It's never too early to start learning about sustainable living, as evidenced by this incredible Sunhouse nursery designed by Christensen and Co. Architects in Denmark. The beautiful daylit building is one of the world's biggest nurseries, and it combines sustainable architecture and clean energy technology to create a healthy learning environment for kids.
The 4,200 square foot building utilizes “active house” principles to produce energy while creating a healthy interior climate for its occupants. The compact triangle design optimizes sun intake through a set of Velux roof windows and two extensive banks of windows on the project’s southeastern and southwestern sides. This extensive array of windows allows the nursery to capture 3 times more sunlight than a regular building.
The nursery’s roof consists of a series of slanted plates that alternate between solar panels and sedum flowers. The panels capture to heat and cool the building throughout various climates, and they feed back excess energy to the local grid. The project’s slanted design and high-performance insulation provide thermal mass while enabling natural ventilation, letting the building essentially “breathe” fresh air on its own.
The triangle’s interior can house nearly 100 rambunctious children, with clean and simple open space and plenty of natural sunlight. Low-energy light fixtures and modern soundproofing wall boards are perfect for a dimly lit afternoon nap.
Outdoors, the Sunhouse boasts a wooden jungle gym and various gardens to represent the different landscapes of Denmark. A tiny wooded area represents the forests, while a sandy plot is reminiscent of the coastline. Here, children can learn about the environment and even grow their own plants in the green house.
Though a relatively young firm, <a href="“>Christensen and Co. are experts at developing sustainable solutions and green architecture. They already design to meet the future Danish 2020 building regulations (which call for a 75% reduction in CO2 emissions), and they even signed the UN Global Compact in 2010, which puts environmental precautions and responsibility at the forefront of architectural priorities. We look forward to seeing what they have in store next.