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The five buildings

How does one create a modern village that addresses both social and environmental challenges? UN17 Village in Ørestad offers an ambitious yet realistic answer to this question. We have translated the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals into 200 sustainability initiatives, which we have implemented in the five buildings at the southern tip of Ørestad.

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It takes a village

When UN17 Village is completed in the fall of 2024, it will rise as a new, significant landmark for Ørestad, simultaneously marking the conclusion of 25 years of development of the Copenhagen urban district.

An old proverb reads that "it takes a village to raise a child." We believe that the modern village, where community and neighborliness thrive, can solve many societal problems.

That's why the ground floors of all five buildings are dedicated to common areas, each serving different functions such as dining halls, community centers, and shared facilities. Our ambition is that by creating conducive physical spaces for community, we can contribute to fostering a natural cohesion among the residents of UN17 Village.

UN17 Village is still under construction, and the two buildings Lunden and Kronen are currently completed. The first approximately 200 residents have moved into their homes, while the buildings Søen, Spidsen, and Noli are expected to be finished during 2024. In total, there will be around 1,100 residents living in UN17 Village.

Of course, UN17 Village wouldn't have been possible without skilled architects, landscape architects, engineers, and contractors. Below you can see who we've collaborated with on the project.

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Revolutionary Timber Construction

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals have been incorporated and integrated into all phases of the construction – from facade cladding to the design of communal areas. Particularly, the focus has been on developing new building solutions that can be scaled and seamlessly used in other cities and countries.

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For example, we have built Denmark's largest and tallest residential building with supporting structures of timber, Kronen, standing at 24 meters. In order to use timber that wasn't chemically treated, we were required to invest in a large-scale, costly fire test.

Subsequently, we have freely shared the fire test with the construction industry, as well as with numerous educational institutions, independent architects, and students, hoping to catalyze a breakthrough for timber multi-story construction in Denmark. If you're interested in seeing it, it can also be downloaded via the link below.

Download fire test

Resource awareness

In the buildings' energy supply, emphasis has been placed on optimal resource utilization. All five rooftops are equipped with solar panel installations, generating electricity for the residences in Denmark's largest energy community. Residents can monitor the production of green electricity themselves via an app, providing an easy overview of when energy is greenest and cheapest throughout the day.

This solution ensures that locally produced electricity is used locally to the greatest extent possible, and experiences from other construction projects show that such measures can cut residents' electricity bills by a third. In December, the installations accounted for approximately 15 percent of consumption, but this figure naturally increases during spring and summer when there are more hours of sunshine.

Furthermore, the entire property will be connected to an intelligent network that integrates all digital solutions and services into one building, such as WiFi, charging stations, surveillance, and alarms, all within a single secure network. The network is energy-efficient and scalable, allowing for the continuous addition of new smart services.

Combined with ultra-fast fiber optic internet, this paves the way for future homes with the best possible conditions for energy optimization, healthy indoor climates, data security, low operating costs, and much more. In UN17 Village Ørestad, this network is called HyperConnect and is installed by DKTV. Currently, three out of the five buildings are connected.

Below, you can read about some of the many other resource-saving initiatives.

The parts of the buildings made of concrete are produced using Aalborg Portland's new type of cement, FutureCem, which emits 30% less CO2 than regular cement. Today, several new construction projects use this type of cement, but UN17 Village was the first project where FutureCem was used on a large scale.
Recycling is a recurring theme throughout the construction – for example, the green facades on Lunden are made of recycled aluminum, and each building's staircase is made of recycled concrete mixed with glass and ceramic remnants from facade renovations and redevelopments, giving each staircase a unique expression.
All kitchens and bathrooms have water-saving faucets, whose consumption can be tracked via an app, and a drip irrigation system ensures that rainwater landing on the buildings' roofs is used to water the plants in the courtyard areas. And residents don't need to tap a single drop of tap water – the system is designed to collect over 1 million liters of rainwater annually for recycling and recreational use.
When designing the common areas, companies with a green agenda were prioritized. Among the chosen brands are Mater, who exclusively uses recycled materials, as well as Make Nordic, Magnus Olesen, and &Tradition, who work with FSC-certified wood and recycled wool textiles.
The kitchens are from Rotpunkt's Greenline series, which is 100% CO2-neutral and has the Nordic Swan Ecolabel, and whose doors are made of at least 90% recycled wood.
To support biodiversity, the courtyard spaces are planted with locally occurring species from Kalvebod Fælled, and dimmer outdoor lighting has been chosen to avoid disturbing insects and animals.

Healthy from the inside out

Indoor climate is of great importance for our well-being, and we have set high standards for the temperature, light, and sound in the residences of UN17 Village – especially in Kronen, which specifically focuses on physical and mental health.

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In the design of the apartments, we have selected low-emission wall paint, floorboards, and cladding, along with the installation of pollen filters and sensors that activate ventilation if air quality deteriorates to a certain level. The residences are equipped with high-efficiency cooker hoods that automatically start when using the cooktops or oven, and in Kronen, the kitchen is separated from the living room by glass walls to prevent cooking particles from settling on the furniture. Additionally, UN17 Village is entirely smoke-free.

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Natural and artificial lights

Light and sound affect the mental well-being, which is why we have conducted solar analyses for all five buildings to ensure that the residences and their windows are oriented to maximize natural light. In the kitchen, bathroom, and hallway, we have installed more improved lighting than required by building regulations, and in Kronen, all lighting is dimmable. In the bathroom, the residents can even choose a warmer tone for the light, as it is documented that we wake up faster from bluish light, for example when going to the bathroom at night. Noise from technical installations has been reduced in all five buildings.

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Kronen is already WELL-certified at the Platinum level – the first residential building in Denmark to achieve this – and efforts are underway to achieve DGNB Gold/Platinum certification for all five buildings. DGNB encompasses the most important and measurable principles of sustainability, meaning that a construction project is assessed based on social, ecological, and economic sustainability. The certification covers everything from safety to the impact on biodiversity and operating costs. The WELL certification considers social and physical factors to enhance human health and well-being.

Community and neighborliness

Communities and neighborliness are central values ​​in UN17 Village, and therefore common areas have been prioritized to encourage residents to share more, spend more time together, and get to know each other better. In Lunden, which has a special focus on community, common kitchens, TV lounges, and rooftop terraces cover a total of 450 square meters.

All buildings have rooftop terraces and courtyards as well as access to six guest apartments in the building Noli, which can be rented by friends and family. Other communal facilities include a shared workspace and workshop, as well as UN17 Village's large community center, Fælledhuset. There is also a restaurant in the works, which will be a community kitchen where both residents and outsiders can gather for communal meals, and where festive events can be held, bringing the entire neighborhood together under one roof.

To support communities, neighborliness, and friendships, UN17 Village has its own Community Manager who ensures that new residents receive a warm welcome and all the necessary information, and organizes events for the entire UN17 Village community.

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