 50 HI system, with streamlined profile elevations and a wooden substructure.
The remaining outer façade was structured in a pixel design, arranged in a regular grid pattern. Dividing the various pixels into transparent glass or opaque photovoltaic elements made it possible to make the best possible active and passive use of light for each part of the building. The insulation standard of the outer façade meets passive-house level and even falls below this in several building areas. The transparent area of the double façade is a type of modified casement window construction made of standard windows and shells based on the WICLINE 75 evo system, designed with the optimum interspace (in which a light-directing sun shade is also located) for the local climate in Trondheim. BIPV parapet glazing is arranged in front of the opaque façade areas of the wooden construction on almost all of the building. The rear ventilation of the BIPV elements is integrated by hardly distinguishable air-inlet and outlet areas of the double façade. The energy hidden in the building (known as “grey energy”) is estimated at 22 kWh/m² per year. In comparison with a conventional office building of a similar size, the annual energy savings amount to approximately three million kWh.