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Movement

An open laboratory for the 17 UN Global Goals

UN17 Village is the first building in the world that through an innovative method addresses and incorporates the 17 UN Global Goals in one complete solution. This approach to future construction challenges status quo in a holistic project that meets the highest standards within social, environmental and economic sustainability.

Method

All 17 UN Global Goals in one method

Complex issues call for complex solutions. And creating sustainable cities that respect people, the planet and the economy – while at the same time working on a foundation of multiple certifications that ensure that construction lives up to the highest standards – has proven to be an extremely complex process.

Village

"It takes a village"

Once completed, UN17 Village will stand tall as an important landmark for Ørestad in Copenhagen as well as for NREP’s ambitions and visions within environmental, social and economic sustainability.

UN17 Courtyard B C E
UN17 Corner B A
UN17 Elevation C D

Movement

UN17 Village is the first building in the world that through an innovative method addresses and incorporates the 17 UN Global Goals in one complete solution. This approach to future construction challenges status quo in a holistic project that meets the highest standards within social, environmental and economic sustainability. We have thus laid the foundation for an open laboratory to create and disseminate sustainable building solutions of the future based on the UN Global Goals. Our ambition is for UN17 Village to be the dawn of a more sustainable approach in the built environment and the lives people lead within it. A dawn that NREP is proud to be at the forefront of – in the hopes that stakeholders across the construction industry will follow suit and get involved in close and innovative collaborations. We believe in the power of community. It’s why we have called it UN17 Village!

Partners

  • Lendager Architect

    Lendager specialises in spreading the circular economy in the sustainable cities, buildings and organisations of the future. Lendager Group’s interdisciplinary foundation and particular approach to its work provides the space to identify sustainable potentials and concrete solutions to the challenges posed by each individual activity.

  • Sweco Architects Architect

    Sweco Architects is rooted in the tradition of Scandinavian architecture and works in the interplay between light, context, functionality and aesthetics. A knowledge of people’s wishes, dreams and needs that can be translated into a framework for life and communities.

  • MOE Engineer

    MOE is one of Denmark’s largest engineering consultancies with more than 900 employees across Denmark, as well as in subsidiaries in Norway and the Philippines.

  • CG Jensen Contractor

    CG Jensen A/S is a Danish construction company with roots dating back to the 1930s. CG Jensen takes environmental responsibility for their surroundings and is involved in the Danish government’s climate partnerships. At the UN17 construction site, CG Jensen produces green electricity using solar cells and wind turbines.

  • SLA Landscape Architect

    SLA is a design studio founded on nature that works globally with cities, nature, places and people. Over the last 30 years, they have designed some of the most remarkable public spaces and master plans in the world.

Method

Complex issues call for complex solutions. And creating sustainable cities that respect people, the planet and the economy – while at the same time working on a foundation of multiple certifications that ensure that construction lives up to the highest standards – has proven to be an extremely complex process. NREP has taken up the global challenge with an innovative approach which is the very first that manages to address and initiate all 17 SDGs in one method. A method that meets the highest standards in social, environmental and economic sustainability.

Sustainability tools

UN17 Village addresses all 17 of the UN’s Global Goals. The project sees these goals as a globally applicable tool which, with a bit of local interpretation, can provide a standardised jumping-off point for solving real-world challenges in sustainability. The project will also be DGNB-certified to Gold/Platinum level, DGNB Heart and WELL. Since the beginning, this has given the project concrete “sustainability tools” to incorporate into the design process. There has been a particular focus here on coordinating our sustainable efforts across the various “tools” in order to create as much value as possible.

DGNB

Both DGNB and WELL are well-known tools, and both already have clearly defined requirements in terms of being able to achieve the different certifications. This also applies to DGNB Heart, despite this being a relatively new certification, which has been developed alongside the UN17 Village concept. DGNB focuses on all three facets of sustainability: environmental, social and economic.
The environmental part of DGNB includes a focus on the life cycle of building materials, transport, energy and water use during and after construction, and durability. The economic aspect focuses on construction costs and operation, maintenance and flexibility. The new DGNB Heart ensures a clear focus on social sustainability, leading to a broader focus on concept and a healthy indoor climate.

WELL

WELL is all about social sustainability in terms of the physical framework for construction, and also during the operational phase. This means that work is carried out on initiatives such as access to healthy meals, updated informational materials on healthy eating and exercise, health screening offers etc. – measures conducted during the operational phase which will ultimately safeguard the health and well-being of residents.

The UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals

The UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals were adopted by world leaders at the UN General Assembly in 2015 to ensure progress towards a far more sustainable world by 2030. The Global Goals comprise 17 main goals and 169 sub-goals which together form a joint vision and a global tool with concrete proposals for what a sustainable future means and what changes are required.

DGNB
DGNB-Hjerte
WELL

1. No Poverty

“No poverty” is about eradicating all forms of poverty around the world. In the Danish context, this Global Goal involves a more nuanced idea of the concept of poverty – including material and social deprivation, as well as economic resilience in the event of life crises. The latter points, among others, to the strength of social benefits, especially benefits aimed at groups in society who are outside the job market or who, due to physical and/or mental challenges, have difficulty finding employment.

UN17 Village explores the potential of this Global Goal by looking at opportunities to:

  • include socio-economic workplaces in the execution and operation of the project.

  • establish sharing economy schemes for residents.

  • provide apartments at affordable prices.

  • offer activities in UN17 Village at affordable prices.

2. Zero Hunger

“Zero hunger” is about stopping all forms of hunger and malnutrition, and achieving sustainable global food production. From a Danish perspective, it is very much about ensuring access to a varied and nutritious diet – including for people in low-income groups.

UN17 Village explores the potential of this Global Goal by looking at opportunities to:

  • give residents access to private growing areas.

  • serve healthy and organic food in the Dining Hall at affordable prices.

  • hold workshops on healthy eating in the Dining Hall and in connection with the health clinic.

3. Good Health and Well Being

“Good health and well-being” focuses on the issue of global health and well-being as a whole, and is about ensuring a healthy life for all and promoting well-being for all age groups. In Denmark, this Global Goal is also about physical and mental health. Areas of focus have been the prevention and treatment of substance and alcohol abuse, smoking and a fundamentally unhealthy lifestyle. The limitation of diseases has also been addressed.

UN17 Village is exploring the potential offered by this Global Goal by looking, among other things, at opportunities to:

  • ensure a good indoor climate in its homes.

  • bring nature into the project and use natural materials in the development.

  • provide access to play and exercise in the Health Centre and in urban spaces.

  • reduce the risk of infection through choice of design (easy-to-clean surfaces, non-contact dispensers and mixer taps, and large washbasins).

  • create good conditions for cyclists.

  • give residents access to private growing areas.

  • make UN17 Village a smoke-free area.

  • ensure social meeting areas both outdoors (courtyards and roofs) and indoors (common areas such as Lobby and Common Room).

  • establish special co-living apartments for seniors.

  • focus in particular on avoiding using substances that are harmful to the environment and people’s health in construction.

4. Quality Education

“Quality education” is about ensuring equal access to quality education and promoting everyone’s opportunities for lifelong learning. Since the Danish education system is known internationally as one of the best in the world, the debate on Global Goal 4 from the Danish perspective has instead concentrated on the motivation to learn, and on ensuring that the sustainability agenda is highlighted as central areas of focus in teaching.

UN17 Village explores the potential of this Global Goal by looking at opportunities to:

  • use the common spaces for learning about and sharing knowledge on sustainability, including by selecting materials in a sustainable manner, putting up information signs and holding events.

  • use the UN17 APP for learning and knowledge-sharing around sustainability.

  • make sustainability visible in the design of the project (e.g. through the visible use of recycled materials).

  • arrange activities (e.g. for children and young people) with a focus on learning and knowledge-sharing around sustainability.

5. Gender Equality

“Gender equality” is about equality among the genders. While Demark does have formal equality between the genders in relation to key social factors, there is still some distance between formal rights and real equality. In Denmark, there has also been debate around ensuring equal rights and opportunities for minority groups, including people with disabilities and women of other ethnic backgrounds.

UN17 Village explores the potential of this Global Goal by looking at opportunities to:

  • focus on the gender balance and the inclusion of people from other ethnic backgrounds in employment.

  • establish accessible housing – developed in collaboration with the Danish Handicap Association.

6. Clean Water and Sanitation

“Clean water and sanitation” is about ensuring that everyone has access to clean water and sanitation, and that this is managed sustainably. In a Danish context, the debate has focused in particular on maintaining and securing our current water supply, streamlining water consumption, and complying with the thresholds for pesticides and other harmful substances in groundwater, as well as other issues.

UN17 Village is exploring the potential offered by this Global Goal by looking, among other things, at opportunities to:

  • collect, treat and reuse rainwater for irrigation in growing areas and green areas on roofs and in courtyards instead of using drinking water.

  • implement water-saving mixer taps.

  • monitor and report water consumption, e.g. via the UN17 APP, to encourage residents to use less water.

  • sell eco-labelled household items in the Lobby/Dining Hall.

  • use plants in the ornamental pond which can help to purify the rainwater which then flows out into to the lake to the south.

7. Affordable and Clean Energy

“Affordable and clean energy” is about all people having access to reliable, sustainable and modern energy at an affordable price. In Denmark, debates have focused on issues such as increasing the share of renewable energy on the Danish energy market as part of the ambition to fully resolve Denmark’s reliance on fossil fuels by 2050.

UN17 Village explores the potential of this Global Goal by looking at opportunities to:

  • use district heating from HOFOR which in recent years has converted their heat production to more climate-friendly production based on biomass.

  • utilise the waste heat recovered from room heating as a source of heat for heat production using heat pumps.

  • erect solar cells to offer residents self-generated energy.

  • select an energy provider with renewable energy sources for construction and operation of the building, e.g. wind farms that provide electricity from 2,500 Danish wind turbines.

8. Decent Work and Economic Growth

“Decent work and economic growth” is about promoting long-lasting, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all. In terms of sustainable economic growth in Denmark, the debate has focused heavily on climate, sorting of waste and recycling resources. In addition, Global Goal 8 is very much about the working environment and inclusion on the job market where good working conditions (less stress and fewer accidents at work) and equal access to work for different groups should be ensured.

UN17 Village explores the potential of this Global Goal by looking at opportunities to:

  • include people with disabilities, e.g. in running the Dining Hall or the managing the green areas.

  • offer varying types of internships and apprenticeships, e.g. to get young and socially disadvantaged people into work.

  • focus on the gender balance and the inclusion of people from other ethnic backgrounds in employment.

  • establish sharing schemes that can help reduce residents’ consumption.

9. Industry Innovation and Infrastructure

“Industry, innovation and infrastructure” is about building a robust infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and supporting innovation. In Denmark, the green transition has been a common theme in the debate surrounding Global Goal 9, with a focus on maintaining a competitive business sector while increasing sustainability, e.g. in energy and resource efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions and innovation.

UN17 Village is exploring the potential offered by this Global Goal by looking, among other things, at opportunities to:

  • establish sharing schemes that can contribute to a more efficient use of resources.

  • implement different materials and construction principles that contribute to a more resource-efficient construction project with lower CO2 emissions.

  • implement new standards for recycling and reduce waste from the construction site.

  • recycle and co-produce waste from the construction site.

  • invest in innovation in terms of construction.

10. Reduced Inequalities

“Reduced inequalities” is about reducing inequality between people and between countries. Therefore, the issues discussed in connection with Global Goal 10 have been inequality between rural and urban areas, women and men, negative social heritage, and discrimination against people with disabilities, ethnic minorities and LGBTI+ people.

UN17 Village explores the potential of this Global Goal by looking at opportunities to:

  • include people with disabilities, e.g. in running the Dining Hall or the managing the green areas.

  • offer different types of internships and apprenticeships, e.g. to get socially disadvantaged people into work.

  • focus on the gender balance and the inclusion of people from other ethnic backgrounds in employment.

11. Sustainable Cities and Communities

“Sustainable cities and communities” is about making cities, communities and residential developments inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. Denmark can strive for more inclusive, greener and more sustainable cities, buildings and communities. It is also about ensuring resilience against the negative influences of climate change and increased urban population growth, for example.

UN17 Village explores the potential of this Global Goal by looking at opportunities to:

  • implement the DGNB, DGNB Heart and WELL sustainability certifications.

  • establish inclusive green public spaces with a high degree of security.

  • implement measures that make it easy and attractive to choose the bicycle instead of the car, in order to promote a sustainable infrastructure with a focus on human well-being.

  • safeguard a number of parameters within universal design that create equality and inclusion for people with physical and mental disabilities.

  • investigate (including through initial LCA analyses) and implement various different materials and construction principles that will contribute to more resource-efficient construction with lower CO2 emissions (including choice of building system, insulation, concrete, and interior and exterior surfaces).

  • recycle and co-produce waste from the construction site.

  • collect, divert and reuse rainwater.

  • set up charging stations for electric vehicles.

12. Responsible Consumption and Production

“Responsible consumption and production” is about spreading sustainable consumption and production models. The debate surrounding Global Goal 12 in the Danish context is about how material management should be viewed to a greater extent from a circular economy perspective. The construction industry is a serious contender in this debate as the construction industry accounts for 30% of the total amount of waste generated in Denmark.

UN17 Village explores the potential of this Global Goal by looking at opportunities to:

  • establish sharing schemes for residents that can contribute to a more efficient use of resources.

  • implement different materials and construction principles that contribute to a more resource-efficient construction project with lower CO2 emissions.

  • recycle and co-produce waste from the construction site.

13. Climate Action

“Climate action” is about acting quickly to combat climate change and its consequences. In the Danish context, the debate surrounding Global Goal 13 focuses on how to integrate climate action into policies and the planning of cities, as well as how we can contribute to lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

UN17 Village explores the potential of this Global Goal by looking at opportunities to:

  • implement different materials and construction principles that contribute to a more resource-efficient construction project with lower CO2 emissions;

  • collect, divert and reuse rainwater;

  • contribute to learning and knowledge-sharing on sustainability through common facilities, events and stakeholder meetings for residents and visitors.

14. Life Below Water

“Life below water” is about preserving and ensuring the sustainable use of the world’s oceans and its resources. From a Danish perspective, Global Goal 14 is largely about the problems of overfishing and increased pollution of the oceans which are affected by agriculture, lifestyle and waste management, for example, which can all be sources of pollution. Microplastics are a particular challenge in our local environment.

UN17 Village explores the potential of this Global Goal by looking at opportunities to:

  • implement products/building materials that recycle plastic collected from the oceans or abandoned fishing gear.

  • avoid using building materials with environmentally harmful substances (choosing products that are Nordic Ecolabelled, EU blue flower, Blaue Engel or similar), to minimise pollution of soil, air, groundwater and surface water, and flora and fauna.

15. Life On Land

“Life on land” is about protecting, restoring and supporting the sustainable use of ecosystems on land, promoting sustainable forestry, combating desertification, and stopping soil erosion and loss of biodiversity. The debate surrounding Global Goal 15 in the Danish context concentrates to a large extent on ensuring a sustainable and environmentally-friendly improvement to and utilisation of the country’s land and resources to protect the future biodiversity of the country.

UN17 Village explores the potential of this Global Goal by looking at opportunities to:

  • design varied green courtyards, roofs and facades with local plant species and biotopes from Amager Fælled which will help to increase biodiversity;

  • manage green areas with a focus on biodiversity.

  • contribute to the purification of rainwater and basins locally.

16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

“Peace, justice and strong institutions” is about creating peaceful and inclusive communities that are supported by institutions that provide individuals with legal certainty. The debate surrounding Global Goal 16 in a Danish context is about reducing physical/mental/sexual violence, gang crime, money laundering and tax evasion, corruption and bribery, and discrimination in laws and policies. There is also a focus on ensuring transparency in decision-making processes and civic involvement.

UN17 Village explores the potential of this Global Goal by looking at opportunities to:

  • ensure the involvement of local stakeholders in the process.

  • provide spaces for common facilities, such as the Common Room, where institutions/associations/democratic debates can be held.

17. Partnerships for the Goals

“Partnerships for the goals” is about strengthening the global partnership for sustainable development and about sharing knowledge and technologies across all borders. In Denmark, the debate points to increasing Denmark’s support for sustainable development, especially in developing countries, as well as how we here in Denmark should work on implementing Global Goal 17, i.e. securing partnerships across sectors and across stakeholders in Danish society.

UN17 Village explores the potential of this Global Goal by looking at opportunities to:

  • ensure a diverse and interdisciplinary project team.

  • ensure the involvement of experts and local stakeholders in the process.

  • contribute to learning and knowledge-sharing around sustainability through the common facilities, events and stakeholder meetings.

Village

Once completed, UN17 Village will stand tall as an important landmark for Ørestad in Copenhagen as well as for NREP’s ambitions and visions within environmental, social and economic sustainability.

1. Biodiversity & reducing emissions

It is essential to incorporate nature into the development of society, not least in the cities. UN17 Village addresses this challenge by establishing green urban spaces that function as natural ecosystems with high levels of biodiversity and biomass that maximise the integration of local urban nature and wildlife.
UN17 Courtyard B

2. Community

With its modern senior living community, informal and welcoming dining hall, sharing centre and flexible common room, UN17 Village supports the physical and mental well-being of both the community and the individual. At the same time, UN17 Village extends an invitation to the rest of the local area, creating a framework for new communities throughout Ørestad.
UN17 Elevation C D

3. Health

Our physical and mental health is more important than ever and plays a key role in UN17 Village. The mental and physical health of residents has been taken into account in all aspects of UN17 Village, and all the health initiatives at UN17 are intertwined to ensure that this healthy lifestyle is implemented and flourishes.
UN17 Courtyard B C E

Is sustainability across the spectrum of the built environment possible? And what would it look like? In this video, Claus Mathisen, CEO of NREP, explains the background of UN17 Village and the ambition for the development and method.