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Touring the energy-efficient buildings of the World Capital of Architecture

In commemoration of Copenhagen's title as the World Capital of Architecture 2023, State of Green and Creative Denmark organised a delegation trip, welcoming stakeholders from the US and Canada to discover the energy-efficient buildings and sustainable architectural landscape of the Danish capital.

Buildings account for about 40% of global energy consumption, highlighting the critical need for energy-efficient solutions in existing and future structures. Enhancing the energy efficiency and performance of buildings can act as a secret weapon in expediting a just, green transition while combatting energy poverty.

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Explore Denmark’s journey to decarbonise and energy optimise its buildings

Explore Denmark’s road to accelerate energy efficiency in its building stock through ambitious goals, public-private partnerships and innovative solutions.

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Denmark has long been considered a leader in combining and integrating functionality, recreational value, and sustainability in its buildings. With a long history and one of the most comprehensive regulatory frameworks ensuring energy efficiency in buildings, Denmark is well underway on its journey to decarbonise its building stock through energy-efficient solutions and sustainable architecture.

To showcase this, State of Green and its partners have initiated a series of proactive activities in 2023 to forge new partnerships and advocate green solutions for the building sector. North America is a natural market for this effort, with a growing progressive approach symbolised by implementing building codes and promoting energy efficiency across its states and cities.

Uniting these green ambitions, State of Green and Creative Denmark organised a delegation visit to explore Copenhagen’s sustainable architecture and energy-efficient buildings. This tour was a collaborative effort with The Consulate General of Denmark in New York, following up on a spring event in New York City, focusing on closing the gap between LL97, building sustainability and aesthetics in the US.

Also read: Decarbonising the buildings of New York through partnerships and knowledge exchange

Exploring the sustainable architecture of Copenhagen

In celebration of Copenhagen’s designation as the World Capital of Architecture for 2023 by UNESCO, State of Green and Creative Denmark invited a hand-picked delegation group consisting of 16 professionals, experts and decision-makers from the US and Canadian built environment to Copenhagen. Embarking on a 3-day long delegation trip, the group visited Copenhagen to discover sustainable urban planning and the many energy-efficient solutions which the Danish capital holds.

The tour started with an opening session at the House of Green, where the participants were welcomed with an introduction to Denmark’s green transition alongside insights from the Danish Energy Agency. After a guided tour to discover some of the energy-efficient measures in the House of Industries, the group continued with a visit to Living Places by VELUX, an experimental living environment with seven building prototypes designed for disassembly, reuse, and recycling of materials, holding the lowest CO₂ emissions in Denmark. The day finished off with a trip to the Carlsberg city district, a new area in Copenhagen, built and developed around the old brewery site of Carlsberg, ending with a visit to the headquarters of Henning Larsen Architects.

Day two started with a morning session in the House of Creative Denmark, with presentations from BLOXHUB and the City of Copenhagen, focusing on the Danish capital’s urban development and the city’s climate adaptation plans. The afternoon session brought the delegation to Nordhavn, a redeveloped area emphasizing livability, sustainability, and smart city solutions. Here, visits to architectural firms BIG and COBE, along with a guided tour of retrofitted buildings by Ramboll, highlighted the district’s transformation.

The final day began with a visit to Fælledby – a new hybrid neighbourhood, developed by PensionDanmark and Henning Larsen Architects, seeking to balance city and nature on the island of Amager. This was followed up by a visit to the Resource Rows, a housing project by Lendager Architects consisting of 92 flats built using upcycled and reused bricks from a demolished Carlsberg brewery. Lastly, the delegation returned to where it all started, with a company pitch session at House of Green, with presentations from Danish solution providers SHL Architects, Energy Machines and Danfoss.

“It was a pleasure to meet this devoted and dedicated group and feel their enthusiasm for the green building agenda. I hope that the visits and insights provided on this delegation trip can act as a source of inspiration, proving that sustainable, energy-efficient buildings are achievable without compromising aesthetics and quality of life.” Gry Klimose Holm, Senior Project Manager, State of Green

This delegation visit was organised in collaboration with:

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