Project Description

Upcycle Studios

Winner of Danish Design Award 2019

What if waste was your only resource? What if waste concrete, wood and old windows could be your building materials and what if you could finance parts of the rental through your own company?

Upcycle Studios is an award-winning project that demonstrate how 3,000 m2 row houses can save 45% CO2 and turn 1,000 tonnes of waste into building materials. Built from recycled concrete, repurposed double glazing windows and discarded flooring boards. And what if the project became a testament to how we can build sustainable buildings without having to compromise on quality, aesthetics or price.

About

20 sustainable townhouses in the Ørestad district of Copenhagen. Upcycle Studios enables a circular economy solution for the construction industry. It presents a solution for sustainable architecture by “upcycling” building materials, and it enables sustainable living by enabling the people living there to make alternative choices.

The jury at the Danish Design Award said: “This project demonstrates how a circular economy can be established enabling new buildings to be created from “upcycled” materials. The building industry generates a huge amount of waste – up to 35% of all waste globally comes from the construction industry. Therefore, real projects that address this issue are timely and important.

The idea is not new but Upcycle Studios demonstrates good design, material innovations and process documentation that is highly praiseworthy and sets a great example for others to follow and join.”

The houses are designed to be spacious and to help promote sustainable living, creating a fine indoor climate and making sharing easier. Some areas can be used as offices and others as rental accommodation, or for workshops and other user-defined needs. Roof gardens and solar panels add the potential for the houses to be self-sufficient, helping to allow for a “circular” way of life in tune with the building, which the architects hope residents will adopt.

Sustainable Impact

CLIENT IMPACT

  • A popular dwelling fully occupied and swiftly rented out in a challenging market
  • Constructed within material and building budget – 3% lower than target
  • Low maintenance and operational costs
  • Long-term sustainability strategy created for multiple partners in the project
  • Founded a sustainable building portfolio for the first time in Denmark
  • Knowledge platform created about circular construction
  • Established client as a front runner in circular economy

AWARDS IMPACT

  • Nominated for Danish Design Award 2021
  • Winner of the Licitationen Procespris 2020
  • Nominated for Dezeen Awards 2020
  • Winner of Danish Design Award 2019
  • “Final 5” Award show at MIPIM 2019

COMMUNICATION IMPACT

  • Hosted C40 Mayors Summit
  • Covered internationally in ArchDaily, Dezeen, Detail, Bau, Architects Journal, Arkitekten, Politiken, Berlingske, Børsen, TV2, DR, RAI, ZDF and more
  • Estimated value €500,000

INNOVATION IMPACT

  • Pioneering the use of 100% upcycle aggregate for load-bearing construction walls and slabs
  • Pioneering upcycled windows that perform better than benchmark
  • Upcycled wood for facades, walls and floors
  • Upcycled wood offcuts from Dinesen
  • Pioneering circular innovations in DK, transitioning to the new company A:GAIN A/S, madeagain.dk

RESOURCE IMPACT

  • Saving 904 tonnes of waste into materials
  • Upcycled percentage of 69%
  • CO2 saving per LCA of 45%

SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • Recognised for healthy indoor environment with minimal use of chemicals
  • Providing opportunity for a better work-life balance and sustainable way of living
  • Minimising stress with a better work-life balance

‘With Resource Rows and Upcycle Studios we have shown that you can go new ways that add up socially, environmentally, climatically and economically even on a tight budget.’

Claus Mathisen

CEO, NREP in Solution

‘Paradigm shift in Danish architecture.’

Karsten Ifversen

Architectural Editor, Politiken

  • Upcycle-studios-Facade
  • Upcycle-studios-plan
  • Upcycle-studios-plan2

Location

Oerestad, Copenhagen

Clients

NREP
AG Group

Partners

NREP
MOE

Year

2018