Children in Hørsholm can play in the most climate-friendly nursery in Denmark.
The form of the building and the choice of materials ensure that even without any high-tech renewable technologies the building will use less energy than the requirements set by the 2015 Danish building regulations. But the nursery has also been equipped with a series of renewable technologies to enhance its performance even further. Strategically positioned on the southern facades of the roof are 50 square metres of solar collectors that provide heating and hot water (backed up by a heat pump), and 250 square metres of photovoltaic panels to generate electricity.
In total the nursery produces 8 kilowatt hours per square metre per year, which is surplus to the building’s requirements. This means that during eight months of the year excess energy is fed back into the national grid and for the four darkest months of the year, renewable energy is bought back by the nursery.
The generous ceiling heights created by the pitched roofs allow air to circulate around the nursery’s rooms and the roof is scattered with Velux roof lights, which will automatically open and close to naturally ventilate the building. The roof lights are also a key element in introducing natural light into the nursery.
When not used for solar panels the remaining roof surface has been planted with sedum – a hard wearing plant, which not only encourages biodiversity, prevents water run off and provides both sound and temperature insulation, but also helps to cool the photovoltaic panels. Water evaporating from the planted roof helps to cool the panels, which work more efficiently at lower temperatures.
The outdoor areas are planted to represent the various landscapes of Denmark, including a woodland area and a sandy zone to symbolise the coastline. It has also been designed to educate its young users about protecting the environment, with greenhouses where staff and children can grow plants, and touch-screen TVs that will allow the children to monitor the centre’s performance.