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Denmark is building its first “climate positive” hotel

Tim Gibson

29 October 2020


DENMARK will be opening its first “climate positive” hotel in 2021, despite the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the tourism industry.

The Hotel Green Solution House (Hotel GSH) will be adding an additional wing that includes 24 suites, a conference room and a roof spa.

Designed by 3XN, this new wing will be constructed, clad and insulated using wooden materials that are not only carbon neutral, but will provide a positive carbon footprint once completed.

Above: The wing will include 24 additional rooms and a spa (image courtesy of 3XN and GXN).

The concept of “climate positive” construction is meant to encourage architects and designers to think about their projects in terms of their long term carbon footprint.

Too much concrete or other carbon-intensive materials - or too few trees and greenery - often means that a building will be a heavy carbon emitter during its construction and will continue to be so throughout its maintenance and upkeep.

Whereas “climate positive” buildings will absorb more greenhouse gas emissions than they produce over the course of their lifetime through the incorporation of “climate sinks” - trees and plants that absorb CO2 - or by using building materials like wood.

Located on the island of Bornholm, Hotel GSH hopes to be an example not only Danish architects but to the world as to what this method of architecture can achieve.

Trine Richter, the director of the hotel, admits that the industry is going through a rough period but expects Bornholm to see tourists again in the new year.

She also hopes that the unique construction methods of the hotel will be a draw in itself.

Above: Waste materials from construction will be reused for surfaces (image courtesy of 3XN and GXN).

Aside from using wood, the new wing will upcycle waste products created from the construction process, using them to make furniture and surfaces.

The building will also be naturally ventilated via skylights and open areas, eliminating the need for mechanical solutions.

The construction industry currently accounts for 40 percent of the world’s CO2 emissions, with the manufacturing of steel and concrete alone accounting for 16 percent.

As the world “builds back better” in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, ideas like “climate positive” architecture will continue to be a priority for the construction industry.

Header image courtesy of 3XN and GXN.


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