New Low-energy office building of Energinet.dk | Henning Larsen Architects

• June 4, 2010

Danish architectural practice Henning Larsen Architects has won the competition for the new office building of Energinet.dk in Ballerup. The new office building will house the approx. 105 employees today working in the company’s present office in Ballerup. The building will be located in a business area situated by Pederstrupvej in Ballerup. The building process is expected to be completed in 2011.

The proposal is functionally and beautifully located on the site, it is thoroughly prepared and meets the architectural wishes of the client.

The jury’s statement

HLA Energinet dk Ekst plusMOOD 01 595x297 New Low energy office building of Energinet.dk | Henning Larsen Architects

Energinet.dk office building, rendering courtesy of Henning Larsen Architects

+ Press release

Low-energy design for new office building

Henning Larsen Architects has won the competition for the new office building of Energinet.dk in Ballerup. The low-energy building has been achieved exclusively by means of optimising the design and geometry to create an office building in the lowest energy class possible.

The new office building of Energinet.dk covers 4,000 m2. The simple architectural design has resulted in a flexible and easily comprehensible building consisting of three elements: meeting facilities on the ground floor, a uniting atrium and workstations on the top floor, which floats above the sloping landscape. The atrium is identity-creating, open and active.

The building has an annual energy consumption of only 48,8 kWh/m2. Incorporating solar panels, ground water cooling and heat pumps in the project would reduce the annual consumption to only 35 kWh/m2.

We have optimised the energy efficiency of the building by simply focusing on an overall energy reduction… In this way, the building meets the requirements for low-energy class 1 according to Danish building regulations without the use of a lot of technology. Introducing solar panels to produce energy would further reduce the energy consumption of the building.

architect Anders Sælan, Henning Larsen Architects

Henning Larsen Architects won the competition over a number of other Danish architecture companies.In the jury’s statement, it says about the winning proposal of Henning Larsen Architects:

The proposal is functionally and beautifully located on the site, it is thoroughly prepared and meets the architectural wishes of the client.

Daylight is decisive in terms of how people experience architecture. It is one of the most important tools of architecture but at the same time, we need to control the light and heat of the sun if we want to reduce the energy consumption of a building… Therefore, it is important to optimise the design in terms of daylight in the design process. A proper balance between daylight and indoor climate is achieved by simulating the light and adjust the design accordingly.

architect Anders Sælan

A significant part of the environmental objective has been to ensure a high degree of flexibility. The open layout of the first floor as well as the light walls and simple, reusable elements will make it easy and problemfree to change the interior layout in the future. The building process is expected to be completed in 2011.

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Energinet.dk office building, rendering courtesy of Henning Larsen Architects

+  Project description courtesy of Henning Larsen Architects

Dahl Entreprise A/S and Henning Larsen Architects won the turnkey contract with an office building in the lowest energy class possible achieved exclusively by means of optimising the design and building geometry. The building has an annual energy consumption of only 48,8 kWh/m2. Incorporating solar panels, ground water cooling and heat pumps in the project would further reduce the annual energy consumption to only 35 kWh/m2.

By means of a simple architectural design, the new office building of Energinet.dk in Ballerup is divided into a public and non-public space. The ground floor comprises the public facilities of the building while the first floor houses all the offices – placed in a flexible and sustainable layout. The top floor floats above the landscape.

HLA Energinet dk Int plusMOOD 01 595x297 New Low energy office building of Energinet.dk | Henning Larsen Architects

Energinet.dk office building, rendering courtesy of Henning Larsen Architects

A uniting atrium welcomes everyone to the building and its light and open design provides a good overview of the various functions. The open, dynamic and active design of the atrium reflects the values of Energinet.dk.

The building is situated on the highest point of the ground. This ensures a beautiful panoramic view of the surrounding landscape and brings the slightly sloping ground into the building. The structural floor of the building follows the varying levels of the ground and gives a good experience of the surrounding landscape. The varying levels and stairs provide the framework for temporary activities,
meetings and social intercourse. A long view through the cafeteria to the outdoor space unites the landscape and building in the atrium.

The use of simple and few exterior materials contribute to creating a powerful contrast between the building and landscape. The building has a clear and elegant design.

The high floor space ratio ensures that a number of rooms can be used for several purposes. The open layout, light walls and floors of the first floor will make it easy and problem-free to change the office layout in the future.

HLA Energinet dk Int plusMOOD 02 595x297 New Low energy office building of Energinet.dk | Henning Larsen Architects

Energinet.dk office building, rendering courtesy of Henning Larsen Architects

The large, open spaces and simple, reusable elements make the building adaptable to changes. In addition, the light and reusable materials ensure a minimal waste of resources in connection with possible conversions in the future.

+ Sustainable architecture

The design of the new office building of Energinet.dk has been based on three overall environmental objectives:

  1. Local disposal of rainwater (LAR) resulting in a reduced load on the sewage system and reduced water consumption.
  2. Making use exclusively of materials that ensure a good indoor climate, small environmental impact and a minimum of maintenance.
  3. Low energy consumption and reduction of CO2 emissions.

Henning Larsen Architects has designed a low-energy building solely by means of optimising the design and an geometry – resulting in an office building in the lowest energy class possible. The building has an energy consumption of only 48,8 kWh/m2 a year. Incorporating solar panels, ground water cooling and heat pumps in the project would further reduce the annual energy consumption to only 35 kWh/m2. The building meets the requirements for low-energy class 1 according to Danish building regulations without the use of energy producing technologies.

The design is based on the integrated energy design concept where the building is designed to achieve the lowest energy class possible – and thus the lowest possible maintenance and operation costs. In order to reduce the energy consumption of the building, the design team has focused on:

  • Shape and orientation: A compact building (large volume compared to surface area) reduces the heat loss and use of materials
  • Functional positioning: The energy consumption can be reduced significantly by means of a proper positioning of the various functions of the building. Permanent workstations are placed to the north-west and north-east to avoid overheating and blinding.
  • Daylight optimisation: By testing different daylight scenarios, the use of light and heat from the sun is optimised and the use of artificial lighting is reduced. Tailoring the light to the specific needs further optimises the use of artificial lighting. In the design process, light simulations have been applied to optimise the design and reduce the energy consumption for artificial lighting and cooling.

In the design process, a comfortable inflow of daylight has been ensured by means of the following:

  • Permanent sunlight protection on the facades to avoid a direct inflow of daylight and overheating.
  • Indirect inflow of daylight from overhead lights in the atrium.
  • Direct sunlight from the west in summer in the cafeteria and conference rooms. During the rest of the year, the rooms are in shadow.

The offices feature three-layer low-energy windows and, in some places, north-facing overhead lights. The offices only have direct sun from the west in summer. For the rest of the year, the rooms are in shadow. The building has a green roof serving several sustainable purposes: It reduces the load on the public sewage system by means of slow percolation and evaporation. In addition, the collected rainwater is used for flushing the toilets and watering the garden, which contributes to reducing the overall energy consumption for cooling.

Energinet.dk is an independent, public undertaking owned by the Danish state as represented by the Danish Ministry of Climate and Energy. Energinet.dk is the result of a merger between Eltra, Elkraft System, Elkraft Transmission and Gastra. The merger took place on 24 August 2005 with retrospective effect from 1 January 2005. Energinet.dk employs approx. 500 employees and its headquarters are located in Erritsø, Fredericia.

Energinet.dk owns the Danish gas transmission grid and the 400 kV electricity transmission grid and is co-owner of the international connections between Denmark, the Nordic countries and Germany.

Furthermore, the company has at its disposal the 132 kV and 150 kV electricity grids and has access to natural gas storage facilities. As the owner of the overall infrastructure, Energinet.dk maintains the security of supply and ensures the smooth operation of the market for electricity and gas.

+ About Henning Larsen Architects

Henning Larsen Architects is the most international architectural company in Denmark. The company was founded by Henning Larsen in 1959 and today occupies 140 employees.

Henning Larsen Architects attaches great importance to developing environmentally friendly and integrated, energy-efficient solutions. The company’s projects are characterised by a high degree of social responsibility – not only in relation to materials and production but also as regards good social spaces encouraging intimacy and community. This value-based approach is the foundation of all designs – from complex masterplans to successful building icons all over the world.

As an architecture company, Henning Larsen Architects engages in research and the dissemination of knowledge across professional fields. Energy efficiency should be implemented in the design from the first sketches of the creative process. Last year, Henning Larsen Architects received the Climate Cup Strategy Award in connection with the Nordic Climate Solutions conference for its efforts to implement sustainability in building projects.

Henning Larsen Architects is managed by CEO Mette Kynne Frandsen, Design Director Louis Becker and Design Director Peer Teglgaard Jeppesen.

+ Project credits / data

Project: The new office building of Energinet.dk
Location: Ballerup, Denmark
Client: Energinet.dk
Architect: Henning Larsen Architects
Partners: Dahl Entreprise A/S, Schul Landscape Architects and Hansen, Carlsen & Frølund, Consulting Engineers
Gross floor area: 4,000 m2
Type of assignment: First prize in competition
Project team at Henning Larsen Architects: Anders Sælan (project manager), Signe Kongebro, Marie Frederiksen, Erik Holm-Hansson, Peter Krogtofte and Greta Lillienau

+ All images and drawings courtesy of Henning Larsen Architects

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Category: Architecture, Office

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