Green Lighthouse, Denmark's first CO2-neutral public building, has officially opened reports the Danish Energy Association. The new building is located on the Copenhagen University campus and has been built by a consortium including consulting engineers COWI, which has developed the architecture and energy concept for this new climate landmark which was inaugurated on 20 October – in good time for the UN Climate Change Conference COP15 taking place in Copenhagen next month.
Part of Copenhagen University's Faculty of Science, Green Lighthouse will contain service functions for students, meeting facilities and a faculty club for researchers.
Copenhagen University Prorector Lykke Friis, who also chaired the steering committee for Green Lighthouse, commented to the Danish Energy Association: "With Green Lighthouse, we have demonstrated that building CO2-neutral isn't rocket science, but plain common sense. The building's design features account for three-quarters of the energy savings. The unique design features include the optimal use of sunlight, an automatic ventilation system, and an automatic heating and cooling system."
Green Lighthouse is deliberately cylindrical in shape, since this geometry has a lower surface area in relation to its volume, which helps maintain thermal equilibrium on account of lower heat flows between system and surroundings. Solar panels produce all the necessary electricity for the building (which is optimally sited in relation to the sun), while solar thermal panels produce the hot water and heating for the building. A heat reservoir has been built beneath the building to store surplus heat in summer for reuse in colder periods, and all the essential lighting for the building is of the LED type which has a long lifetime and a low energy demand.
Green Lighthouse cost DKK 37m (USD 7.4m) to build, of which the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation provided DKK 33m (USD 6.6m).