Svart will not only use 85% less energy than a comparable hotel built to modern construction standards, but will also generate its own energy, making it self-sufficient and sustainable. Before the project got underway, the Snøhetta architects conducted a detailed study of annual sunlight exposure at the location, which sits on the edge of a fjord sheltered by mountains. This study led to the hotel’s circular design.
The hotel rooms, restaurants, and terraces are strategically arranged to make optimum use of solar energy throughout the year. In summer, when the sun is high in the sky, the facades provide shade and mean there’s no need for air conditioning. During the winter months, when the sun is low in the sky, the large windows let through as much sunlight as possible in order to take advantage of the sun’s natural heat.
The hotel roof is clad with Norwegian solar panels, which are made using clean hydropower to further reduce the carbon footprint. Due to the long summer nights in northern latitudes, the hotel’s operating company hopes it will be able to harvest a lot of solar energy. The hotel also uses geothermal wells, which are connected to thermal pumps. These heat the building and reduce overall energy consumption. Energy-intensive building materials such as steel and concrete have been avoided wherever possible. Local wood is being used instead for the construction and cladding, helping to further reduce the building’s environmental footprint.