The Green Thread
Principles of Sustainability
At DISSING+WEITLING architecture we calculate healthy indoor climate, design ‘livable’ operational rooms and flexible layouts, make ethical material choices and incorporate natural light when creating new rooms for everyday life. In other words, sustainability considerations run like a ’green thread’ through our projects and we take a holistic approach to all design and consultancy we do.
We address sustainability from an environmental, a financial, a social and a technical perspective, and what we do is rooted in local conditions and pragmatic use of resources. This may include matters of how and to what extent construction materials and installations have an adverse impact on the environment – e.g. the energy consumption embedded in the materials. And when it makes sense to use climate-improved concrete, or when wood is the best solution.
Sense of place, culture, people
A lot of people call it integrated sustainability. We call it durability and quality. Sustainability reflects our agelong tradition for focussing on people’s needs, designing from the inside out, and entering into dialogue with users and collaborators and creating architecture that is in harmony with its surroundings. Our buildings and solutions must help strengthen the identity and quality of life of the existing community, because architecture shapes human behaviour, and this belief is always part of our basis for approaching sustainable design and architecture.
Our design methods and values enable us to implement our solutions in other parts of the world, including challenging environments and landscapes. This includes e.g. cycling and footbridges in Xiamen in China, the unique railway bridge Zweite Hinterrheinbrücke in Switzerland located on the historic Albula Line, the world’s longest pontoon bridge across Bjørnafjorden in Norway, art museums and educational institutions in Germany and many other projects.
We Provide Consultancy on Sustainability and DGNB
At an early stage of any work process, our sustainability managers identify the sustainable potentials of a project and counsel developers and other collaborators. We equally consider processes, materials and finances, and our consultancy may result in advice on certifications or procedures and tools.
Our knowledge on sustainability has been qualified and systematised through the international certification system DGNB (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen) in Denmark and our own ’quality handbook’ (based on the principles of ISO 9001:2015), which ensures that our consultancy and construction meet the latest environmental standards in all design and construction phases. In practice, DGNB is a point system enabling us to conduct an overall evaluation of a construction or an urban area’s sustainability score.
Our sustainability managers also facilitate workshops on sustainability. You can book one of our sustainability managers by contacting DGNB Auditor, Architect Gitte Sejr Sørensen or DGNB Consultant, Architect Jens Peter Kragh.
Green City Planning
In addition to buildings and renovation, DISSING+WEITLING architecture’s expertise also includes bridge design and mobility projects in Denmark and abroad. For several decades, the firm has contributed to the development of Copenhagen’s transformation towards a more livable, well connected and green capital. We have designed bridges such as Åbuen Bridge, Quay Bridge and the world-famous Bicycle Snake, and we have exported our expertise within urban planning and bridge design to other parts of the world, fx China.
The global climate is changing and demand clever solutions to manage rainwater, heat, hurricanes and other extreme weather conditions, and at the same time, a growing population create the need for innovative city planning. Hence, we see a tendency to move dense traffic out of the town centres and make squares safer and better suited for human traffic and everyday life. DISSING+WEITLING architecture is contributing to this development towards future-proof cities and wishes to promote well-designed public infrastructure that makes it safe, healthier, more fun and efficient for many people to move about.
The Bicycle Snake – Urban Boost and Added Value
The Bicycle Snake in Copenhagen has become a world famous example of our work. As a clever site-specific solution to a particular site-specific problem, The Bicycle Snake is an urban element that helps tie the city better together for its many bicyclists. It has become a public success and an icon for Copenhagen’s status as one of the best biking cities in the world. It cements Copenhagen's high standard of infrastructure and encapsulate the democratic ambitions and human-oriented approach of the welfare state.
Read more about The Bicycle Snake – Urban Boost and Added Value
Social Sustainability in Social Housing
The Future of Sustainable Social Housing (FBAB) in Seest consists of a cluster of award-winning family homes focussing on social sustainability and community. The homes and landscape interact and create a new environment that provide optimal opportunity for creating new thriving communities. These houses are an example of how we address social and resource-based sustainability in all parts of the process – from concept to the choice of materials. At the same time, the wooden buildings reflect a ‘fundamental flexibility’, also called design for disassembly, which in short is about improving the opportunities for subsequent eco-friendly disposal and reutilisation of the houses in a large life cycle perspective.
Read more about The Future of Sustainable Social Housing
Environmentally Certified Social Housing in Risskov
Kulkransporet in Aarhus is an example within social sustainability
Orbicon’s domicile was designed using sustainable solutions and based on a wish to increase the cross-disciplinary collaboration of the company and strengthen its culture and job satisfaction. The building achieved a gold DGNB certification, has been equipped with solar panels on the roof and a district cooling system, reducing the energy consumption, and the surrounding area has been climate-adapted through a green LAR solution, which means that it can process local rainwater. The wood used for the domicile is FSC-certified, and all materials were chosen on the basis of life cycle analyses.
Read more about A Sustainable Domicile for the Engineers
ECCO Hotel and Conference Centre is classified as a PlusEnergy building, as it is not only self-sufficient with energy, it also produces enough energy to contribute to the consumption of the original conference centre adjacent to the new building.
ECCO Hotel and Conference Centre uses geothermal heating/cooling system and solar energy, and the circular shape of the floorplan itself makes for the best utilisation of the available space with short distances within the building and minimum heat loss.
At the same time, all architectural details of the ECCO building stress the company’s fundamental values – sustainability, globality and craftsmanship – and the construction thus incorporates ECCO’s brand and offers users a sensory experience of the company’s values.
Read more about PlusEnergi Building for ECCO
Gold-Certified Pioneering Transformation
DISSING+WEITLING architecture’s portfolio of sustainable domiciles also includes COWI’s headquarters.
After its 2014 transformation, COWI’s headquaters was so sustainable that it – as one of the first ever – achieved a DGNB gold certification for existing buildings. COWI, which also offers consultancy on sustainability, focussed on getting a building with first-class indoor climate, lighting, acoustics and temperature – and thus being able to offer its staff an optimal working environment and indoor climate. In 2018 the building was nominated for the Renovate Award.
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Award-Winning Green Masterplan for New Residential Area
Together with MOVE Architecture, DISSING+WEITLING architecture is responsible for the award-winning masterplan for Degnejorden in the centre of Lejre. Our DGNB auditor helps ensure that the requirements of Realdania’s sustainability scheme are met, as prescribed in the competition material.
Central to the new residential area is a green connection, which meanders from east to west, connecting groups of housing clusters of varying sizes. It interconnects all infrastructure in the area and offers meeting places such as a communal kitchen, laundry and community house. The ground has been prepared for a modern, socially sustainable village community within close range of the bustling city.
Read more about Award-Winning Green Masterplan for New Residential Area in Lejre