Sustainability, Climate & Energy
ARK+ is probably Denmark's most sustainable architectural firm. The Architect-studio uses almost no heat, gets its power from solar cells and all installations are energy class A++ We dwell in a passive house of our own design with heat recovery, rainwater collection, natural lowcarb. materials and passive use of daylight and winter solar heating. We try to be as climate neutral as possible, so that the climate footprint and economy is just a sensible part of elegant design and functional solutions.
11 things to consider in sustainable construction
What will the building become in the long term?
Wind, Solar energy / Passive solar heating?
Natural materials? environmentally friendly? recycled?
rainwater: rain beds, rain tank, permeable pavements?
Trees or part of building that is worth preserving?
Roof: solarcells slope, rainwater, green roof?
Foundation: without concrete? Point/Screw foundation?
Overhang: solar heating, shielding, maintenance, durability?
Electric-car charging, solar battery, self-sufficiency?
Can the architect help in the process of finding answers?
energy consumption and sustainability
Low energy, Zero energy, Plus energy, Passive house, Active house.
Today, everyone agrees that energy-efficient solutions are a fantastic idea. Regardless of whether you call it Low Energy, Zero Energy, Passive House or Active House. There are probably technical differences, but basically it just makes good sense to design your new building so that it uses as little energy as possible. Put some green solutions and renewable energy on top, and we might get the most sustainable and climate-friendly building in town.
If the design is done right, it will result in less waste of resources, a lower co2 emission, cheaper utility bills and a higher resale value, and that counts every year throughout the life of the building.
The idea of a zero-energi- or Passive house is via effective & passive solutions to create an energy consumption that is so close to zero, so that heating can be done through a smaller and cheaper heating system. (more care when establishing = Better & cheaper in the long term)
Plusenergi & Aktivhouses are buildings that produce more energy than they use over a year. It will also typically mean adding more active control, installations that both control the indoor climate, energy production and light and sun shading.
All houses built in Denmark today are low-energy buildings, as the requirements have been tightened considerably in recent years. It may therefore make good sense to invest the bit extra required for it to function as a passive house, which in Germany and Austria for many years has been the foremost in sustainability. The concept has gradually spread to the entire western world, and is experiencing greater and greater support. A possibly certification according to the passive house standard is of course voluntary.
Personally, I have a passive house that is not certified, and has a heat consumption of approx. DK 300,- per month Our electricity consumption is approx. 3300kw/h annually and supplied by solar cells on the roof.
solceller og hus-batteri
Et af de første passivhuse i DK
Sustainability in materials
Nature's little works of art
Materials in construction and their CO2 emissions will be one of the biggest topics in construction in the coming years. All building materials must be documented with emissions per m2 and as advisers, we can see that completely new ways must be thought of to meet the CO2 requirements that were set for new buildings in E.U. from the turn of the year.
Natural materials that do not require too much processing and surface treatment have an advantage here. They often also last better and have a naturally varied surface that patinas nicely and does not look worn and dirty so easily.
Many natural materials such as wood and natural stone are in themselves small works of art with there own unique patterns.
Wood also has the advantage that, in addition to being a nice and warm material, it can also store co2 and thus bind and delay the CO2 emissions more than 100 years.
We must take all these things into account in the assessments when the puzzle is to be put together and ultimately also in the LCA calculations that must be made.
These calculations are also necessary documentation for the authorities and must be carried out with care anyway, so why not use them to get the most optimal solution, which is both functional, beautiful and green in the elegant way.
Tilbygning på stejl grund i Århus. Hus & terrasse i flere niveauer, tæt på nabo. Evt. dispensations krav, tinglysninger?
lca-Analysis of materials & options
Authority requirements & Visualized decision basis
From 1 Jan. In 2023, all projects in EU. must be examined and a sustainability analysis must be made, a so-called LCA calculation (Life Cycle Analysis). In 2023, only buildings over 1000 m2 must meet the strict requirements, but over time all new buildings are expected to have approx. the same requirement of co2 load. in ARK+ we have the skills to carry out LCA calculations, and on this basis the necessary documentation for the authorities can be prepared. We can also make Visualizations of different sustainability profiles for construction, thus clarifying which solutions and materials have the least impact. This decision basis can then be passed on to entrepenøre and craftsmen, so that you can investigate what can be done and approx. what price, so that a qualified decision can be made.
sustainability through optimization
Optimizing dreams, needs & opportunities
To utilize resources optimally
Optimally utilized resources (Many m2 = high consumption)
It has become a sport for me to see how I can utilize m2, materials and room height in the best way, so even small rooms seem light & airy, and the kitchen and bath look like a million despite limited resources. Sometimes it takes hard work and several hours before it succeeds. But it's in my DNA, and I can hardly help it.
In ARK+, the goal is to achieve an optimal use of the resources we have available, because it is common sense, both for ourselves, for the planet and for those who come after us. Both through flexible functional spaces, durable materials and well-thought-out, proven, energy-efficient solutions, but also by occasionally seeing opportunities and "gold" in an overlooked material, or in the small details that complete the picture.
Recycling & Cradle to cradle
We change - and our view of the world
The most sustainable we can do, is to recycle what we already have. Additionally, creating something that has a functional flexibility so that it can be used in many different ways, and that has obvious qualities so that we want to keep it for generations... ARK+ works with circular materials and recycling. "Cradle to cradle" is also possible in construction, and often this is the kind of innovation that is needed for both the budget and Co2 recuirements to ad up.
Sometimes something new has to be created. - So that it can be innovative, far-sighted and better than usual standard! - It is naive to think that we will not build new, but when we do, let us think extra carefully so that it will be worth preserving and looking after...
I have created a different but elegant church in an old slaughterhouse. I have made additions and total renovations, which changed buildings into completely new purposes and gave new opportunities in everyday life. Sometimes all it takes is a few m2 and a little extra thought to create just the right transformation and new functional options.
Sustainability is also about thoughtfully creating buildings that are prepared for expansion or changes, that fit into the architecture.
Tilbygning på 90er villa omskaber huset og giver ekstra gode rum både inde og på terrassen
Landscape, biodiversity and sustainability
At preserving nature is sustainability
A large tree takes 1-200 years to grow up, becoming beautiful and absorbs a large amount of Co2 along the way. ARK+ sees opportunities in preserving existing trees and shrubs and thinking them into a possible new design. - Let's think together in the long term to protect nature and preserve biodiversity wherever it makes sense, so we can pass on a richer world to the next generation.