Buildings for lifeCreating sustaining buildings for life
IntroductionThe city of Copenhagen was founded in 1167 by bishop Absalon from Roskilde. The centre ofCopenhagen consists of a large majority of historical buildings - residential buildings, retail,administrative and cultural buildings, of which the majority was built before 1940. Some of them areseveral hundred years old and represent a significant cultural value. These buildings have proven theirfunctional qualities for centuries and serve as the historical and architectural backbone of the city, thusproviding the physical frame for the everyday life of one of the happiest nations in the world.In 1947, a new plan for the futuredevelopment of the Danish capital wasdeveloped, focusing on minimizing thedistance between dwellings, workplacesand green spaces in the form of corridorsfrom the centre of city to smaller regionalcentres some 30-40 km away.Due to the strong graphical expression, theplan was named “the fingerplan” and wasvery visionary due to the focus on access togreen space and public transport as afundamental structure. The plan has in factserved as a foundation for the continuingdevelopment of the city throughout theyears.In line with this plan, the historical city centre has grown to a current population of 550.000 in theMunicipality of Copenhagen and 1.7 million people in the region as a whole. The old historical buildingshave been complemented by modern architecture with the typical expression of functionalism in theNordic interpretation with optimized daylight conditions.Facts about the buildings in the Municipality of Copenhagen300.000 dwellings350.000 workplaces98% of the buildings are connected to the district heating system
Danish climate conditions and natural resourcesLife in Copenhagen unfolds in and between these buildings throughout the seasons of the year. Theweather in Denmark is generally quite mild and the climate of Denmark is temperate, made mild bymostly west winds and by the seas that almost entirely surround Denmark. The mean temperature inthe coldest month (February) is 0°C (32°F), and in the warmest (July) 17°C (63°F). Snowfall is normalduring the winter, but in relatively small amounts – however enough to cause traffic chaos once or twiceevery winter and making life a little bit rough for the otherwise brave cyclists of Copenhagen. During thesummertime, a warm summer day can be 25-30°C (77-86°F), which means that effective solar shadingand mechanical cooling systems are design elements to consider, but on the other hand also lures suncraving Copenhageners to enjoy outdoor life on terraces, cafés, squares and in the public harbour bath 1 .Determinative outdoor temperature for at heating system is -12 °C (12°F), and the number of degreedays in a normal year is 2906 Denmark. Rain in Denmark comes on a regular basis all year around, thereare no true dry periods. Copenhagen has an average of 170 rainy days and “Cloudy” is very common, asclouds cover the sky 2/3rds of the time on an annual basis.Because of Denmark's northern location in Europe, the length of the day with sunlight varies greatly.This is typical for Scandinavia. There are short days during the winter with sunrise around 8 am andsunset at 3:30 pm, as well as beautifully long summer days with sunrise at 3:30 am and late sunsets at10 pm.These climate conditions have a significant impact on Danish building design and energy consumption inbuildings. The heating season usually starts in September and ends in May, and building insulation istherefore vital to minimize heat loss and maintain a comfortable indoor climate. Due to the long heatingseason, more than 60% of all energy used in Nordic households is used for space heating and 13% isused for water heating 2 . This significant share of energy consumption must be provided be the use ofthe best available technology and with a minimum of GHG-emissions.On the other hand, it is very important to utilize the limited amount of daylight during the winter seasonin the best possible way. This is one of the main reasons why Danish building designers always explorethe possibilities to optimize the design of the façade, with the purpose of creating optimized daylightconditions inside the buildings, utilize heat gain from the sun during colder periods and on the sametime avoid unwanted overheating during the summer.1 See description of the Harbour Bath2 Nordic Energy Technology Perspectives, p. 132
Sustainable buildingsThe basic principles of sustainable developmentsThe concept of sustainable development was first introduced by the World Commission on Environmentand Development in 1987 in the report "Our Common Future" (the Brundtland report). The reportdefines sustainable development as development that meets needs of present generations withoutcompromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.Urban economic growth and development create increasingly difficult challenges and urbandevelopment holds great opportunities for meeting these challenges. Innovative urban planningconcepts such as Ecocities, Smart Cities and Sustainable Urbanism have emerged, aiming to adoptsustainable concepts into design and lifestyle of both cities and buildings. Improved accessibility withnon-motorised transport, green urban spaces, smart transport solutions, energy efficient buildings,smart energy grids and waste recycling are all elements of modern urban planning. Sustainable urbandevelopment is a relatively new concept. It is expected to undergo a radical development over thedecades to come.The possible interrelation of the three sustainable urban development dimensions is represented below:• The environmental dimension pursues the issues of resource consumption, wasteproduction and recycling and environment pollution, and therefore it has gained anincreasing role in urban project planning and design over the last 20 years. Theenvironmental dimension, which is predominantly of a technical character, aims toprotect nature against pollution and other human disturbance as well as preservation ofnatural resources for future generations.• The social dimension acknowledges that urban design has a tremendous impact on thevery quality of life, including human interaction, physical and mental health, safety,interaction between nature and built environment, employment etc.• The economic dimension is a key dimension in sustainable urban projects. Economicresources are limited and any extra spending on environmentally or socially beneficialsolutions must be balanced against the possible additional costs incurred.
SocialBearableEquitableSustainableEnvironmentalViableEconomicNo building is an islandSustainable buildings are fundamental building bricks in a sustainable society. Buildings must always beseen as integrated parts of the surrounding urban context and must be well adapted to the local contextin terms of architecture, technical design and the local resource situation.Once the building site is selected, the following general considerations should apply:Retrofitting existing buildings instead of tearing down and designing new buildings in the samesite should always be considered in a cultural and life cycle cost-perspective.Architecture must respect the surroundings, be adaptive and allow buildings to be modified forfuture uses and technology advances.Buildings should promote use of smart grids for electricity, district heating and coolingMobility is another important aspect of adapting to the context – buildings should provide goodopportunities for building users to use non-fuel based transportation, i.e. location close to publictransportation, on-site parking facilities for bicycles, on-site showers etc.In order to mitigate impacts on the environment and the close surroundings, a sustainable onsiteconstruction process must be ensured at all times.Buildings should be well adapted to future climate changes e g. flooding, heat-island effect,extreme weather conditions or extreme natural incidents caused by future climate changes
Social sustainability is about peopleThe social aspects of sustainable building design can be improved by implementing the followingmeasures in the building design:The building can support user-interaction with the surrounding society by providing publicaccess to specific parts of the building - for instance a public café, art exhibitions, in-housefitness facilities or parkour-facilities on the site.Social interaction between building users should be encouraged by providing dedicated spacesfor social interaction, informal meetings and knowledge sharing- indoors and outdoors, ifpossible.Healthy building users and a high daily physical activity can be supported by the use of attractiveand inspiring staircases, thus motivating building users to use the staircase instead of lifts. Inhouse fitness facilities and treadmill desks at workstations and in selected meeting rooms areother examples.Buildings should provide access to fresh air, high quality daylight and a comfortable indoorclimate, where users have the possibility to manually control their local indoor climateconditions.Accessibility for disabled people should be ensured - by not only complying with minimumrequirements for people with mobility disabilities, but also for people with hearing and visualhandicap, and by ensuring these people access to all relevant parts of the building on equalterms with non-disabled people.Safety and security should be provided by adequate lighting indoors and outdoors, escaperoutes and access control if relevant.Adequate and energy-efficient lighting systems should be provided by the use of LED andsensors, also with manual user control.Energy and water consumption should be measured, analyzed and communicated to buildingusers, thus providing a framework for identifying technical malfunctions, encouragingsustainable behavior and awarding improvements.Economic sustainability means minimizing the life cycle costsThe economic aspects of sustainable building design can be improved by implementing the followingmeasures in the building design:A cost effective design, focusing on the total life cycle costs (LCC) over the entire life span of thebuilding instead of only looking construction costs. Minimizing the running costs for energyconsumption, cleaning and maintenance has a significant impact when considering a period of30 or 50 years.
Buildings should be energy- and water efficient compared to local standardsMinimizing the consequences of technical risks such as risks of flooding, vandalism, fire, waterleakage and terrorist acts can improve the long-term value of the building and in some casessupport more favorable insurance and financing conditions.Building owners should be encouraged to explore innovative financing options such as EnergyPerformance Contracting (EPC), which is an innovative financing technique that uses costsavings from reduced energy consumption to repay the cost of installing energy conservationmeasures. Normally offered by Energy Service Companies (ESCOs), this innovative financingtechnique allows building users to achieve energy savings without up-front capital expenses.The costs of the energy improvements are borne by the performance contractor and paid backout of the energy savings. Other advantages include the ability to use a single contractor to donecessary energy audits and retrofit and to guarantee the energy savings from a selected seriesof conservation measures, and to execute a large number of energy saving projects within alimited period of time. Design, Build, Finance and Operate is another financing model. DBFOcompanies assume the responsibility of larger capital intensive investments with a life span of20-30 years and also the responsibility of operation and maintenance of the building or buildingcomponents.Environmental sustainability means minimizing environmental impactThe environmental aspects of sustainable building design can be improved by implementing thefollowing measures in the building design:Efficient use of waste, water and waste water systemsNon-cooling or low-impact coolingBuilding materials with a minimum environmental impact e.g. by promoting reuse or selectinglocal materials with a small environmental footprint and only certified wood,Use of recycled and recyclable building materials such as C2C-certified materialsIncreased biodiversity and cultural diversity via onsite landscaping and activitiesBuildings should support sustainable waste management during construction and operationDesign for disassembly with a minimum of waste and environmental impact
The political frameworkThe architectural and technical quality of buildings is essential for our quality of life and the overalleconomy. The building sector is therefore governed by long term planning.Before the first oil crisis in 1973, nearly all Danish energy consumption was based on oil. And being acountry with nearly no natural oil reserves, 90% of the energy supply was imported oil. At this time,Denmark was among the OECD countries most dependent on oil in its energy supply. Together with therelatively cold Danish climate, this meant that when the price of oil increased dramatically in 1973,heating of buildings became very expensive. This made it clear to the Danish politicians that dependencyof importing energy is both expensive and risky. Political initiatives hence resulted in a visionary strategyfor reducing the energy consumption - and thus the reducing dependency of importing energy and theGHG-emissions:1) Increased energy-efficiency in energy production,2) Increasing the share of renewable energy in the energy production3) Reduction of energy consumption by the end users – industry, buildings, transport etc.4) Launch of supporting initiatives for research and development of new and environmentallyfriendly energy technologies as well as5) Ambitious use of green taxesThis policy has led to an extensive increase of the energy efficiency, self-sufficiency in energy and hascreated the foundation for Denmark to set ambitious targets for the future reduction of GHG-emissionsand use of renewable energy.The construction of buildings in Denmark is regulated by law issued by the Danish Energy Agency whichis an agency under the Ministry of Climate, Energy and Buildings. The law consists of several levels ofregulations:The Building Act defines the responsibilities of the Ministry in terms of the general safety, quality,accessibility and energy efficiency in relation to buildings. It also delegates the responsibility of theadministration of specific building codes to the 98 local municipalities in Denmark. The BuildingRegulations define the functional requirements for structures, fire safety, indoor climate, mechanicalinstallations and energy performance of both private and public buildings. These requirements aresupported by detailed standards and guidelines, of which some are aligned with European standardsand some are more demanding or adapted to local conditions.The local authorities are however entitled to add more restrictive energy demands for newconstructions. The City of Copenhagen has put such stronger demands to their own new municipalbuildings in order to spearhead and motivate the private sector to do likewise.
Energy requirementsEven the first set of Building Regulations in Denmark from 1961 contained energy requirements for newDanish buildings. At that time, the energy requirements consisted of simple maximum limits for heattransmission [kcal/m 2 /h/C] through each part of the building envelope.The political strategy for increasing energy efficiency in Denmark has resulted in a series of buildingregulations, where the energy requirements have been continuously tightened from 1961 and up untiltoday, where the energy requirements in the current Building Requirements from 2010 (BR10) havebeen converted into functional requirements regulating the overall energy performance of the wholebuilding in kWh/m 2 /year.The energy performance of dwellings covers the net energy consumption of heating, ventilation, coolingand hot water production. In office buildings, general lighting is also included. The energy performanceof a specific building must be demonstrated by the use of a national calculation method which involvesthe use of dedicated software which has been developed in parallel with the requirements.The current requirement for the energy performance of a new building is a maximum of 52,5kWh/m 2 /year for dwellings and 71,3 kWh/m 2 /year for office buildings 3 . These requirements aremandatory for all new buildings in Denmark.In addition to these mandatory requirements, a significant effort has been made in order to comply withthe EU-directive on energy performance of buildings (EPBD), which requires each member to provide amethodology to calculate the energy performance of buildings, and to further reduce the energyconsumption in buildings towards 2020. Each EU-member is free to choose its own path and speed ofreduction, but recognizing the advantages of being a first mover, Denmark has decided to develop a setof maximum requirements for energy performance of buildings that are currently optional, but will bemandatory in 2015 and 2020. These future maximum levels each represent a 25%-reduction of thecurrent requirements and, are building that comply with these requirements are in BR10 defined as lowenergyclassifications “Low energy class 2015” and “Building class 2020”.In 2020, the energy performance of new buildings will be “nearly zero” buildings. The extremely lowenergy consumption in these buildings is in 2020 likely to be covered by on-site renewables or by publicsystems for district heating and electricity production with a share of renewables of more than 70%.The existing building stock represents the majority of the energy consumption related to buildings.Hence, BR10 also contains specific requirements for renovating existing buildings. This includesrequirements for U-values of building components which must be fulfilled if the component is to beexchanged anyway, and even a requirement to implement energy saving measures if the measures arerepaid within 75% of the life expectancy of the component.3 In both categories there is a plus of 1650 kWh/year, divided by the total heated area of the building.
The diagram illustrates the continuous tightening of maximum energy performance of the buildings in Denmark from 1961 to2020. The blue column represents the average energy performance of an existing building in 2009.This evolution has forced the Danish building industry to have constant focus on developing new andinnovative solutions and setting up multidisciplinary partnerships for cooperation. The current andfuture Danish energy requirements for buildings are perhaps the most demanding requirements in theworld.In order to comply with the requirements, it is absolutely necessary to take an integrated designapproach and bear in mind that decisions in the early stages of the design process have the largestimpact on the energy consumption throughout the life span of the building. The building designers inDenmark have demonstrated that they are capable of designing extremely energy efficient buildings,which at the same time hold remarkable qualities in terms of innovative architecture with optimizeddaylight conditions. These characteristics - along with the strong focus on human wellbeing and socialfunctions - add a special Nordic coolness to Danish buildings from recent years, and they will continue todo so in the years to come.Sustainable buildingsThe overall definition of sustainability includes social, environmental and economic aspects ofsustainable buildings, and the energy performance of a building is just one of the aspects ofsustainability, which contributes in several ways. In order to design a truly sustainable building, thereare several methods available. One of these methods is to develop local targets and sustainabilitycriteria for a municipality, a specific area or for an individual building.
The municipality of Copenhagen has developed a set of guidelines for sustainable building design,covering a range of aspects such as energy efficiency, water consumption, building materials, wastehandling, noise, indoor climate and outdoor areas. The guideline also contains requirements formitigation of the environmental impact from the construction site, and requirements how to documentthe results and decisions made during the design process. These guidelines are a supplement to thebuilding regulations and are mandatory on building projects where the municipality of Copenhagen iseither building owner or building user, or on renovation projects that receive financial support from themunicipality. Several other municipalities in Denmark have also developed their own set of sustainabilityguidelines.Another method is building certification, which can serve as a benchmarking tool on a global scale andprovides a clear and generally recognized set of criteria. There are several globally recognizedcertification systems such as BREEAM and LEED, which have been used on buildings in Copenhagen.Furthermore, the Danish building industry decided in 2010 that a Danish certification system wasnecessary in order to provide a common approach to sustainable building design in Denmark. Hence, aresearch-project was carried out, in which the four certification systems BREEAM (UK), LEED (USA),DGNB (Germany) and HQE (France) were tested on two different newly built office buildings inDenmark. One of the conclusions from the project was that both buildings scored relatively high in allsystems, although they were not designed with a specific focus on sustainability. But due to thestringent energy requirements and Danish design traditions in general, they were actually qualified toget a certificate in all systems anyway. Another conclusion from the project was that the German systemDGNB turned out to be the system that gave the best expression of the Danish approach to sustainablebuilding design, and this system was therefore chosen as the future certification system in Denmark.LEEDNCBREEAMInternationalDGNBInternationalEconomic sustainabilityEnvironmental sustainabilitySocial sustainabilityThe diagrams illustrate the weighting of sustainability aspects at a 100% score in each system.
During 2011 and 2012, the DGNB –International criteria for office buildings have been adapted to aDanish context and to the Danish building regulations by 7 expert groups, consisting of specialists from awide spectrum of the Danish building industry, and lead by the Danish Green Building Council (DK-GBC 4 ),who is in charge of the administration of the DGNB-system in Denmark. The Danish office buildingcriteriahave been tested on seven pilot-projects, and so far 120 consultants and 10 auditors 5 have beeneducated in the system and are now qualified to provide DGNB-consultancy and DGNB-certification ofbuildings in Denmark. Criteria for existing buildings, dwellings, hotels and hospitals are now in theprocess of development. The market for certification is growing in Denmark, and the intention is that aDGNB-certificate to some extent will replace local guidelines, thus creating a common understanding ofsustainable buildings, improve the overall quality of the buildings and provide a tool for benchmarkingof buildings and building owners.However, a certificate in one of these systems is not a guarantee for a 100% sustainable solution, as thesystems to a certain extent have a tendency to focus on optimizing the building and disregard theoverall solutions provided by the surrounding society – for instance in terms of energy supply. Forinstance, in most cases, it is not sustainable to provide energy by the use of on-site energy production, ifthe surrounding society can provide district heating, district cooling and electricity based on renewableswith a smaller environmental impact and at a lower cost for the building owner.4 See section ”How to get started”5 As per March 2013
Drivers and challengesOne of the major drivers towards energy efficient buildings has been the tightening of the Danishbuilding regulations throughout the years. But one particular aspect has proven to be more powerfulthan most people had expected: The fact that the future requirements for energy performance werepublished as an optional low-energy classification several years before they actually come into force.Just a few years back, before the future energy requirements were published in 2006, Danish buildingowners just wanted their new buildings to comply with the maximum requirements at that time. Theyhad no ambitions to go beyond requirements and just wanted a smooth process and the lowest possibleconstruction costs.The implementation of optional low-energy classifications for new building has completely turned thispicture around and initiated a stronger focus on long-term solution and Life Cycle Costs. Companies andbuilding owners have realised the commercial branding value related to environmental awareness andto being “first movers” – making them attractive to clients, as business partners and employers. Today,Danish building owners acknowledge the fact that if they don’t adapt to the future requirements fromthe early design stages, their building will be out-of-date when they move in. Designing for currentrequirements is considered unambitious. This means that a large majority of new buildings in Denmarkare designed in order to comply with future requirements, and this turnaround has taken place within aperiod of only 4-5 years.However, the majority of the building related energy consumption is still related to existing buildings.One of the most important challenges is that a specific energy saving measure is only feasible inrenovation projects, if renovation is planned anyway. In spite of increasing energy costs, energy savingsalone cannot make renovation projects profitable. And even if they are, the investor sometimes lacksmotivation for energy efficient renovations, if another end user gets the benefit of the savings.It is therefore vital to address the high initial investment costs associated with renovation projects. Toensure energy refurbishments and energy savings at end users, Danish energy supply companies arerequired to initiate actions and provide financial support to energy saving measures in buildings and toreport the savings. Other initiatives are online calculators, campaigns on TV and with printed guides,which inform end users on the savings from low energy-products, despite their higher initial costs.Energy labels on all properties put up for sale is required by law, which has increased the marketdemand for energy efficient buildings. Furthermore, the Minister of Climate, Energy and Buildings hasinitiated a strategic refurbishment network across the building sector, whose purpose is to “provide acatalogue of dedicated initiatives to promote and support efficient and innovative energy refurbishmentof Danish buildings” by May 2013.Switching to renewables also requires a number of different initiatives. In new buildings, a ban on oilheatingand electric heating in areas with district heating will be in force from 2017. In areas withoutdistrict heating or natural gas, heat pumps, electric heating and renewables is encouraged. Thesemeasures are all part of the transition to the carbon neutral society.
The technical solutionsWhen designing sustainable buildings, it is vital to allow for sufficient time in the early design stages inorder to explore the possibilities instead of focusing on one single solution. The process of analyzing thefunctional and architectural context, the technical preconditions and the long term requirements takestime, and requires architects and an engineer team to cooperate closely from the early design stages.A strong focus on energy efficiency will minimize the energy consumption and the long term costs, andoptimized indoor climate conditions will improve productivity and the general quality of life. Energyefficiency can be implemented in many ways, but it is important to also minimize the life cycle costsduring the expected life time of the building. A simple 3- step method can be used to illustrate thepriorities in the design process:1) Passive solutions are fundamental forachieving the best possible result: Theorientation of the building, an optimizedSupplybuilding envelope and adapting to localconditions. These parametres arefundamental for achieving low energyOptimizedtechnical systemssolutions, are difficult to change afterwardsand have a relatively low cost.2) Energy efficient systems such as optimizedPassive solutionsand intelligent mechanical installations andmeasures to support the environmental awareness of building users.3) Use of sustainable energy supply and/or renewables to cover the remaining energy consumption.The point of the hierarchy is that it is not possible to design a standard building and just install PV’s onthe roof, in order to achieve a low energy building. Passive solutions and optimized technical systemsmust be implemented as well.The selection of building materials requires a process where functional requirements are weightedagainst design, construction-and maintenance costs and environmental impacts. When selectingmaterials it is important to consider the technical life span of the building components and the numberof replacements of the components over the life time of the building.The following cases are examples of sustainable buildings in Copenhagen, where energy efficiency andadapting to local conditions have been key elements in the process:
1) The Niels Bohr Building (2010-2016)The Niels Bohr Building in Copenhagen will house mathematics, chemistry, computer science, physicsand science didactics as part of the Science Faculty of the University of Copenhagen. A total of 50,000m 2 comprises the new structure, accommodating 3,000 scientists and students.The architectural expression and the ambitious sustainability strategy go hand in hand. The structure ofthe façade contributes to energy optimization by pre-heating the air, optimizing the solar heatcontribution and minimizing the energy consumption for cooling. A special focus is set on minimizing theenergy consumption and the environmental impact of the laboratories by the use of energy efficientfume cupboards and ventilation systems. The buildings are additionally supplied with district cooling,district heating and solar panels on the roof.Moreover, the risk of heavy rainfall due to future climate changes has been considered by implementingmeasures to prevent flooding, and rainwater will be collected and reused for toilet flushing. Excellentcyclist facilities will be established on site for students and scientists, as well as spaces for socialgathering and informal knowledge sharing in the building, thus providing an optimized frame for ahealthy lifestyle and working environment.Architects: Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects, Christensen & Co Architects and GHB Landscape Architects.Engineer: RambøllBuilding Owner: The Danish Building and Property Agency 66 See section ”How to get started” for further information
2) Industriens Hus – an example of successful renovation (2008-2013)Renovation and extension of Industriens Hus on Rådhuspladsen (the City Hall Square) in Copenhagen.The building is the head office for the Confederation of Danish Industry, the premier lobbyingorganisation for Danish businesses on national and International issues.The existing building of 24.000 sq.m. was built in 1979 and was considered to be too small, technicallyinefficient and in a general need of an update in terms of design. However, the central location is veryattractive to the building owner. But the big question was whether to tear down the building completelyand build a new one – or to renovate? Considering the costs, the timescale AND the environmentalimpact, it was decided to strip the building from everything but the load bearing structure, and to createthe best possible new head office out of the existing framework. In order to provide the necessaryspace, the building was therefore extended by 2-3 stories (~16.000 new sq. m), and all floors wereequipped with new and intelligent mechanical installations and a new double skin façade.The renovation has a heavy focus on energy-efficiency, which includes elements such as an optimizedbuilding envelope, connection to district heating and district cooling, and PV’s and innovative solarshading in the atrium-roof. The double skin facade secures a low level of noise inside the office-buildingdespite the proximity to heavy traffic areas and Tivoli. Rainwater is collected on the roof and is reusedfor WC-flushing. The renovated building will be consist of a modern office environment, internal andexternal meeting rooms, a new central glass atrium with a conference room for 300 participants and anin house restaurant. All facilities will have excellent indoor climate conditions and a low energyclassification according to the Danish Building requirements. The renovation is finalized in June 2013.Ark: TransformEngineer: RambøllBuilding Owner: Federation of Danish Industries (DI) 77 See section ”How to get started”
OrganisationThe building industry in Denmark consists of multiple private companies such as architects, engineerscontractors and manufacturers, of which the majority are small or medium sized.A major player is The Danish Construction Association, which is an employers’ organisation forapproximately 6.000 companies, comprising about 70.000 workers from contracting and manufacturingcompanies within the Danish building and construction sector. The member companies are majorbuilding contractors, small and medium-sized construction companies and manufacturers of buildingcomponents such as windows, mineral wool etc.Danish Association of Architectural Firms (DANSKE ARK) is the Danish association of private firms ofconsulting architects. Danske Ark's objective is to represent the commercial interests of practicingarchitects and, in its capacity as impartial consultant to building clients, strengthen the position, qualitylevel and professionalism of its member firms. DANSKE ARK has about 800 ordinary and associatedmember firms, which - combined - employ about 5000 persons and account for about 85-90% of theaggregate building contract sums in Denmark.FRI (the Danish Association of Consulting Engineers) is a trade association of Danish consulting firmsproviding consulting services, planning and project management on a technical-scientific basis. FRI'smember firms provide independent consulting services on market terms. FRI represents the majority ofbusinesses in the industry and employs about 12,000 people in Denmark and 10,500 abroad.The building owners are organised in The Danish Association of Construction Clients (DACC), which is aninterest group representing professional construction client’s in Denmark. The association wasestablished in 1999 by 28 leading (mostly public sector) clients with support from the Ministry ofHousing with the goal to influence and improve the Danish construction sector. The historicalbackground was a public wish for increased demand for productivity improvements and greatercustomer orientation in construction. DACC has three strategic focus areas: influence on laws andbuildings regulations through informed dialogue, network and knowledge exchange and to support apositive, socially responsible development.The building requirements are mandatory in all building projects, and the administration of therequirements is delegated to the local municipality. The municipalities have their own technicaldepartments, employing architects and engineers who are specialized in the dialogue with buildingowners and design teams. When submitting an application for a planning permit, the building ownermust explain and provide detailed documentation, before evaluation can commence. The municipalityalso has the legal rights to define a set of individual criteria for a specific building project, if the projecthas significant interest to the public. This requires a political process and in some cases a public hearing.Public opinion can influence the process in a both positive and negative direction – in some cases it caneven put a stop to a project. Neighbors, politicians and NGO’s can impact the requirements and forinstance result in a tightening of the environmental requirements for a specific major project.
PerspectiveAs described in the section “Energy requirements”, the Danish energy requirements for new buildings in2015 and 2020 will include significant energy reductions for new building. These requirements havebeen known since 2010 and have been a major driver for the Danish Building Industry. This developmentis expected to continue in the future, leading towards “zero-energy”-requirements for new buildings in2025. We will also see even more specific requirements for renovation of existing buildings, thuspromoting energy renovations of the large majority of the current building mass.However, the requirements in the building codes are expected to continue the development towardsmore performance based requirements, and with a more holistic approach to the environmental impactof buildings. This will probably lead to requirements which take into consideration the energyconsumption throughout the whole life cycle of the building, i.e. the embodied energy in the buildingmaterials and the energy consumption for transportation to the site, in the operational phase and fordisassembly/end of life.One of the biggest challenges of the future will be the scarcity of resources, which will lead to anincrease of the prices of energy, water and building materials. This will also lead to a market drivenincreased interest in energy efficiency, energy renovations and re-useable materials, as the costscomparison between “business as usual” and “sustainable building design” will turn out to be in favor ofthe sustainable solutions in an increasing number of cases.And the building industry will make sure to follow this development very closely. Being able to provideup-to-date products and compliant solutions will be crucial for securing market shares and revenues.New types of partnerships and business models will arise due to changes in market condition. Resourcesbeing the new central value in a transaction, means a whole new way of thinking building materials.From life cycle models where the focus is on effective use of resources (such as turning waste in toresources and Take Back Management), to incentive models, where the focus is on effective use ofproducts (such as selling the use of a product as a service, while the ownership of the product, themaintenance obligations and the built-in resources remains on the hands of the manufacturer).Some manufacturers have already realised this and are currently testing various models, taking the riskof being “first movers”, but also harvesting the benefits of increased interest from scientists, businessdevelopers and idealistic building owners who are actually willing to take chances and push the limits forsustainable building design.
ProcessThe traditional process in a building project is simple and straight-forward, once the decision has beenmade: Planning, design, construction, operation and end-of life. By visualizing this process as a circularprocess, the importance of the resource-flow is underlined: When the building or a majority of thebuilding components have reached their technical life span, a new planning stage can commence inwhich it must be decided if and how the building should be demolished – or if it can be renovated.PlanningEnd-of-lifeDesignOperationalPhaseConstructionWhen building sustainably, there are certain important elements to consider in each of these stages.This section will list these aspects.
Planning stageWhen planning a sustainable building project, it is very important to allow for sufficient time in the earlystages of the process. All building owners want fast results once the decision has been made, but inorder to identify the most sustainable solutions in the long run, a number of possible solutions shouldbe explored and analyzed in terms of life cycle costs and environmental impact.POSSIBILITY [%]LARGE POTENTIALMINIMAL COSTCOST FOR DESIGN CHANGESPOSSIBILIY FOR DESIGN OPTIMIZATIONBASIC DESIGN DETAILED DESIGN CONSTRUCTIONTIMEThe largest potential for optimizing the solutions are in the very early stages of the design, where theknowledge in the project team is very little, but where the costs for implementing design changes isrelatively small. In this stage, a conceptual approach is essential for the quality of the planning. Anumber of different specific technical solutions should be evaluated in terms of functional requirements,life cycle costs and environmental impact, in order to identify the most suitable solution. This will givethe best possible basis for the design stages. An architectural competition is recommended in order toexpand the solution space, but the conceptual analysis can also be provided by one single qualified teamof building designers, if so wanted. Specific sustainability targets must be identified and explained toeveryone in the design team in order to support understanding and motivation.Design stageIn the design stages (basis design and detailed design), the results from the planning stage should beimplemented in the building design. It is recommended to appoint one single person (can be a memberof the design team) to keep track of the sustainability targets and measures throughout the designprocess. All measures and conclusions should be documented in a sustainability planning tool, in orderto keep a clear trail of decisions. If a target cannot be met, the reasons for this should also bedocumented. The needs and requirements of the building owner can change during the process, whichcan lead to a change of the scope of the project. In this case, the targets and measures might requireadjustments as well.
Construction stageThe contractor is an integrated part of the sustainability process, as the contractor is responsible fortransforming the targets and the design documents into a well-functioning and sustainable building. Thecontractor can be appointed in the design stage and take part of the detailed design and provideoptimized solutions. The contractor must be dedicated to the process of realising the sustainable targetsand minimizing the environmental impact of the construction site. In some cases, special education ofworkmen is necessary, especially when implementing new and innovative solutions. Documentation ofimportant parts of the construction process must be provided: Air-tightness, building productcertificates etc.When the building project is finalized, a formal handover to the building user should take place. Alltechnical systems should be tested in relation to energy consumption, indoor climate and functionalrequirements in a dedicated and well documented commissioning process. Operating staff should beeducated in the most efficient way to operate and maintain the technical systems. Non-technicalbuilding users should also receive information on how to use the systems and in particular on how todemonstrate a sustainable user behavior.Operational stageUser behavior has a significant impact on the energy efficiency of the building. It is thereforerecommended to continuously survey and display the water-and energy consumption and support userawareness through regular campaigns. Users come and go, and new users should also receiveeducation. Optimized cleaning and technical maintenance is also important to minimize malfunctionsand unnecessary energy consumption. Building components should be repaired or replaced whendamaged or broken in order to prolong the technical life span and to avoid an impression of neglect.End-of-lifeThe life time of a building varies from 20-30-50 and up to several hundred years for historical andcultural buildings. When a building has reached its technical life expectancy, it is recommended toconsider renovation and/or re-building it for other purposes. If this is not an option, the building shouldbe demolished in a controlled process, where building components are separated, sorted by type ofmaterial and reused to the highest possible degree. Some components can be reused directly in thesame function in other buildings, other components must be treated technically before they can reenterthe cycle. The proportion of building materials sent to landfill must always be minimized.
How to get startedCopenhagen would like to share knowledge. If you are interested in sustainable buildings in your hometown, the following institutions and private companies will be happy to share their experiences andprovide more information on technical solutions and the process:ContactsDepending of the nature of the topic you would like to know more about, you can contact.Copenhagen Cleantech ClusterWeb:Contact:firstname.lastname@example.orgCity of CopenhagenWeb:Contact:email@example.com