Footprints of the future

In the village of Feldballe on the Djursland peninsula in East Jutland, the extension to the local school is an example of beautiful architecture built using bio-based building materials. 

Photo: Helene Høyer Mikkelsen, architect Jens Dresling/Ritzau Scanpix

At Feldballe Friskole, an independent primary and lower secondary school, the new physics/chemistry/science classrooms are high-ceilinged with exposed wooden beams and large, north-facing windows. The new classrooms are often flooded with daylight from several directions. In the deep window niches, window seats have been created. The extension has been built from carefully selected materials, and no compromises have been made with regard to sustainability and the indoor climate.  

The Feldballe Friskole extension is something of a special project which has proved successful thanks to the assistance of the school’s neighbour, the company EcoCocon Danmark, which collaborated with the school and Henning Larsen Architects.

The extension absorbs more CO2 than it emits, as it is built of wood with straw insulation. The straw elements received the Innovation Award in 2019 for “regionally available and renewable materials”. The product is Cradle to Cradle-certified (Silver) and meets the Passive House certification criteria.

Breathable and healthy 
The indoor climate in the classrooms is second-to-none. The construction is breathable in spite of its high insulating properties, and is free from degassing. The extension also stands out for its spatial qualities. Troldtekt acoustic panels on the vaulted ceiling surfaces ensure a good sense of space in addition to the superior acoustics. 

The Troldtekt acoustic panels have square edges and a 5 mm U-trace for a precise finish and a distinct broken bond. The wood on the ceiling corresponds beautifully with the room’s ‘plinths’ in plywood combined with the wooden strips around the windows. Moreover, the rooms have a dynamic feel thanks to all the large windows.

Outside, the facades, roof and the large overhang are clad with heat-treated Thermowood, which obviously harmonises well with a wooden building.