Norway’s Energy-Positive Building Spree Is Here

by Tracey Lindeman, City Lab

The European Union has a target of making all new buildings zero-energy by 2020, but in Norway, carbon neutrality isn’t enough.

A consortium in Oslo made up of architects, engineers, environmentalists, and designers is creating energy-positive buildings in a country with some of the coldest and darkest winters on Earth. “If you can make it in Norway, you can make it anywhere,” says Peter Bernhard, a consultant with Asplan Viak, one of the Powerhousealliance members.

Bernhard says Powerhouse began in 2010 with a question: Is it possible to not only eliminate the carbon footprint of buildings, but also use them as a climate-crisis solution? It was a lofty goal. According to the European Commission, buildings account for 40 percent of energy usage and 36 percent of CO2 emissions in the EU.

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