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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 Elevation C D

It takes a village

By being one of the first in Denmark to use digital tools in the development of the project, we are building a thoroughly analysed and well-devised building project with the most eco and resident-friendly solutions. The five different buildings will complement one another, each targeting different categories of tenants from young graduates who are not yet ready to settle down for good, to all sorts of families and even senior living. There will be small apartments for singles, homes that combine work and pleasure, and more traditional family homes. Across all the different types of housing and common for all future residents of UN17 Village will be a daily life characterised by better physical and mental health, community and sustainability in day-to-day life.

Sustainability has been a key criterion for success in tackling this job – and in UN17 Village, a holistic building is being constructed with the ambitious goal of integrating all 17 Global Goals into one single project. In order to be able to integrate the UN’s 17 Global Goals in practice, we have grouped the goals into six main categories – biodiversity, community, health, materials, water, and energy. Within each category, NREP has thoroughly evaluated a comprehensive set of possible initiatives in order to identify those with the greatest impact. Based on this analysis, decisions have been made on approx. 300 sustainability initiatives, of which some 200 have been implemented in the project, strengthening our towering ambitions to deliver on the UN’s sustainable development goals.

NREP sees the Global Goals as a global tool with a holistic approach to global sustainability challenges – and by using them in the development of UN17 Village, we have developed a scalable method that enables everyone in the industry to implement and measure their efforts. The result is a series of ambitious goals in health, community, biodiversity, material recycling, and water and energy supply, all of which are clearly visible in the design of building.

1. Biodiversity & reducing emissions

Green urban spaces and sustainable materials selection

A global goal of the UN and the EU is to stop the decline in biodiversity by no later than 2030 – a goal which Denmark has also committed to. Urbanisation can lead to loss of biodiversity and fragmented wildlife habitats. As the cities in Denmark grow, there is a need - both for existing cities and new urban areas - to ensure that development does not take place at the expense of nature. Nature therefore must have more space – both physical, and in people’s consciousness. It is therefore vital that we include nature in the growth of society, not least in our 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.

Today, construction accounts for 40% of global CO2 emissions annually. Figures from DK-GBC show that when it comes to new constructions in Denmark, it is the materials that make up the majority of the carbon footprint over the building’s lifetime (up to 80%). This is primarily due to the fact that we in Denmark have long had a focus on reducing the energy required to run buildings by increasing requirements in building regulations, implementing voluntary energy classes, and making the Danish energy supply greener. Therefore, the embedded CO2 of the building materials accounts for a larger share of the total figure. In order to reduce buildings’ overall carbon footprint, measures are being implemented that promote sustainable materials, resource efficiency and the circular economy – meaning UN17 Village is achieving a significant reduction in embedded CO2 through a sustainable material selection process, design and recycling.

There is a need in the construction industry for a collective and credible shift from good intentions to measurable change. This is a shift that NREP cannot manage on its own. We need to take responsibility for the construction industry’s considerable CO2 emissions and for the quality of life in our cities together. Because of this, the UN17 Village method will be open, free and accessible to all and combined with a major investment in knowledge-sharing and partnerships. UN17 Village will be the first of hopefully many UN17 Villages around the world – each with their own sustainability analysis and tailor-made construction plan adapted to the unique circumstances of their respective locations.

Biodiverse courtyards

In UN17 Village, the landscape of Amager Fælled is drawn in between the buildings and characterises the identity in the courtyards. Being in UN17 Village should feel like being “in nature”, not next to it, which is why the landscape in the courtyards is being created with a particular focus on establishing a maximised growth layer with structural diversity (with differences in humidity and light) which will support plants and wildlife, and on plating local plant species and biotopes from Amager Fælled. In addition to making a positive contribute to the bio-factor of the area, these green urban spaces will also help to improve the acoustic and microclimatic conditions in the urban spaces, divert rainwater, improve the “heat island effect”, and add real recreational value to the development.

Biodiverse roofs and vertical greening

In addition to the courtyards, green roofs are also being established. Some roof surfaces will be established as sedum roofs, with selected roof surfaces (connected to living areas) focusing more heavily on recreation and biodiversity. Here, a higher growth layer will be established which will support biodiversity to a greater extent, while local plant species and biotopes from Amager Fælled will also be planted, just like in the courtyards. At the same time, vertical greening on the facades, balconies corridors, bicycle sheds and utility rooms will increase the bio-factor and create larger cohesive green areas.

UN17 Courtyard A E

Sustainable construction system

In UN17 Village, we are establishing a constructions system which minimises our carbon footprint and ensures flexibility in construction. That’s why we chose the biggest possible beam construction, as well as non-load-bearing facade cassettes. This optimises the amount of materials with respect to the construction, while at the same time ensuring the overall flexibility of the building in terms of changing needs and conditions over its lifetime. In addition, there is a focus on utilising wood as a construction material as much as possible.

To further reduce the building’s environmental impact, the choice of insulation material plays an important role. Initial LCA analyses have been performed which show that glass wool has the lowest CO2 emissions over the life of the material – even lower than wood fibre insulation. However, unlike wood fibre insulation, glass wool cannot store CO2. For fire safety reasons, therefore, glass wool is used in the light wooden cassettes. Since concrete accounts for about 5-9% of the world’s total CO2 emissions, we are also focusing on helping to reduce the carbon footprint of the concrete used in our construction. Work is being done to implement: concrete structure designs that optimise CO2 emissions, use of cement with low CO2 emissions (FutureCem) and use of sustainable reinforcing steel produced from scrap metal.

Sustainable surfaces

In the UN17 Village, the landscape of Amager Fælled is drawn in between the buildings and characterises the identity in the courtyards. Being in UN17 Village should feel like being “in nature”, not next to it, which is why the landscape in the courtyards is being created with a particular focus on establishing a maximised growth layer with structural diversity (with differences in humidity and light) which will support plants and wildlife, and on plating local plant species and biotopes from Amager Fælled. In addition to making a positive contribute to the bio-factor of the area, these green urban spaces will also help to improve the acoustic and microclimatic conditions in the urban spaces, divert rainwater, improve the “heat island effect”, and add real recreational value to the development.

Collecting and recycling rainwater

Clean drinking water is a valuable resource that needs to be handled with care. At UN17 Village, roof surfaces and courtyard areas are used to collect rainwater which can then be reused for irrigation in green ornamental and living spaces and in greenhouses and allotments. For irrigation in living spaces where there are no requirements for discoloration of water or micro-bacterial growth, water collected from the greenhouse, utility rooms and bicycle sheds is used. For irrigation in the greenhouse and allotments on the grounds, we use water collected from roof surfaces which is stored in barrels/tanks under the ground. This reduces the risk of bacterial growth, meaning the water can be used to irrigate vegetables that are to be eaten raw.

Sustained heating

Heat production for domestic heating and domestic hot water has a significant role to play in Denmark’s ambition to be fossil fuel-free by 2050. In order to achieve this goal, analyses indicate that the district heating sector must reorganise production and that there might be socio-economic benefits to more people within the current district heating areas being connected to the collective supply. For supplying its heat, UN17 Village uses district heating from utility company HOFOR which, in recent years, has converted their heat production to more eco-friendly production based on biomass. Solar cells have also been erected on selected roof surfaces. This strategy optimises energy production in relation to the available roof area, and also extends energy production to morning and afternoon hours when residents are at home more and can consume the energy being generated.

2. Community

Community as a focal point

Communities and a good neighbourhood are central values in UN17 Village. We all live longer, healthier and better lives when we get to know each other and make relationships with the people we interact with in everyday life. Which is why common functions, the sharing economy and cohesion have been thought of in every building, encouraging residents to share more, spend more time together and get to know each other more. In UN17 Village, different types of apartments are offered at affordable prices, aimed at promoting a good mix of residents in terms of age, gender, family size and employment. At the same time, a number of parameters have been accommodated for in terms of universal design that ensure equality and inclusion for people with physical and mental disabilities.

UN17 Village meets the need for new forms of housing in the capital, and a large part of the development is organised around communities that add an extra dimension to everyday life. Here, residents and visitors can meet in social settings, when cultivating allotments, at group dinners and for wellness. To create community, the common facilities will support specific activities such as neighbourhood activities, organised group meals, volunteer work, cultivating kitchen gardens, repairing bicycles, homework cafe, etc. The common facilities will initially be run by community managers who will facilitate and support initiatives to create community across residents and activities. In the long run, the idea is that the residents themselves will run the areas on a voluntary basis in order to promote ownership and community spirit.

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.

Senior living community

Denmark is currently experiencing an ever-ageing population. At the same time, we are more active in our old age and are living longer than before. This places new demands on how we live and organise ourselves, and is a trend that challenges the housing market as the supply does not meet the demand of the future. At the same time, more and more elderly people are experiencing loneliness. It is in old age that loneliness increases most over the course of a person’s life. Senior living communities are gaining ground in recent years, and studies show that more than 80,000 senior citizens in Denmark are considering moving into senior living communities within the next five years.

Here, they can have higher quality of life, access to new relationships and strong communities. With its modern senior living community, UN17 Village lays the foundations for new communities, better social relationships and better quality of life across generations and lifestyles.

The senior living community contains smaller housing units, with a common living area located in the centre of the building. There are communal kitchens on every other floor with a staircase connecting to living areas with a TV room, lounge, meeting room, library and studio across the different floors. This helps residents to meet naturally across the floors of the building.

Noli Studios

Noli Studios is UN17 Village in Ørestad’s solution for Copenhagen’s young, fresh graduates who want to keep the doors open in their lives and who prefer flexible and comfortable housing together with like-minded people. Noli Studios is a concept for young apartment-seekers and travellers looking for a homely feel with hotel service.

The small, contemporary “move-in-when-you-want” apartments offer good opportunities to retreat to a “private” space combined with a wide range of services and access to common areas. There is a shared kitchen with attached lounge, common work area, two smaller meeting rooms and a TV/games room that offers the opportunity to settle into the community of like-minded tenants.

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Lobby

The lobby is the gateway and the main entrance to UN17 Village, drawing passers-by into the area. In the lobby, people can get to know each other, meet with friends and colleagues and share resources. Here you can borrow sports equipment or musical instruments, or exchange books, for example. This is also where curious people can get information about UN17 Village, activities, weekly events and knowledge on sustainable lifestyles.

The lobby is furnished with touch-down workplaces as a common living area, enabling residents in the smaller homes to use the area for a study group or similar activity, for example. There is a lounge area designed for informal meetings or for those who simply want to read the newspaper in company. The wine club, the mums’ group or the walking group can also meet up here.

It is also in the lobby that you can get information about all the different activities being held in the development. Examples include workshops on healthy eating in the dining hall, presentations on growing seasonal vegetables in the greenhouse and exercise groups in the health house.

Dining hall

The Dining Hall with restaurant, café and farm shop is UN17 Village’s large kitchen for everyday life and for parties. Here, residents can meet over dinner both indoors and outdoors. Cooking classes and workshops on healthy food, local ingredients and organic products are also on offer. It will also be possible to sign up for meals and have them delivered as meal boxes and vegetable boxes.

The atmosphere is informal and welcoming, with a focus on healthy vegetarian dishes. The Dining Hall is part of a close collaboration with the health centre, the Health Clinic and the Lobby in coordination and sharing a strategy with all UN17 Village’s activities with a focus on health through diet, exercise, activities and common areas that support the community.

UN17 Elevation B C

Sharing centre

The Sharing Centre is UN17 Village’s sharing economy community and workshop. We all have a lot of things that we use so little that we do not need to have them all the time. In the Sharing Centre, you can donate your own things or borrow items from your neighbours. A sustainable idea that offers social connections. At the same time, the Sharing Centre is also the shared workshop where residents can repair bicycles or furniture, or work on their own or group DIY projects. On the exchange shelves, residents can hand in or pick up used but well-functioning furniture, materials, toys, etc.

Fælledhuset

Fælledhuset is an extension of residents’ own living rooms, with a focus on community and togetherness.

Fælledhuset connects the courtyard to Amager Fælled and is designed so that it can be transformed and adapted to suit various activities and the needs of different residents. In Fælledhuset, the residents can meet during the day or in the evening for activities for children, young people and seniors alike.

There is space here for a creative workshop, exercise activities for adults and children and the possibility of holding larger events. It is also in Fælledhuset that UN17 Village’s workshops and lectures are held on everything from the body and health, to biodiversity and vertical vegetable cultivation.

3. Health

A healthier life every day

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. Danes spend on average 80-90% of our day indoors, with approx. 16 hours spent in our homes, so UN17 Village has a special vision to create healthy homes with a healthy indoor climate and a particular focus on the air we breathe and the light, sounds and temperature in our homes.

In Denmark, far too many men and women are physically inactive. UN17 Village therefore has a special focus on outdoor sports and play facilities in the building, which are free to use and accessible to all. In Fælledhuset, with its large flexible space, you can do yoga and dance etc. – while in the Health Centre, indoor exercise and wellness facilities will offer residents and visitors something special.

At the same time, measurements – of everything from stress hormones to heart rate, and brain waves to protein markers – show that something vital happens when we live in a green environment. In UN17 Village, therefore, there is a focus on implementing initiatives that increase access and visual connection to nature – both inside and outside. In UN17 Village, residents have the opportunity to grow their own vegetables in freely accessible growing areas. This helps them exercise and get fresh air, supports socialising – and is also eco-friendly as it helps to reduce CO2 emissions from the transport of raw materials.

We work with a holistic view of how UN17 Village’s residents can be encouraged to follow a healthier way of life through healthy housing, information on healthy eating and exercise, active outdoor environments and communities. In order to tie all the health initiatives together and encourage healthy choices, and to ensure the overall management of all health-related strategies, a community manager with a special focus on collaborating with the health clinic’s coordinators is attached to the development.

Health clinic

The Health Clinic is a special offer for UN17 Village residents with everyone being offered regular check-ups. As part of their contract, residents will have the opportunity to have regular check-ups or consultations and access to professional knowledge platforms such as health blogs, weekly menu plans, training programmes, counselling, online courses and teaching.

The Health Clinic focuses on residents’ health and well-being. The goal is for all health-related aspects to improve, and for the frequency of illness to therefore fall, meaning that well-being has increased. In order to encourage healthy choices and to ensure the overall management of all health-related strategies and initiatives, a community manager with a special focus on collaborating with the Health Clinic’s coordinators is attached to the development.

Health Centre

The Health Centre offers a holistic approach to physical exercise and mental well-being. The goal is to support residents to exercise and keep moving all year round. At the Health Centre, there is a focus on functional exercise, including individual personal training, exercise in larger and smaller teams, yoga and cross fit. At the same time, a collaboration will be established with the health clinic and dining hall with a focus on health topics and activities.

Healthy indoor climate

UN17 Village has a vision to create healthy homes with healthy indoor climates. In UN17 Village, measures are being implemented to increase the air quality in homes. This involves relatively high levels of air circulation using mechanically balanced ventilation, pollen filters, and high-efficiency cooker hoods etc. There is also an extra focus on avoiding harmful substances when choosing materials and electrical components. At the same time, the quantity and quality of light has a major impact on our health and well-being. Therefore, measures are being implemented to increase the quality of both natural and artificial light in homes. This means that the amount of daylight in a home is being optimised using floor plans, facade design and window glass specifications, for example. Noise and noise nuisances can also have a major impact on our well-being, concentration and quality of sleep. In UN17, noise nuisances between the housing units and internally within each apartment (between bedrooms and living rooms) is minimised.

Mental health

Our physical environment affects our mental well-being. Studies show that something vital happens when we live in green surroundings, which is why in UN17 Village there is a focus on implementing measures that increase access and visual connection to nature – both inside and outside. At the same time, studies show that using wood and natural materials has measurable, beneficial effects on users’ and residents’ physical and mental health and well-being. Wood and natural materials are therefore used in the buildings, both inside the homes and outside in the urban spaces. Work is also being done to ensure residents’ safety and security by using safe lighting, highlighting edge zones and ensuring good transitions between private and public areas.

More movement in everyday life

UN17 Village promotes movement in everyday life by establishing a system of recreational trails that connects buildings, communal facilities and social meeting spaces. The path system spreads out throughout the courtyards and across the roof surfaces and helps encourage residents to take a detour rather than the fastest route. At the same time, outdoor sports and play facilities will be established within the development, and will be free and accessible to all – while in the Common Room, with its large flexible space, you can do yoga and dance etc. In addition, indoor exercise and wellness facilities in the Health Centre will offer residents and visitors something special – and with Amager Fælled on your doorstep, there are plenty of opportunities for cycling, running or taking a walk surrounded by gorgeous nature.