Upcycle Studios

Updated 31.03.20 |
Of:
Signe Moeslund Mains

Photo credit: Rasmus Hjortshøj

The success of Upcycle Studios spearheads the industry towards sustainability. In the Ørestad district of Copenhagen stands the first ever building to convert cost-neutral sustainability and innovative use of resources into increased demand.

The ambition was to build the world’s most sustainable residential buildings, but still on market terms. According to a Swedish report, the Upcycle Studios project has resulted in new business opportunities for partners in the value chain, 26 six-month full-time positions and carbon savings. Upcycle Studios is contributing significantly to the transition to a circular economy and green behaviour in the construction sector.

"Upcycle Studios is a lighthouse project demonstrating that upcycling is good business. The project is instrumental in accelerating the transition to a circular economy in the building and construction sector. Our studies show how project contributors developed more interest in working with upcycled materials and greater focus on sustainability." Julia Nussholz, Senior researcher, International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics, Lund University

Waste was used as a resource in the construction of the buildings. For example, 75 % of the windows in the 200 m2 flats come from old, demolished social housing units, contributing a 77 % carbon reduction relative to using new windows. Furthermore, 840 tonnes of concrete used in the construction was waste from the new Copenhagen Metro system, and surplus wood was used to make floors, walls and façades.

The circular principles of the project create sustainable value, not only because building materials are reused instead of ending up in incineration plants, but also indirectly by engaging materials manufacturers and boosting the local economy.

Developers and investors have become aware of the economic potential in sustainable construction, and the Upcycle Studios project has demonstrated that sustainability really can pay off.

Photo of Upcycle Studios by Lendager Group. Photo credit: Rasmus Hjortshøj