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Climate Challenge Laboratory

Sustainable construction

”We believe that architectural quality and aesthetic merit is of great importance for the use and life span of a building”

Michael Werin Larsen, partner at Christensen & Co Architects, about the new Climate Challenge Laboratory.

In building B313, sustainability, aesthetics and architectural quality are united to create the research architecture of the future. The building’s architecture helps create a unique world-class research environment and supports innovation, knowledge exchange and meetings between people. The architectural qualities are created with a focus on functionality, so that scientists using the building have the optimal facilities for their ground-breaking research on climate change. The house is designed with flexible laboratories and offices that can be changed to fit future needs. Offices and laboratories are connected by an open atrium that stretches up through all seven floors of the house and creates a connection between the different sections. Here, the house users can easily pull out for smaller breaks and get professional or social inputs. In the atrium, we have created a comfortable environment with wood panelling, indoor trees and seating options that invite researchers and students to informal stay. This strengthens interdisciplinarity and a vibrant working environment.

Relationships at the centre

B313 is centrally located on DTU’s campus in an area with everything from student housing to research buildings and auditorium buildings. Here, everyday life, the university, and the surrounding neighbourhood merge, making the building an organic part of the local area. The building invites passers-by closer through a welcoming outdoor area and an accessible ground floor where there is space and room for life. To support close relationships between the disciplines, there is a strong connection between inside and outside the building. This creates the framework for an expanded use of the building, where users more often interact with each other.  The lab facilities also strengthen collaboration across disciplines by being designed so that they can be used by researchers in many different fields. The lab environments are comfortable to stay in for many hours at a time and support good collaboration patterns.

Sustainable ambitions in the Climate Challenge Laboratory

Our project for B313 contributes to DTU’s ambition to be the frontrunner for sustainable development by working systematically with sub-goals under the Sustainable Development Goals. Furthermore, the building is certified to DGNB level Gold, and we have developed a biodiversity strategy. Based on analysis of the building’s context, we have examined how we can preserve the current biodiverse areas and how the new planting can support a growth of the existing species. Based on this analysis, we have chosen to give the building green areas on everything from roof to façade, which addresses SDGs 3 and 15. Sustainability is the driving force behind our architectural choices, so that all elements – in addition to being aesthetic – also have a concrete function. The office area of the climate laboratory is the first building of DTU, where the bearing structures are made entirely of wood as a more sustainable alternative to concrete. We have worked with SDGs 3 and 12 by using fewer layers in the architecture, thus minimizing the amount of material, and by designing so that the materials can be easily separated and reused, thus reducing waste. We have developed the technical solutions with a focus on energy optimization, which addresses SDG 7. We have also integrated the principles of universal design and inclusive architecture, which addresses SDGs 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10 and 11.

Technical University of Denmark (DTU)
10.700 m²
Kongens Lyngby, Denmark
MT Højgaard, MOE