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Green Lighthouse, Copenhagen, Denmark 
Thursday 30 Oct 2008
 
Green ‘beacon’ breaks ground 
 
 
 
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09/12/09 Campbell Hughes, Gerrards cross UK
The Green Lighthouse is very impressive and shows just what can be done in terms of the carbon neutral construction of new buildings. However I feel that only a few such buildings will ever be built in each country, and as a result will have very little impact on any countries' reduction of CO2. The problem in the UK, and I suspect in many more densely populated areas, is simply lack of space to build, and the need to drastically improve the buildings that we already have. The efforts being made at the moment, particularly in the Uk, are frankly pathetic. I would have been much more impressed if the 37million Kroner had been spent on a scheme to equip every south-facing roof in the city with solar pv panels, or something similar. In the UK we have literally millions of houses that have little or no insulation, and sadly no country can afford to tear down its entire housing stock to rebuild new energy-efficient homes. Whilst the Green Lighthouse is a very impressive achievement, we have to remember that it is, in global terms, a very small, though potentially useful, first step.
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Editorial

Copenhagen’s CO2 neutral university building will be used to encourage ‘green’ thinking ahead of climate conference 

Christensen & Co Arkitekter A/S won an invited competition to design facilities for the Faculty of Science at the University of Copenhagen with their proposal - the ‘Green Lighthouse’. Ahead of the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in the city, the building, which broke ground yesterday, is being commended as a ‘beacon’ of sustainability by the Lord Mayor of Copenhagen.

Dubbed the 'sundial' due to its cylindrical shape and adjustable façade louvres which allow light to twist around the building following the sun, the structural design is used to reduce CO2 emissions. Copenhagen X, an organisation created to encourage architectural awareness in Denmark, explain how the design is championing the way for sustainability in Copenhagen: “The Green Lighthouse is in a class of its own when it comes to commercial buildings which can call themselves CO2 neutral. The proportion between windows and facade has been carefully calculated to assure that the building will not consume more energy for heating than strictly necessary.

"The varying intensity of the sun is incorporated into the building's energy system; in summertime excess solar energy is collected in an underground store to use later when the power of the sun is at its weakest. Fresh air is drawn in through motorised windows and ventilated through the skylights to create a pleasant indoor climate, while adjustable louvers in the window sections automatically move up and down with the passage of the sun around the facade.”

Providing 950 sq m of space on three levels, the Green Lighthouse, (green both physically and figuratively), will house a student advisory, administration of the university and a faculty club. Copenhagen X say that “To put it bluntly: Copenhagen is not really dotted with prominent examples of sustainable architecture”, but it is hoped that the structure, which will emit lower CO2 emissions than it is forecast buildings will be restricted to by 2020, will help to bolster the city’s sustainability credentials ahead of the conference which is being held from 30 November next year.

Niki May Young
News Editor

Key Facts

Status Onsite
Value 0(m€)
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Christensen & Co Architects
www.cco.as

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