Energy-efficient homes in the heart of Ringkøbing’s natural district
BJERG Arkitektur is behind 80 new social housings in the Ringkøbing K nature district. The new homes are built as so-called passive houses and have a negative CO2 footprint on operations. Troldtekt is part of the design.
What will the ideal homes of the future look like? Fjordudsigten in Ringkøbing presents a good idea of what the future may hold. Fjordudsigten consists of 80 public housings owned by the Ringkøbing-Skjern housing association, located in the newly established residential area "Naturbydelen, Ringkøbing K", where other types of housing have also been built.
The public housings were built in two stages. In October 2021, 47 homes were ready for people to move in, with the remaining 33 homes being ready in August 2022.
BJERG Arkitektur were the project's designers.
Built as passive housing
Ringkøbing’s new public housing was designed according to the "passive building" principle of buildings that are characterised by their use of very low amounts of energy. These homes actually produce more energy than they consume, and thus have a negative climate footprint in the operating phase.
This is demonstrated in the BUILD report "25 buildings can inspire a lower climate footprint", in which Fjordudsigten is highlighted as a best practice example.
These homes have the lowest carbon footprint of all completed homes featured in the publication, with a total life cycle footprint of 3.1 kg CO2/m2/year, which is far below the threshold of 12 kg CO2/m2/year set out in official building regulations.
Read the BUILD report here (Danish): 25 byggerier kan inspirere til lavere klimaaftryk.
"Insulation and how you design the building are what make the difference. Building passive houses like the ones at Fjordudsigten requires a compact construction so that they can retain heat. You also have to orient the homes correctly in relation to the sun and wind. Windows have to be large surfaces that have to be correctly positioned to allow the sun to shine in and provide heat."
This is the explanation offered by Mark Krebs, architect MAA, certified passive house designer, certified consultant in sustainable construction and partner at BJERG Arkitektur.
"For example, these homes have no radiators and piping, which meant that there was no need to add metal to the list of materials used. Instead, they are well insulated and have a smaller ventilation system and solar cells on the roof.
Fjordudsigten is Ringkøbing-Skjern Housing Association’s first housing project of this calibre. The initiative began when Director Bo Lodbjerg attended a Realdania event about passive housing.
"As a housing association, we want to contribute to the green agenda. We are, however, subject to a framework amount of funding; but when we discovered that it was possible to build homes as passive housing while remaining within a normal project budget, it was given the green light by the association's board" explains Bo Lodbjerg, Director of Ringkøbing-Skjern Housing Association.
Design that is easy on the eye
The Fjordudsigten apartments are available as both single-storey and two-storey apartments and have either a ground floor terrace or a first floor balcony. All homes have large south-facing windows. Several of them also have views of the fjord landscape to the west.
The buildings are built around a wooden skeleton. The facade consists of natural slate and wood, while the insulation is made of glass wool, 75 per cent of which comes from recycled materials.
The interior design is light and simple, using warm materials such as wooden floors and Troldtekt acoustic panels in natural wood in every room of each home.
According to Mark Krebs, "designing environmentally friendly housing is one thing; but we also need to consider the people who need to be able to live and thrive in these homes. One of the ways we do this is by focusing on large windows that provide daylight and health-conducive materials that ensure a good indoor climate."
He also explains that BJERG Arkitektur has a mantra about working with acoustics in residential buildings.
"Because hard materials produce reverberation, we thus need to ensure that the acoustics are good. Troldtekt is a good solution that also brings good aesthetics to a room and creates warmth in interaction with wooden floors, for example."