Danish architecture firms raise the bar for upcycling building materials

Two Danish architecture firms have teamed up to propose the world’s first upcycled high-rise building: CPH Common House features over 17,500 tons of recycled waste material, such as recycled tiles, window frames and wood.

Although CPH Common House is only a proposal – and was ultimately not chosen for construction – it raises the bar for sustainable construction.

Designed by Danish architecture firms Lendager Group and TREDJE NATUR, the building proposes using recycled tiles and concrete with brick fractures for the element facades, recycled window frames for wood panelling, and recycled wood for flooring. The design team calculates that the building would upcycle 17,577 tons of waste, giving it 1,174 tons of CO2 savings in the building phase alone.

“The project uses upcycled materials to an unprecedented extent,” according to the project description. “Local recycling components will contribute to minimize CO2 emissions and generate a new resource-efficient building with a local identity.”

The focus on sustainability is also found in the form of the building, which features a large, central courtyard, common gardens as well as roof terraces. These not only integrate the landscape into the building and increase biodiversity, but also provide meeting spaces for the community and allow the apartments to be lit from both sides.

According to the design team, the project is a sustainable take on the classic Copenhagen courtyard building and fits in well with its surroundings.

”With CPH Common House, we want to show that you can easily build high and densely without losing the connection to history, context and the human scale. The project is based on a strong understanding of the site, resources and the microclimate, which results in an empathetic benchmark for sustainable high-rise buildings in Copenhagen,” said Ole Schrøder, partner at THIRD NATURE.

Image credit: TREDJE NATUR

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