Sustainable Buildings are leading Copenhagen to Green city

Solee Im, 09.03.2020

Copenhagen has taken an active leap forward in making an eco-friendly city, with its goal of CO2 neutrality in 2025. This sustainable buildings will not only help save energy at a moment, but also affect the energy consumption habits of those using the building, helping to save energy continuously.

Sustainable building means the practice of creating structures and using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building’s life-cycle from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation and deconstruction.

There are already a lot of sustainable buildings in Copenhagen like UNcity, 8house and Copenhill.

8 house is a sustainable building, which have the structures and systems supporting environmental activities and was designed to aim for the green life.

“The building tries to have different groups that do different activities, such as a yard-renewal group I have been a part of. I have also held a workshop about balcony gardening that around 15 other residents attended, and group of people seem to benefit from this and enjoy the space to work in,” said Molly Mullane, a garden designer who lives in 8 house.

The yard, large balconies and the rooftop covering with the grass give plenty of opportunity for growing plants and having a green outdoor space.

“It’s amazing to have such a large growing space in the city advantage of it”,

She also said that the closeness to nature is also the other main attraction for her. The residents can access the city quickly by metro also having access to Kalvebød Fælled and Amager Naturcenter.

The efforts of the citizens not only the of the municipal and the more preference to the sustainable building would make it faster to make the Copenhagen greener.

The household consumed 316,708,518 GJ of energy in 2018 which account for 31 percent of the total energy consumption. The energy used by buildings including households and commercial building affects 40 percent of CO2 emissions in Denmark.

For reducing the amount of CO2 emissions occurred by buildings. Copenhagen decided to support DKK 73 million for sustainable construction. Copenhagen is making aggressive investments in sustainable construction to make Copenhagen greener city.

At this moment, before starting a big-budget project, it is needed to consider from an economic point of view whether it is reasonable to invest in sustainable construction.

It is easy to think that constructing the buildings in the environmental ways is more expensive than common constructing ways and it also cost to install and operate the energy-efficient utensils like solar panel.

However, DK-GBC, Green Building Council in Denmark, said they support holistic approach to sustainability. That is, taking into account both environmental, economical and social issues.

“It does not cost extra to build sustainable buildings. We evaluate the total costs, which means that if the building is too expensive, it cannot get approved for certification”, said Thomas Fænø Mondrup, technical consultant at DK-GBC.

And they evaluate lifecycle costs which means costs for a lifecycles span of 50 years is calculated not only construction costs but also operation and maintenance costs.

“So we need to see the economics and costs in a larger lifecycle perspective-meaning that it sometimes can be more sustainable to pay extra for better materials, if the las longer and does not require much maintenance.”

This story is written for an audience in South Korea and could be published on