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Sustainability is solidly embedded in Danish and Nordic architectural traditions.

Danish architects are leaders in the field of construction, town planning and landscaping that provide social, economic and cultural value for people, companies and societies all over the globe.

Sustainability is solidly embedded in Danish and Nordic architectural traditions. Danish architects are leaders in the field of construction, town planning and landscaping that provide social, economic and cultural value for people, companies and societies all over the globe.

The Danish architectural profession consists of more than 700 companies employing a total of around 4300 architects, construction engineers and other technical and administrative staff. In terms of size, the companies range from a number of one-man businesses to Denmark’s largest architectural firms with more than 200 employees in Denmark and abroad.

Denmark formulated the first rules for energy-efficient buildings as early as 1976. Since then, the requirements have been tightened several times and extended to cover the energy consumption of heating, ventilation as well as lighting. The profession has already decided on the next ambitious goal: by 2020 the energy consumption of buildings must be reduced by 75% compared with 2008. This is the reason why Danish architects are constantly developing new solutions combining high architectural quality with low energy consumption. The most advanced new buildings will soon be energy positive, i.e. they will have active and passive energy systems that are so effective that they produce more energy than the buildings consume. In addition, Denmark has been a laboratory for sustainable town development for many years. On that basis, Danish architecture and town planning can contribute to global change.

A number of Danish architectural firms are getting a footing in the international market, including the Middle East where cultures and working conditions are markedly different compared with Denmark. Here, the ethical and moral standards of Danish companies, including their views on democracy and human and labour rights, can leave significant footprints.

Both the Danish Association of Architectural Firms and the Danish Architecture Centre play important roles in bringing together the different parties in the building environment, exchanging knowledge and identifying new trends, challenges and potentials in a global perspective. The Danish Architecture Centre is also behind the website sustainablecities.dk, which gives easy access to knowledge about sustainable planning and development of Danish and international cities.

World view on CSR and architecture

In future, changes to our climate will affect how and where we live. Architecture plays an important role in this context. Buildings must, for example, be able to withstand more extreme precipitation and more frequent storms. In large parts of the world, increasing temperatures and periods with heat waves will increase the need for cooling in buildings. These challenges require not only technical solutions but also fundamental architectural approaches that can contribute to improved health and quality of life while reducing the energy consumption. As an example, the total building mass in the world currently accounts for 50% of total CO2 emissions, and it takes three times as much energy to reduce temperatures by one degree than to increase temperatures by one degree. The ongoing population growth, especially in the cities, also creates a need for innovative thinking of the buildings and town planning of the future.