There is a massive green roof atop three state-of-the-art cruise ship terminals at the Copenhagen Malmö Port in Denmark. As part of a wider sustainable growth and development plan, Copenhagen is expanding the Nordhavn district and its allure to the cruise ship industry. With these new terminals, Copenhagen can now accommodate 500 cruise calls a year, whereas before it could only receive 340. These terminals are part of a waterfront reclamation project to turn Nordhavn into a mixed-use development that will house over 80,000 people. The 9,900 square-meter sedum roof is not the only thing green about this development; the entire pier is environmentally friendly. Docked ships can plug into the land power grid, eliminating the need to run auxiliary engines. The pier has a built-in wastewater management system which can carry the waste of three ships simultaneously. The south side of the terminal is equipped with PV panels, is filled with natural light from skylights above, and if additional heating or lighting is required, energy comes from a C02-neutral source.

Copenhagen is one of the leading cities in sustainable design and infrastructure. Inspired by what other cities were doing, Copenhagen began integrating green roofs into its urban development strategies, and in 2010 mandated that every new building have a green roof. Walking through the quaint streets of Copenhagen, one cannot help but notice the abundance of green roofs from cycling and bus stop shelters to corner grocery stores and covered car parks. The cruise ship terminal not only showcases Denmark’s design aesthetic, but its commitment to the environment.


Photos by Heather Shimmin


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