This Is The First "Energy Positive" Hotel To Open Above The Arctic Circle

Located in northern Norway, Svart will be the world’s first hotel to produce its own power and reduce its energy needs by 85 percent compared to other hotels.


May 16 2019, Updated 10:18 a.m. ET

A team of architects at Snøhetta has designed a unique energy positive hotel called Svart. The hotel will be nestled at the foot of the Svartisen glacier in the Meløy municipality in northern Norway. While some hotel properties claim to have unique destinations, few can say they’re located above the Arctic Circle.  

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If off the grid vacations are your thing, this destination might be for you. Svart can only be accessed by boat, and the team is planning to utilize an energy neutral boat to transport people to the hotel from Bodø. 

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The design for this striking hotel was influenced by its local traditions, like a “fiskehjell,” or an A-shaped wooden structure for drying fish. The “rorbue,” a type of seasonal house for fishermen, influenced the design of the weather resistant poles under the surface of the "fjord," which support the structure. 

The hotel’s name is connected to the surrounding nature. It means “black” in Norwegian. The namesake is a nod to the dark ice of the Svartisen glacier, where the hotel is located. 

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The unique circular layout provides 360-degree panoramic views and immerses guests in the surrounding nature. There’s no need to request a room with a view since every room in this hotel has a breathtaking panorama. The hotel extends past the shoreline a the base of the Almlifjellet mountain into the Holandsfjorden fjord. 

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The architects studied how solar radiation behaves in this mountain region throughout the year. As a result, they were able to learn how to harvest the sun’s energy efficiently and strategically situate the hotel rooms, restaurant, and terraces. 

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Norway’s precious sunshine plays an essential role in the hotel’s ability to produce its own clean energy. Svart’s roof is covered in Norwegian solar panels which were produced with clean energy. The hotel also uses geothermal wells to regulate temperature and reduce energy consumption. 

Apart from harnessing natural energy, the hotel was designed to reduce its energy consumption by 85 percent compared to other modern hotels. Actually, Svart will be so energy efficient that it will produce more energy than it will need, and essentially achieve net-positive energy output. 

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Svart will also be the northernmost building to meet the Powerhouse standard. The Powerhouse, or “plus house,” design criteria is used for buildings that will generate more renewable energy than the total amount of energy used to build and operate the building in the course of over a 60 year period. Svart will be the first hotel to meet this level of sustainable design when it’s officially open for business in 2021

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