Nordic Swan Ecolabel retrofit shows the way forward

Søborg is the location of the Nordic region’s first Nordic Swan Ecolabelled renovated childcare institution, which is also a redevelopment of Blaagaard Seminarium teacher training college. Worthy of preservation for its architecture, the building complex is now gradually being repurposed.

Photo: Helene Høyer Mikkelsen, architect MAA

The Børnehuset Paletten childcare institution is designed by RUBOW arkitekter A/S, who have successfully balanced the renovation and convergence of several building carcases while optimising the indoor climate and acoustics – crucial factors in obtaining Nordic Swan Ecolabel certification.

The original, soft-style red-brick buildings date back to 1967, featuring horizontal bands of windows with mahogany window frames and copper fascia edges. The angled wing from 1995 has been given a new look that better matches the original architecture, with an upper facade clad in corten steel, and the facades below now made more homogeneous with black wood. As part of the project, the wings have been linked with a ‘hinge’, which doubles as the entrance area.

Acoustics and indoor climate are connected

While the buildings from 1967 house the kindergarten and kitchen, the nursery is located in the building from 1995. The middle building has several high-ceilinged communal rooms designed for activities for all the children. The simple and logical layout frames the institution’s delightful playground. Refurbishment materials were chosen with care to ensure a healthy environment for the children.

Troldtekt panels in natural wood with built-in ventilation were selected for the communal activity rooms and the nursery wing. Besides providing good acoustics – vital in a childcare institution – the solution also contributes to a good indoor climate. The ceiling panels have been installed without bevelled edges, with air exchange via selected panels, which all results in relatively undisturbed ceiling surfaces.

The project is a superb example of how buildings can be sustainably reused once purged of toxins and with just a few new materials added. At the same time, the renovation has breathed new life into an otherwise quiet neighbourhood.

Børnehuset Paletten has been nominated for the Danish Retrofit Award 2022 in the Institutions category. 

Facts: Troldtekt is registered in the Nordic Swan Ecolabel database of materials for use in Nordic Swan Ecolabelled construction.