The Norwegian Architects company Snøhetta, Skanska Teknikk Norway and university researchers teamed up to retrofit an old house at Harvard, demonstrating how existing buildings can be made more energy efficient to help address climate change. The Norwegian architect team has turned an old house into a zero emissions building, and phase one is now completed.
“Paving the way for ultra-efficient retrofit strategies, HouseZero creates a blueprint for reducing energy demands and increasing cost savings for property owners,” the team said in a project statement.
Rooftop photovoltaics and windows that automatically open and close are among the sustainable features in the small Harvard building.
Norwegian Architects Have Turned and Old House Into a Zero Emissions Building
The modest headquarters of the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities (CGBC) (founded in 2014 by the university’s Graduate School of Design (GSD) has been used as a guinea pig. The HouseZero project, designed by Snøhetta, has revamped the 1924 stick-built old house to run without an HVAC system, without daytime electric lighting, and produce zero carbon emissions, among other efficiencies.
The renovated 4,600-square-foot (427 square metres) building is meant to serve as both a comfortable workspace and a living laboratory. The project is the brainchild of Ali Malkawi, professor of architectural technology at the GSD and the center’s founding director.
“HouseZero attempts to address the global environmental challenge of climate change by focusing on existing buildings, which account for energy inefficiency and carbon emissions on a vast scale worldwide,” said the team. A primary goal of the project was to create a “highly configurable, data-driven infrastructure” that will allow the center to conduct research and demonstrate what is possible, according to the center’s website.
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Tracking the building’s performance is a key aspect of the project. Hundreds of sensors were embedded within the facility, allowing for continual monitoring by researchers.
Norwegian Architects Have Turned an Old House Into a Zero Emissions Building, written by Tor Kjolberg