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World’s first energy-positive hotel being built just above the Arctic Circle

Svart will become the world’s first energy-positive hotel and it’s set to open in 2021.

Svart will reduce its yearly energy consumption by 85% compared to a modern hotel and it looks absolutely stunning.

Building a hotel in such a precious environment comes with great responsibility. That’s why Snøhetta, the company responsible for the design of Svart, is making sure it will preserve the natural beauty of the site. It’s an energy positive and low-impact hotel with a breathtaking design and sustainability features that’ll make mother nature proud.

Svart will be a hotel that produces its own energy, leaving a minimal impact on its environment.

The construction is in the form of the “fiskehjell” (A-shaped wooden structure for drying fish) and the “rorbue” (a traditional type of seasonal house used by fishermen).

Svart is situated at the foot of the Svartisen glacier that runs through Meløy municipality in northern Norway, just above the Arctic Circle. From a distance, it looks like a UFO that has landed on the crystal clear lake, but its design comes with a good reason. Its circular structure provides a panoramic view of the fjord and it promises to impress even the pickiest Instagrammer in the world.

Svart is a one-of-a-kind hotel, being built from weather resistant wooden poles stretching several meters below the surface. It can be accessed by boat, and there are plans of pairing it up with an energy neutral boat shuttle from the city to its location.

“Nature in the Arctic is fragile and pristine. We have to respect the natural beauty of the site and not ruin what makes Svartisen an attraction in the first place,” says Zenul Khan, Snøhetta’s Svart project manager.

The poles of the hotel double as a wooden boardwalk for visitors to stroll in the summer. In the winter, the boardwalk can be used to store boats and kayaks, reducing the need for garages and additional storage space.

The Powerhouse Standard

The term “Powerhouse” is used to describe so-called “plus house” buildings built by the Powerhouse collaboration. “Plus houses” are energy producing buildings that, in the course of a 60 year period, will generate more renewable energy than the total amount of energy that would be required to sustain its end-to-end operations.

Powerhouse is a collaboration between Snøhetta, Entra, Skanska, the ZERO Emission Resource Organization and Asplan Viak.

The facades protect against insolation from the sun in the summer when the sun is high in the sky, removing the need for artificial cooling.

Several innovative design choices have been made to meet the Powerhouse standard.

For example, an extensive mapping of how solar radiation behaves was conducted by its architects. And the result of the experiment has been an important premise for the circular design.

The hotel rooms, restaurants and terraces are strategically placed to maximise the sun’s energy throughout the day and seasons. Furthermore, its roof is clad with Norwegian solar panels produced with clean hydro energy, reducing the carbon footprint even further.