Green Lighthouse is Denmark’s first carbon-neutral public building and an example of a successful public-private partnership.
Two years after Green Lighthouse at the University of Copenhagen opened the doors of Denmark’s first carbon-neutral public building as an example of a successful public-private partnership, it has now also become the first building in the country to be certified as a sustainable building. Green Lighthouse has been given a LEED Gold rating.
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification is an American system for assessing a building’s sustainability. It comprises five categories that define and evaluate a building’s sustainability − site and location, water efficiency, energy consumption and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor climate. Green Lighthouse has earned 68 points, which gives it a Gold rating. The next step is certification by the new Danish certification system for sustainable office buildings, DGNB Denmark.
“With Green Lighthouse becoming Denmark’s first certified sustainable building, an important signal has been sent that innovative partnerships between public institutions and private companies can create unique results in the environmental field. The Gold rating also increases the understanding of and interest in sustainable certification in the construction industry, which is important as buildings in Europe account for 40% of all CO2 emissions – so there is enormous potential for improvement,” says Climate, Energy and Building Minister Martin Lidegaard (R).
The VELUX Group is one of the partners behind Green Lighthouse along with representatives of the Property Agency under the aegis of the Ministry of Climate, Energy and Building, the University of Copenhagen, VELFAC, CCO, COWI and the Municipality of Copenhagen.
The partners took into account possible LEED certification right from the design phase of Green Lighthouse; at that time, no Danish certification system for sustainable office buildings existed. Green Lighthouse was built as a demo building in connection with the UN Climate Conference, COP15, held in Copenhagen in 2009, with a sharp focus on energy consumption and renewable energy. The partnership was also very keen to monitor the building’s actual energy consumption in order to optimise its operation.
Inspiration for Danish certification
Green Lighthouse, which has attracted great attention since the first sod was turned, is one of the measures taken to achieve the University of Copenhagen’s objective of becoming one of the greenest campuses in Europe. In addition, the process initiated with LEED certification has helped trigger a dialogue about a broader and more holistic Danish sustainability certification system.