A Nordic firm of architects has designed a future hotel that will produce more energy than it uses.
Snøhetta, a pioneering architecture and design office based in Oslo and New York with studios in Stockholm and around the world, has designed what it claims will be the world’s first energy-positive hotel above the Arctic Circle.
To be located at the foot of the Svartisen glacier in northern Norway, the hotel’s designers say that the stunning surroundings dictated why it was so important the hotel should have a near-zero environmental footprint.
The structure, to be called Svart, would be the first hotel in the world to comply with the Powerhouse standard – a set of rules created by Snøhetta, the construction group Skanska and others that set a new standard for sustainability.
A building has to generate more renewable energy over a period of 60 years than the total amount of power necessary to produce the materials, construct the building, sustain its energy requirements and eventually demolish and remove it from its location.
Design for sunlight
The architects think Svart would achieve an 85% lower energy bill compared to a typical hotel by, for example, placing the hotel rooms and conference areas on a circular façade to receive the maximum amount of sunlight. There would also be solar panels, while geothermal wells would connect to heat pumps.
The name of the hotel means black and blue in old Norse – a reminder of the blue water and dark rocks that frame the glacier. The architects say the design was inspired by both the fiskehjell wooden fish-drying structures and the rourbe, a traditional summer house that stands above water on poles.
Construction is expected to start in about a year and the hotel should be completed in 2021. Guests will only be able to access it using an energy-neutral boat from the town of Bodø.