Posts Tagged ‘Green building’

What do you know about energy saving design?

Recently I was researching about energy saving desing projects and it seems like those projects become more and more popular in Europe. One of the reasons to do energy saving renovation and design is to make building more self-efficient, and in some cases even make building to produce energy insetad of using it. In Copenhagen energy saving renovation is on the top of the list of Climate Plan 2025, the strategic document for city development. The main goal of the Climate Plan is to reach zero level of CO2 emissions by to 2025, so Copenhagen can be the first CO2 neutral capital in the world. Construction industry and building maintenance have a big impact on the environment and results in large amount of CO2 emissions. That is why energy renovation and design play a crusial role in sustainable development. To clearify a bit more about different factors in energy saving design I will talk about 3 realised projects that show different approaches to how to build and renovate for better environment.
Project 1 Upcycled Family House, built in 2013
by Lendager Architectslocation: Nyborg, Denmark
upcycle house_1 upcycle house_2 upcycle house_3 upcycle house_4

(Illustrations: Lendager Arkitekter)
The main focus in house design is to use recycled and upcycled building materials, ranging from old shipping containers, recycled wood and gypsum sheets, paper from recovered newpapers, aluminium facade plates made from cans, used car tires etc. By using recycled materials we can reduce the potential environmental impact up til 25 percent compare to a house built with commonly used materials. This approach shows quite clear that recycled materials can be durable and environmental friendly, and with a good design also reduce the construction costs. However not all of the solutions used in this house design are possible to use somewhere else due to availability of materials.

Project 2 Lichtaktiv Haus, rebuild as a Model Home 2020
by Ostermann Architecten
Location: Hamburg, Germany
lichtaktiv haus_1 lichtaktiv haus_4 lichtaktiv haus_5 lichtaktiv haus_6
Energy saving approach converted this typical one-family house into a CO2 neutral house. The house uses solar energy with PV and solar thermal collectors, natural ventilation and passiv solar warming with help of a large amount of glass, that also gives plenty of daylight. Energy comes also from heat-pumps, and in total gives 16 kWh/m2/year, that fullfills the standards of livability for 2020. The house was built as an experimental model and its development and construction was supported by range of companies, like Velux, Sonnekraft, HL Teknik etc. Lichtaktiv Haus shows how smart design together with sources of renewable energy enable a holistic approach in energy saving renovation.

Project 3  “Green Towers” Deutsche Bank Headquarters, renovated 2011
by Mario Bellini ArchitectsLocation: Frankfurt am Main, Germany

db office_2 db office_3 db office_4 db office_5db office_6
(Illustrations: Mario Bellini Architects)
A pair of reflective glass towers is the most recognizable symbol of the bank in Germany. The building was build in the 80’s and undergone complete renovation in 2011. Energy modernisation included change of facade materials, heating, water and lighting systems. The facades have been reglazed with opening windows that turn it into a climate facade. The windows opening parallel to the façade are equipped with motorized scissor hinges – making it possible to have natural ventilation. That is how the towers perform now: 67 % less energy used for heating and cooling, 55% less electricity consumption, 74% saving in annual water use, 89% less CO2 emissions (that by the way corresponds to the amount of CO2 emissions of 6 000 cars each driving 12 000km) and 98% of used materials are recyclable.
As you can see there are different approaches in energy saving design, but there are two main goals behind this: to reduce carbon footprint (that is good for the environmental, ressource consumption and people health in general) and to pay less for heating, electricity, warming, cooling etc. (that not only saves our money, but also gives us a good reason to change our behavior).


Building Green Expo

January 12, 2012 2 comments

In October 2011 I have visited exhibition Building Green in Copenhagen.

First of all I have to say that I was disappointed to see so few participants, because I expected much more! And despite that fact that organisers were more than satisfied by amount of stands, I did expect exhibition in more global scale, especially after all that we hear about sustainable building strategies from any kind of Danish media. But I am not undermining the content of exhibition products and technologies. My perplexity was just a reaction to how to find a balance between all talks about sustainability in building sector, and a quite moderate followers of the ideas at the real scale.

So here we go, a short review of green building materials and technologies in Denmark that were presented notably at the exhibition.

Alternative Energy category

Solar panels and  PV systems were presented by Solia, SolarWatt (German manufacturer of photovoltaic modules and systems), Sunit, Latitude Solar (Northern Sweden manufacturer of solar panels), Dansk Solenergi, Clima Care, and Bluetop.

Earth warming technologies were presented by Energy Innovation (heating pumps), IVT Naturvarme (environmental friendly heating pumps), Ren Varme (earth heating systems combine with solar panels).

Cleaning Tech category

Energywise has presented a clean-tech solutions based on solar energy.

Micro Clean has shown a chemical free clean technology to remove mold (that is very urgent now for Denmark, because rainfall has increased).

Anticalc water cleaning solution was presented by AM Tech, and it is a very actual in Denmark because of pipe water here full of calc.

Green Materials category

H+H Danmark has presented thermoblock, a construction material made from aerated concrete with integrated isolation Kooltherm. This material has low energy qualities and can be used in passive house buildings.

Ivarsson has presented a fiber cement that is a light but strong construction  material.

In addition to hard construction materials I add Xella company that has presented a sustainable building block Ytong Energy + (Cradle to Cradle certified), which row materials are in cradle-to-cradle life circle.

Thors-Design presented furniture made from 50 years  old wooden wharfs of disused ferry berths.

Centrum Paele has shown their solution about sustainable piles both in production and installation.

Oras and Mora Armature has presented a high quality, user-friendly plumbing fixtures that save water and energy.

Green walls and roofs were presented by Company GrowTek, company that produce and develop green roof and green walls systems based on grow medium Fytocell. You can see on pictures that their solutions can be implemented both vertically and horizontally.

Sustainable and environment friendly isolation was presented by Tacodan,  Foamglass, Dansk Traefiberisolaring (FSC certified), CBI Danmark  (isolation material based on cellulose), Kingspan Insulation, Pirco, Isoleringsuld (also cellulose based isolation), and Isodan. In the same row stands Isopaint that presented a special roof paint that reflect sun and therefore cut temperature on the roof and cool down the building. Ecological paint was presented by Vovlox, a clay based paint that has an immobilizing effect of harmful substances.

Ardex has presented a range of fills, water proofing and colored concrete floors; by the way all their products are made with concern to  use less nature resources, reduce pollution and use of recycled material.

Strope roofs were presented from Oelleboelle -Taek, those roof are made from local natural material.

Steko System has presented a self-supporting structure made from wooden blocks.

Green (Energy Saving) Technologies category

I want to note that some companies introduced an integrated approach to improve the energy performance of buildings, for example HEF has shown systems+technologies+methods: they have presented windmill installations, intelligent counting systems, heating pumps, earth heating systems, solar panels etc.

Other companies with integrated energy-saving solutions: Comfort Electronics, Smarthome Company, Carlo Gavazzi (smart-house system), Bayer Material Science (isolation plates, window frames, refrigerators, district heating pipes etc.), Max Weishaupt (different solutions of heating systems, condensation of wet spaces etc.), Megatherm Energy (cooling and heating solution, conditioning etc.), Thermex (knowhow in indoor climate solutions), Sand Energy (passive house construction), and Zone Controls (green building solutions from Sweden).

Precision Teknik has presented instruments and equipment to measure buildings abilities such an isolation, moisture level, drafts, leaks etc.

In connection to rain and waste water collection there were presented downpipes systems from Proline.

There was also presented a special non water systems for public bathrooms at hotels, airports and industrial buildings  from Uridan.

Special energy-saving light systems with motion detectors were presented by Esylux (German manufacturer)

Ultra low energy windows were presented by Scandia Windows and Skjern Vinduer. Horn Windows presented a new type of window, that use sun warmth to make better isolation inside the building, and Bruxsafol has shown window films, that have solar protection able to save up to 30% on energy costs. In the same line stands Illumino, a Danish manufacturer of a special glass with integrated isolation.

With regards to the floor materials there were ecological tiles from Schluter Systems, that helps to save energy; tiles from Evers with high-tech qualities (CE marked and LEED certified); and tiles from Royal Mosa (Cradle to Cradle Silver certified).

Building Green Strategy category

Sustainable Projects and strategies were presented by Ramboll. For example the was a project of innovation town in Skolkovo (Russia) with focus on the holistic sustainable approach. Project will be developed according to the Green Code, and will focus on Smart Grid of the entire place.

Danfoss has presented an optimizing management of  building process, where involved people become a crucial factor.

Copenhagen Municipality has shown different cases of green renovation and implementation of green elements (green roofs, rain water collecting system etc.).

Sustainable Innovation Network were offered by InnoByg.

Better renovation strategies, tools and methods aiming to make renovation process more effective,  safe and successful were presented by RENOVER.  The target groups are architects, engineers, build owners, craftsmen etc.

There was also a very lively and filled with knowledge 2 days conference during the expo. Some interesting subjects:
Plus Energy Houses, Energy optimisation in the construction, Sustainable Certification, Green Innovation in Architecture etc.

Thank to organisers for the exhibition – a professional platform filled with communication, experience and knowledge!