Green Lighthouse

New Construction

  • Building Type : Office building < 28m
  • Construction Year : 2009
  • Delivery year : 2009
  • Address 1 - street : 2200 KøBENHAVN N, Denmark
  • Climate zone : [Cfb] Marine Mild Winter, warm summer, no dry season.

  • Net Floor Area : 950 m2
  • Construction/refurbishment cost : 5 000 000 €
  • Cost/m2 : 5263.16 €/m2

Proposed by :

Certifications :

  • Primary energy need :
    3 kWhpe/m2.year
    (Calculation method : Other )
Energy consumption
Economical buildingBuilding
< 50A
51 à 90B
91 à 150C
151 à 230D
231 à 330E
331 à 450F
> 450G
Energy-intensive building

Green Lighthouse is Denmark’s first public carbon-neutral building. The building has been built in less than a year in a close public/private partnership.

Green Lighthouse is an energy-efficient building of great architectural merit, with a high influx of daylight. Inspired by the sundial and the movement of the sun around the building, Green Lighthouse plays on the sun as a source of energy and on its role in science. As sustainable as it is healthy, Green Lighthouse relies on district heating, solar cells, solar heating and cooling, seasonal storage and innovative architecture to create a gorgeous, CO2-neutral building.
The partners behind the building both from the public and the private sphere. They are the University of Copenhagen, VELUX, VELFAC, the Danish Building and Property Agency (UBST) and the City of Copenhagen.

See more details about this project

Data reliability

3rd part certified



    Christensen & Co Architects

    Michael Christensen


    Hellerup Byg


    Other consultancy agency


    Peter Lawaetz

    Energy design


    Municipality of Copenhagen

    Anne Skovbro

    Strategic Partner


    University of Copenhagen

    Lykke Friis

    Strategic partner & Building Owner

Contracting method

Public Private Partnership

Owner approach of sustainability

The Green Lighthouse is meant to be a lighthouse in more than one sense. It was built as a green lighthouse for CO2-neutral buildings up to the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen in 2009 (COP15); it as meant as a lighthouse for efficient public-private cooperation; and last, but not least, it stands as a lighthouse for the Faculty of Science at the University of Copenhagen, which will see its student services consolidated under one roof.

Every element in Green Lighthouse was chosen for its energy efficiency and for the well-being of those working in and visiting the building. An open, inviting space that is full of natural light, Green Lighthouse certainly stands out amongst the traditional buildings in the neighbourhood.

Architectural description

A round, sculptural building, Green Lighthouse features high ceilings and an open, spacious floorplan. It is designed in a way that reduces energy consumption by 70 % utilising renewable energy, natural ventilation and light – and with a highly efficient climate envelope. Its circular form ensures the inner atrium is awash in uplifting natural light from the roof’s many roof windows. The central space is also crucial in terms of ventilation as fresh air from the façade windows is channelled through the atrium before it leaves through the room’s roof windows.

The sun is the building’s main energy source, providing passive solar gain, hot water and electricity. Efficient windows minimise the heat loss while maximising passive solar gain. Green Lighthouse’s angled roof plays an active role in the building’s energy profile. It acts as a power plant, capturing the sun’s energy using both solar panels and solar cells.

The façade is made from Swissfiber, a 30 % glass, 70 % polymer composite material that is extremely light and strong. In fact, the entire façade weighs only six tonnes. By comparison, a similar solution in tile would have weighed more than 175 tonnes and been considerably thicker.

A solar clock motive for the shape of the building, the renewable energy sourcing and the integrated art piece

If you had to do it again?

We commissioned the first year into the turnkey contract, this was a good experience. For next projects, it should be commissioned for 3-5 years.

Building users opinion

Very good indoor climate, cf interviews made for "Green Buildings Pay" book written by Brian Edwards & Emanuele Naboni, ed. 3, Routledge

Energy consumption

  • 3,00 kWhpe/m2.year
  • 60,00 kWhpe/m2.year
  • Other

    14 heating;
    8 lighting;
    5 ventilation;
    3 hot water;
    27 production - solar thermal & PV

Envelope performance

  • 0,08 W.m-2.K-1
  • prefabricated; thermoactive slabs ground and first floor

  • 0,60
  • EN 13829 - n50 » (en 1/h-1)

  • 0,74
  •  report from COWI consultants

Real final energy consumption

    44,00 kWhfe/m2.year

    2 010


    • Urban network
    • Heat pump
    • Others
    • Solar thermal
    • Urban network
    • Heat pump
    • Solar Thermal
    • Solar cooling
    • Natural ventilation
    • Double flow heat exchanger
     WindowMaster control system
    • Solar photovoltaic
    • Solar Thermal
    • Energy recovery from waste
  • 90,00 %
  •  district heating in CPH is partly carbon-neutral

    heat pump from Sorttech, fluid/fluid, connected to the grid, and to a seasonal storage

    heat pump COP 1,6 on district heating

Smart Building

    Window Master system combined with BMS classic

    Easy and adaptive - works from every work station

GHG emissions

Indoor Air quality

    Based on the relative comfort principle, according to EN 15 251. User is connected to outdoors visually, and also in terms of comfort. During winter, the IAQ is stable based on mechanical ventilation and heat exchange, during summer the users enjoy natural ventilation, combined with night cooling.

Health & Comfort

    The architectural concept of the house is the sun dial; the house follows the sun, also by its window design, where the facade windows and exterior sunscreening follow the path of the sun. The users can follow the seasons changing, and adapt the indoor climate individually. The house is flooded with daylight on all floors, and there is a "cathedral effect" through the central atrium, where users benefit from a 2500+ lux experience, to benefit their well-being and productivity.

    700 ppm

    650 ppm in average

    Class 2 in EN 15251


    Heat pump and seasonal storage and district heating in combination

    heat pump designed for solar cooling, used reverse; taking in hot water from the roof - solar thermal, by use of seasonal storage from summer to winter, and then adding the district heating.

    worked well - only few problems with vacuum

Construction and exploitation costs

  • 50 000
  • 5 000 000

Energy bill

  • 2 000,00

Urban environment

High density, inner urban Copenhagen

Land plot area

1 000,00 m2

Built-up area

20,00 %

Parking spaces

20 spaces

Building Environmental Quality

  • Building flexibility
  • indoor air quality and health
  • acoustics
  • comfort (visual, olfactive, thermal)
  • energy efficiency

Reasons for participating in the competition(s)

Building candidate in the category

Health & Comfort

Health & Comfort

Green Building Solutions Awards 2015

Author of the page

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    Green Building Solutions Awards 2015