Powerhouse Telemark is officially opened

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 sparked international interest from 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 spectacular architecture, and is designed by internationally renowned Snøhetta. Most importantly: Nine energy wells and solar panels on the facade, roof, carport, and bicycle shed make 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 for building green, modern communities for people to work and live in. This is why we built Powerhouse Telemark,” says CEO/founder of R8 Property, Emil Eriksrød. He adds that this is one of the very few buildings BREEAM-NOR Excellent certified and that the building’s technology is highly 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 utilize office buildings better. 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 shortly,” says Eriksrød. He adds that 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, a staff restaurant with freshly prepared food, a fitness room, a meeting room center including a conference room, a barception with a kiosk 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, color, 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 want to thank the tenants, politicians, partners, and the population who’ve been positive and brave all the way and 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 serious about our responsibility and have a desire to inspire the construction industry both domestically and abroad. This means that action is required,” Thovsland concludes with a unanimous nod from Eriksrød.

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