Energy renovation of public buildings results in major CO2 savings

City of Aarhus

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Arhus is Denmark’s 2nd largest city and the  financial centre of the Central Denmark Region. The city has a catchment area of 1.2 million people within a one-hour travel range and is well connected to Copenhagen and Hamburg.

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The City of Aarhus invests around 50 million USD in achieving CO2 reductions of 30% in its buildings by energy-renovating a total of approx. 1.3 million m2. And it’s even good business.

Buildings are responsible for 40% of the overall Danish energy consumption. Furthermore, one third of the overall waste generated in the country stems from the building sector. That is why buildings are a key to a more sustainable use of resources.

Apart from supporting an increased reuse of building materials and circular economy projects in general, the Municipality of Aarhus also initiated several projects in order to increase the energy-efficiency of its own buildings:

All municipal buildings have been analysed and renovated in the context of the project energy renovation program Aa+ from 2013 to 2019. The improvements made have led to energy savings of 18% and have plenty of positive side effects, such as an improved indoor climate.

In order to make sure the renovated buildings keep up their high standards and no energy is wasted, another project, energy management, has been initiated in 2018. Its focus lies on collecting data from the single buildings, providing precise insights which will lead to a further decrease in energy consumption by more than 5% by 2021.

The data collected will be available for local schools to use in classes in order to provide students with practical insights into energy saving and implicated knowledge on climate change.

Aarhus Municipality hopes to inspire other major institutions do to the same in order to save energy. Therefore, a network called “Energispring” has been established. Its members own about 2 mio. m2 of building stock in the city and regularly share their knowledge on energy-efficiency in relation to their operations.


  • The municipal building stock screened and renovated during the project sums up to 1,3 million m2
  • Aarhus municipality’s energy consumption decreased significantly during the last years, cutting associated CO2-emissions by 24%
  • all investments into the projects will be earned back within 15 years and provide financial surplus afterwards

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City of Aarhus
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Karen Margrethe Høj Madsen


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