Hydro’s energy-neutral test center in Ulm, Germany
A planned building in Norway will be at the most northern location so far to generate more energy than it uses, demonstrating that “green” buildings can work anywhere…
A group including Norwegian aluminum maker Norsk Hydro and Swedish construction group Skanska said it would construct the six-to-seven-story building in Trondheim, with offices and shops covering up to 9,000 sq meters.
The building will use solar panels and sunscreens on an aluminum facade, which will have a new energy-saving ventilation system. It will also draw on geo-thermal energy and use other technologies such as heat pumps.
Over the year, it will generate more power than it consumes.
“This will be the world’s most northerly ‘energy-positive’ building,” Hydro Chief Executive Svein Richard Brandtzaeg told Reuters in a telephone interview of the project, due for completion in 2013.
“If we can do it here, we can do it anywhere,” he said, adding that there were global business opportunities for Hydro in clean energy for buildings that usually emit greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels for heat, light and air-conditioning.
Trondheim, about 300 km south of the Arctic Circle, is on the same latitude as southern Greenland, Alaska and Siberia…
He said that Hydro had helped build an office block for Vodafone Group in Milan for 3,000 people, in which the facade cost 16 percent more than a conventional building but helped halve energy consumption.
“It cost 16 percent more, but the payback time is less than two years,” due to energy savings, he said.
Most folks who hope to ignore efficiencies in alternative energy source try just as hard to block out the fact that these are energy sources which are becoming more efficient and less expensive over time. This is particularly true of solar-generation models which continue to diminish in cost as engineering and scientific advancement accumulate.