Small Hydro Plants
Client: Småkraft AS
Location: Vestland, Norway
In 2003, Paal J Kahrs Arkitekter AS developed a concept for small hydropower stations for the company Småkraft AS, which was a newly established company owned by the 6 leading power companies in Norway. The new power plants were to utilize the resources from small water streams. Water streams were not covered by the major developments during the 20th century, but became economically viable mainly due to public support schemes ("green certificates") for renewable energy. The new power plants were to be built near or adjacent to existing farm buildings in the Norwegian country side.
The concept was basically consisting of three functional parts: production / machine room, control room and a transformer part. The functions were to be placed in the existing building environment and be adaptable in relation to volume, shape and material use. At the same time, the buildings were supposed to have their own identity and modern look. “Modernity” is achieved through the glass façade walls at the end gables. The engine room is given a warm, ocher yellow color that lights up in the dark so that the production turbine can be seen from the outside of the building.
The natural stone walls and the wood-clad facades are made of traditional materials that can be found in Norwegian farm buildings. The material on the roof is in accordance with the local building tradition.
Paal J Kahrs Arkitekter AS has designed about 35-40 small power plants for Småkraft AS.
Småkraft AS has built about twice as many copies.