What Can We Learn From Sustainable Nordic Architecture?

Publications: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Burning fossil fuels to keep people warm in buildings in the northern hemisphere has contributed to global pollution. Decades of this excessive resource use is now causing a shift in our environment and climate. In response, European policies require ever stringent building fabric standards to curb energy use in buildings. This, in turn, has led to some architects and engineers to experiment with new materials, construction methods, energy production and supply systems. However, many of these experiments have remained in the engineering domain. Architecture has been slow to engage with or respond to this shifting world, leading to buildings that lack environmental ambition and imagination. More often than not spatial qualities and non-energy related issues are de-prioritised.
As a contrast to these prevailing scenarios, it appears that many Nordic buildings quietly respond to these new challenges [1]. In response to the harshness of the local climatic conditions and diminished daylighting during the long winters, increased performance requirements and good lighting conditions are basic criteria. In addition to this, many sustainable Nordic buildings are exemplary in terms of spatial qualities, sustainable material solutions and in response to societal challenges. Moreover, many Nordic architects integrate sustainability into their buildings in unobtrusive ways, and it is this that is exemplary for architecture throughout the world.

This paper sets out to explore the different sustainable design approaches of three Nordic case studies and to communicate the authors’ evaluation and interpretation of the architects’ sustainability framework and approaches. Three evaluation methods were used to frame the exemplary sustainability aspects and to map any shortcomings. In doing so, the evaluation methods are reflected upon and some key findings will be drawn out for sustainable building beyond the Nordic region.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date5 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - 5 Mar 2019
EventS.Arch 2019: The 6th International Conference on Architecture & Built Environment
- Havana, Cuba
Duration: 5 Mar 20197 Mar 2019
Conference number: 6

Conference

ConferenceS.Arch 2019: The 6th International Conference on Architecture & Built Environment
Number6
CountryCuba
CityHavana
Period05/03/201907/03/2019

Keywords

  • Nordic architecture
  • integrated sustainable design
  • contextual design
  • design approaches

Artistic research

  • No

Cite this

Donovan, E., Koźmińska, U., & Pelsmakers, S. (2019). What Can We Learn From Sustainable Nordic Architecture?. Paper presented at S.Arch 2019: The 6th International Conference on Architecture & Built Environment
, Havana, Cuba.