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April 21, 2019

A smarter and more sustainable way of building



As blogged on Living It, Kim Herforth Nielsen is the founder and creative director of trailblazing Danish architects 3xN. The Copenhagen firm is making a name for itself by building in wood – and building sustainably. Their most prestigious project to date, a new home for the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne, Switzerland, opens in June. They are also building blue chip eco buildings in Sydney and Toronto and a new high school in Stuttgart. 3XN designed the new Copenhagen Royal Arena and Bella Sky Hotel in the Danish capital, the Danish Embassy in Berlin, the Museum of Liverpool and the Swedbank HQ in Stockholm.

Why is being green important to you?

“Considering that the building industry is currently responsible for around 30% of global waste and energy use, I believe architects have an obligation to come up with smarter and more sustainable ways of building in the future. And rather than just focusing on sustainability I believe we need a holistic approach also considering human needs and behavior.”

Tell us about the new home of the IOC you designed in Switzerland

“Olympic House, the new headquarters of the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne, is opening in June. This building will become one of the most sustainable office buildings in Switzerland targeting three sustainability certifications that are well recognized both internationally (the LEED Platinum standard) and nationally (the Minergie and SNBS standards). Olympic house is a prime example of how design and sustainability can complement each other. We used high ambitions for sustainability as a design driver to push the boundaries and create a building that is cutting edge on all parameters.”

Is wood a good alternative to other materials?

“Yes, it is a great material to work in and has several great assets. First of all, trees absorb carbon from the atmosphere rather than releasing it. For every dry tonne of timber produced, 1.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide is taken from the atmosphere. Timber is a renewable material. When a tree is felled a new one can grow in its place. Wood is breathable and can absorb and release moisture. It creates a naturally regulated indoor climate. Designwise timber creates a great warm ambience.”

Keep reading this blog on Living It


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