The Danish are known for their trendsetting fashion and wind energy industries, and they soon may be just as famous for their sustainable and carbon neutral buildings. Just last week the University of Copenhagen and Christensen & Co Arkitekter A/S, broke ground on a stunning new Faculty of Science building, dubbed the Green Lighthouse. This carbon-neutral building makes excellent use of natural light and will feature solar panels, LED lighting, and scores of other sustainable strategies.
Christensen & Co won the competition last year to design the new energy saving facility because their “Green Lighthouse combines aesthetic with sustainability and a good indoor environment for the students.” The structure will hold administrative offices, meeting rooms, and student services and associations.
The building has also been dubbed the ‘Sundial’ due to its cylindrical shape and adjustable façade louvers. The passive solar design and louvers will allow for maximum absorption of sunlight throughout the day, which will be used to heat the building. In the summertime, when less heat is needed, excess energy will be collected in underground storage and released later in the day. Natural ventilation by means of skylights and windows will keep the building at a pleasant climate. Additionally, solar panels will be installed on the slanted roof to generate electricity for the building, while all the lighting will come from LEDs.
Christensen & Co partnered with the City of Copenhagen and VELUX, a manufacturer of skylights, in order to design the forward-thinking University facility. The Green Lighthouse boasts ample daylighting, generous space, and transparent materials, all meant to provide a holistic and healthy indoor environment. Based upon energy modeling, the 950 sq meter (10,225 sq ft) building will use 22 kWh/sq m annually, which is 80% less than other buildings of similar size.
The building should be completed sometime next summer, just in time for the United Nations Climate Change Conference, which will be held in Copenhagen next fall. City officials and environmental organizations are proud and excited for this building and hope that it is a model of energy efficient and low carbon design. The Lord Mayor of Copenhagen is comending the building as a ‘beacon’ of sustainability.