Along the riverbank of Porsgrunn is one of the world’s most energy effective and iconic buildings, Powerhouse Telemark, also called “the green diamond”. Now, the building and its owner R8 Property want to inspire the whole world.
Even before construction began three years ago, the building aroused international interest in Europe, South America and the United States. CNN followed up this winter by referring to Powerhouse Telemark as one of the ten most anticipated buildings in 2020 – worldwide. It’s easy to understand why this building is of global interest: “The green diamond” is situated in a small town, it has a spectacular architecture, and is designed by internationally renowned Snøhetta.
Most importantly: Nine energy wells, as well as solar panels on the facade, roof, carport and bicycle shed, makes the building produce more energy than it consumes throughout a lifespan of 60 years. This covers all energy used for production, delivery, operation, demolition and all the materials, and means that Powerhouse Telemark has up to 66 % lower energy consumption than other new office buildings.
Property developer takes responsibility
“The construction industry accounts for about 40 % of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, and the UN is clear that the climate battle will be won in the cities. As a property developer, we have to take responsibility. R8 Property’s mission is to create a more sustainable future by using technology and passion to build green, modern communities for people to work and live in. This is why we builtPowerhouse Telemark,” says CEO/founder of R8 Property, Emil Eriksrød. He adds that this is one of very few buildings which is BREEAM-NOR Excellent certified, and that the building’s technology is innovative.
Seamless everyday life in a sustainable environment
Emil Eriksrød and R8 Property are passionate about users and tenants having the simplest possible everyday life. “Working towards a more sustainable future, we need to better utilize office buildings. One example of this, is the meeting room center for all the tenants in Powerhouse Telemark.
Flexibility, predictability and availability are three important keywords for this building as well as upcoming projects,” says Eriksrød. “We’ve established Orbit Technology, a unique and seamless platform to offer premises and facilities across buildings and locations. Powerhouse Telemark is the first building to use this platform, and I look forward to telling you more about this in the near future,” says Eriksrød. He adds that the use of new technologies will be a prerequisite for success with real estate in the years to come.
The tenants can also enjoy other facilities, such as a roof terrace with an amazing view, staff restaurant with freshly prepared food, a fitness room, a meeting room center including a conference room, a barception with kiosk, and charger parking for cars and bicycles. In addition, two floors are dedicated to coworking through Evolve Business Space, which means that anyone can work in Powerhouse Telemark.
Carpet tiles composed of recycled fishing nets
All details are taken care of, both in terms of aesthetics and sustainability. All materials are made of durable and high quality. For example, the carpet tiles are composed of 70 % recycled fishing nets, and the wooden flooring is made from industrial parquet of ash made from wooden debris. The flooring, glass walls, office dividers, kitchenettes, lighting and bathrooms have been given the same design, colour and materiality across all floors. This is to avoid unnecessary waste when new tenants move into the building, or when existing tenants want to redo their own premises. The building has no light switches, as the light is automatically adjusted to daylight and if the room is in use or not.
High level of competence development
Powerhouse Telemark has undoubtedly been a challenging project for the four partners R8 Property, Snøhetta, Skanska and Asplan Viak. “Yes, this is a complicated building in every way, and it’s been very instructive and exciting to work on this project. The collaboration has worked incredibly well,” says Tommy Thovsland, COO in R8 Property. “There are many technical and architectural solutions in this building that have never been used before, and all of us have raised our competence skills in many ways. I would like to thank the tenants, politicians, partners and the population who’ve been positive and brave all the way, and who believed that it was possible to develop a building like this – here, in Porsgrunn, Telemark. The Paris Agreement needs to be fulfilled, and to do so we have to strengthen our expertise at all levels, so that we can build more similar buildings in the future,” says Thovsland. So, will there be more Powerhouses in the future? “We are very seriously about our responsibility, and have a desire to inspire the construction industry both domestically and abroad. This means action is required,” Thovsland concludes with an unanimous nod from Eriksrød.