Upcycle Studios - floor to ceiling circular economy

Posted on 12 November 2019.

Lendager Group - a Danish architecture studio - has upcycled old building materials to build Upcycle Studios, a group of townhouses located in the new Ørestad district in Copenhagen.

Promoting the circular economy in the construction industry is one of the goals targeted by the Danish architectural studio Lendager Group. "To solve the climate crisis, we must develop solutions that are not only sustainable, but also regenerative," he told the magazine Dezeen in April 2019. Among the Lendager Group's achievements are the Upcycle Studios - a group of twenty townhouses located in the new district of Ørestad, 5 km from Copenhagen city center.
This innovative approach demonstrates it’s possible to build green buildings from waste without compromising on quality, aesthetics or price. The locally collected materials have been upcycled and used in homes to meet market requirements and satisfy the industrial scale required.
The first thing that jumps out when you look at the long line of houses are the large wood-framed windows. They were recovered from old buildings undergoing renovation. Windows are usually either dumped or just the glass is recycled, which requires energy.
By reusing old windows, and choosing wood rather than aluminum for the frames, Lendager Group claims to have saved 95% of the CO2 that would have been emitted to produce the double glazed windows that fully meet insulation standards.
As for wood, floors, facades and other elements were made from offcuts and surpluses supplied by the Danish high-end parquet company Dinesen. Finally, 850 metric tons of used concrete - a material that is known to be responsible for a significant proportion of global CO2 emissions – were recycled from the Copenhagen metro construction site.

Sustainable lifestyle and the sharing economy

Upcycle Studios has been designed to promote a sustainable lifestyle and facilitate the sharing economy. All the elements in the houses help to maintain an optimal interior temperature. And the rooftop gardens and solar panels make them potentially self-sufficient. The use of renewable energy saves 15 metric tons of CO2 per year per dwelling.
The houses are modular and spaces can be easily separated or combined. Some may be used as housing, others as work spaces. This great flexibility means the accommodation is suitable for families as well as young professionals, creative freelancers or entrepreneurs wanting to create spaces adapted to different times of the day or periods in their lives.
In the same spirit, Lendager Group recently announced the launch of the UN17 Village, an eco-village project that is aiming to meet the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations in 2015. Ambitious!