New sustainable cement forms the foundation of NREP's ambitious green building, UN17 Village

The start of NREP's ambitious sustainability building UN17 Village in Ørestad, Copenhagen also marks the start of the use of a completely new and sustainable type of cement in Danish construction business. The first concrete structure, which is the retaining wall against the lake, will be built with the new CO2-reducing cement type FUTURECEM, developed by Cementir Group subsidiary, Aalborg Portland. According to the plan FUTURECEM will also be used on a large scale in the construction itself.

UN17 Village at the southern tip of the Copenhagen district of Ørestad has a stated ambition to set new standards in sustainable construction, and this will happen from the start. Already in the very first construction, which is the retaining wall that forms the barrier to the nearby lake, a notable green imprint is set. It is built with Aalborg Portland's new cement type, FUTURECEM, which is produced with a CO2 reduction of 30 per cent, and which is used here on a large scale for the first time. Unicon, also part of the Cementir Group, delivers the FUTURECEM based concrete for this part of the project.  

One of the Nordic region's most innovative property developers and investors, NREP, is behind UN17 Village, and project development director Jesper Kyhl Gudmann emphasizes that it is crucial for NREP that the building will deliver significant CO2 reductions compared to ordinary buildings, especially in material selection and during construction.

- In a modern multi-storey building such as UN17 Village, we do not have to use concrete, and therefore we are pleased that Aalborg Portland has accepted the challenge and is seriously working to develop climate-friendly cement for the concrete structures, and that Unicon and Ambercon as concrete suppliers have chosen to use the new cement in their concrete deliveries. It is obvious for us to test the new type of cement and concrete from the start before we start with the larger tasks such as the foundation itself and parts of the walls, he says.

In line with the ambitious sustainability roadmap in Cementir Group, Unicon is investing in the new type of cement and is pleased to be able to offer a greener concrete variant.

- We are pleased that NREP is leading the way and giving us the opportunity - for the first time on a large scale in Denmark - to be able to use our greener concrete for an ambitious construction such as UN17. What we have also experienced in this project is that the concrete is not just greener. It is also good to work with and pump without compromising on quality, says director Jan Søndergaard Hansen.
Michele Di Marino, Chief Sales, Marketing & Commercial Development for Cementir Holding sees the project as an important step.
- Sustainability is one of the Group’s strategic streams of activity in the next few years to target reduction in group CO2 emissions per tonne up to 35% for white and 30% for grey cement by 2030, compared to the benchmark of 1990.This project is therefore a key milestone for our Group, and a confirmation that our low-carbon products/solutions portfolio, is beginning to be seen as a value driven support for our customers journey towards their own green transition and is giving them a competitive edge”, he highlights. 

The contractor CG Jensen is also happy to be able to start using the new greener concrete.

- We have an ambition to become climate neutral already in 2029. Therefore, we welcome all new technology - including FUTURECEM, which can help reduce our CO2 footprint, says division manager in CG Jensen, Morten Andersen.

NREP has developed UN17 Village together with Lendager, Årstidernes arkitekter, MOE and SLA for NREP, and when it is completed in 2024, it will be known as the world's first housing project that integrates all 17 UN world goals in the same building.

Sustainability is absolutely central to the construction, and in addition to the hunt for climate-friendly concrete, work will be done on sustainable solutions in all parts of the construction from facade cladding over insulation to indoor materials in the more than 500 apartments. The environment - biodiversity, water use and energy consumption - will also be marked by NREP chasing new paths in sustainable and climate-friendly construction.