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Daylight & Architecture

The future is green
Conference center and
hotel extension in Rønne

Nowhere in Denmark does the sun rise earlier than on Bornholm – and the Baltic Sea island would also like to be the first part of the country that meets its energy needs from completely carbon-neutral renewable sources. The ‘Green Solution House’ in the south of the island's main town, Rønne, is a lighthouse project for this turnaround. The former Hotel Ryttergården from 1973 has been renovated, supplemented with a congress centre and equipped with numerous forward-looking solutions from the fields of architecture and building technology. Three sustainability concepts were at the centre of the building design: DGNB certification, the cradle-to-cradle principle aimed at a circular flow economy, and the Active House Standard, which focusses on a healthy indoor climate and an excellent supply of daylight.
    The results of this strategy are apparent to visitors everywhere they go. In many places, recycled materials were used; there are carpets that clean the air and a small bioreactor in which algae are used to clean the hotel's waste water. Above all, however, daylight and the coastal landscape are omnipresent all round the inside of the building. The hotel rooms receive light through the flat roof windows and via the balconies, which have been fitted with new glass balustrades. Above the foyer, there is a folded glass roof composed of modular skylights, some of which are fitted with solar cells and thus contribute to the power supply. And thanks to large glass facades, the sunlight can exert its invigorating effect on listeners and speakers even in the conference rooms.

Strandvejen 79, Rønne, Denmark
3XN, Copenhagen
Steenbergs Tegnestue, Rønne
Sustainability consultants:
GXN Innovation, Copenhagen
The future is green - Daylight and Architecture Magazine
The future is green - Daylight and Architecture Magazine
The future is green - Daylight and Architecture Magazine
The future is green - Daylight and Architecture Magazine
The future is green - Daylight and Architecture Magazine
The future is green - Daylight and Architecture Magazine
The future is green - Daylight and Architecture Magazine



Public health is gaining increasing attention worldwide. Yet one important aspect of it is still largely disregarded – the impact of buildings on the health and well-being of people who spend 90 percent of their time indoors.

Sir Winston Churchill already acknowledged that just as we shape our buildings, buildings shape us. This also has economic consequences; for every euro spent by company on the construction of an office building, five euros are spent on operating costs during the life cycle of the building – and 95 euros on the salaries of the people who work in the building. The well-being and productivity of the workforce are thus major assets, which crucially depend on the quality of the spaces.

Buildings are there to be used; their success largely depends on what happens after their construction or renovation. Yet the data and knowledge about the actual building performance is not yet available in the planning and acquisition phase. As a consequence, clients are often unsure what specifically to ask for. What experiences can be applied to inform future decisions in building design and engineering? Which tools are available to ensure that a building is beneficial to its users?

You can’t manage what you can’t measure – this business advise by the U.S. economist Peter Drucker is the heart of Daylight/Architecture 29. In three major chapters, the magazine explores how we can move forward through feedback.

The first chapter presents some of the science around buildings and their impact on human beings in a light and accessible way. Here the Danish cartoonist Halfdan Pisket has staged a fictitious dialogue between a building user and the space around him. Together they discuss how, according to Winston Churchill, buildings ‘shape’ their users in terms of health, physical well-being and emotions.

Then follows an overview of the planning schemes and evaluation methods that building owners and planners can use to design and document building performance. Some schemes focus mainly on the design and construction of buildings, while others also include building monitoring and user surveys during occupancy. We believe that such a reality check is essential if buildings are to fulfil the promises of their clients and the expectations of their users. In addition, vital lessons can be leant from building evaluation, which will increase the quality of the construction industry in the long term.

With science and theory in place, and the necessary tools at hand, the third chapter of this issue shows 15 buildings in which the indoor climate, air quality and occupant satisfaction have been verified during operation. We cannot yet derive benchmarks from these examples, but we hope that they will encourage building professionals and their clients to demand feedback and learn from it. This is a key tool to release the huge social and economic benefits in healthier buildings.

Enjoy the read! 
The VELUX Group

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