Eleven winners to work on drastically reducing carbon emissions

Reduce the climate footprint of new housing construction in Denmark by 75 per cent. That is the ambitious goal of the Boligbyggeri fra 4 til 1 Planet initiative. The initiative has just selected six ideas for climate-friendly architecture and five ideas for climate-friendly materials. Now it is time for large-scale testing of the architecture and materials.

Denmark consumes four-times more than our share of the Earth's resources. Construction is one of the big carbon emitters, so it is vital that we find more climate-friendly ways to build. 

Therefore, the Boligbyggeri fra 4 til 1 Planet initiative, launched by VILLUM FONDEN and the philanthropic association Realdania, invited architects and innovators through two calls (Next Generation and Sustainable Solutions) to submit their ideas. More than 100 proposed solutions were submitted, and a jury of experts has selected six ideas for climate-friendly architecture and five climate-friendly and sustainable materials solutions.

Next Generation

In this call, architects submitted proposals for housing construction with systematic focus on the climate footprint. The jury has initially selected six proposals, and the architects behind them have now been asked to translate their proposals into specific construction concepts. 

The six projects will then be reduced to three, and these will be physically realised, moving from idea to reality. The realisation process will be completed in collaboration with contractors selected through a later call.

“We’ve focused on finding clear, forward-looking concepts, and we’ve selected the six projects for the next round on the basis of the clarity of their ideas and philosophy rather than the degree of detail. Now we’re looking forward to following up the work by going deeper into the projects,” says Stig Hessellund, project manager at Realdania and a member of the jury. 

The six selected architect projects are:
  • Matter of Space and Niche Arkitekter with Straw-work, which uses straw as the primary building material
  • Tegnestuen Lokal with Manifesto for planetarily reasonable homes; a project that plays with the dogma for types of housing and structures 
  • Henning Larsen and Djernis & Bell with Residential regenesis that looks at sealing existing buildings more tightly via “grafting”.
  • CF Møller Architects with Gaia - life cycles within boundaries, rethinks Nordic building traditions with focus on behaviour, construction and materials, and climate change
  • Reværk with Naturrækkerne, in which focus is on growing materials and clay soil
  • Rønnow Leth & Gori and CINARK with A small home with a thatched-tile roof, with focus on tiles and reeds
Sustainable Solutions

This call invited anyone with good ideas for new materials, structural designs and technical solutions that reduce the climate footprint and that have good potentials for widespread deployment. Selection of the winner concentrated on the potentials for widespread deployment. Therefore, the five winning proposals in the call have potential to be tested at large scale in collaboration with the contractors who will ultimately build the example projects.

"We’ve had strong focus on proposals that already show a certain development maturity regarding reducing the climate footprint, and are close to, or ready for, more extensive deployment. There is a wide scope, from bio-based materials and climate optimisation of traditional products, to reuse and renewable energy solutions that can be adapted to the architecture,” says Michael K. Rasmussen, the project manager for the VILLUM FONDEN, who also sat on the jury. 

The five selected solutions are:
  • EcoCocon Danmark ApS with Buildings that grow from renewable resources, which will develop construction systems with fast-growing crops and residues
  • Søuld ApS with Gently processed products made of Danish eelgrass, which focuses on eelgrass-based boards and insulation solutions 
  • Næste Byg ApS with Architect-designed sheds made of recycled materials, focussing on the aesthetic potentials of reuse and its “nudging” potentials
  • DBI - The Danish Institute of Fire and Security Technology with Resource – refining building waste into new building materials, which aims to substitute cement by converting tiles, bio-ash and glass 
  • Dansk Solenergi ApS with Photovoltaic modules as a new building element with no aesthetic limitations, that examines using photovoltaic modules as integrated elements rather than unsightly panels on roofs and facades
Boligbyggeri fra 4 til 1 Planet

The aim of the Boligbyggeri fra 4 til 1 planet initiative is to create sustainable new homes with respect for the resources available on our planet. This initiative was launched by Realdania and VILLUM FONDEN, and throughout the process they will activate developers, architects, engineers, contractors, researchers and innovators with the common goal to reduce the carbon footprint of construction.

Read more on the website


Project manager for VILLUM FONDEN: 
Michael K. Rasmussen, 
+45 20 23 28 85

Project manager at Realdania
Stig Hessellund
+45 30 99 60 05