Sustainable Construction Materials and Architecture

SUSTAINORDIC – Sustainable Construction Materials and Architecture – functions as a change agent that aims to challenge the existing Nordic construction and architectural industry.

The work package also aims to identify barriers and opportunities for concrete implementation and debate the next practices for a sustainable approach to material use and for sustainable alternatives to traditional construction materials.

The work package is lead by Pernille Martiny Modvig.

Knowledge Gathering Tour

Throughtout 2022, SUSTAINORDIC hosted knowledge gathering and stakeholder/citizen outreach events at the Nordic Democracy Festivals.

Through eight events, SUSTAINORDIC engaged 220 citizens and stakeholders including architects, urban designers, decision makers, influencers and game changers to discuss perspectives and share experience around the question of what does it take to implement a truly sustainable construction sector in the Nordics?

Watch recordings from knowledge gathering tour debates here

The first phase of SUSTAINORDIC focussed on knowledge gathering. Now, the key take aways from a series of knowledge generation activities has been clustered into four focus areas or topics. Each of these topics will be further explored in four articles and round table discussions with the purpose to have a deeper understanding and wider debate.

The Hierarchy of Material Use in Construction

The first theme from the knowledge gathering tour is the hierarchy of material use in construction

We need to intensify the use of the existing building mass and design for multifunctional and flexible use. We should energy retrofit, renovate, and repurpose rather than building new and only when it is absolutely necessary to add virgin material, we need to use biogenic building materials both in new construction and retrofit to address the negative impact from embedded energy

Read article on material hierarchy here

Read roundtable discussion on materiale hierarchy

Place-based Design and Architecture as a Community Builder

The second theme is place-based design and architecture as a community builder

How can we work with place-based community design and architecture? Construction should be defined by the context in terms of local material and resource availability, cultural, social, and aesthetic context as well as legislative context. How can we work actively with architecture as a community shaper and a nudger of sustainable behaviour?

Read article on Perspectives on Place-Based Architecture here

Read roundtable discussion recommendations on Place-Based Architecture

The Underrepresented Stakeholders in Construction Policy

The third theme is the underrepresented stakeholders in construction policy

This article and round table discussion will focus on the underrepresented vices in architecture: The future generations, biodiversity, and the planet/climate. The article will focus on the following questions:

  • How can we bring in the civil society perspective into our architectural planning and policy processes?

  • How can we design governance systems and democratic models that ensure meaningful representation of the interests of the planet and biodiversity?

Regulation and Maximum Emission Requirements for Construction

The fourth theme is regulation and maximum emission requirements for construction.

This article and round table discussion will focus on LCA and regulation and the focus area will be unfolded in close collaboration with the Finnish Ministry of the environment. The article will focus on the questions of:

  • How can we influence processes related to this focus area most efficiently?

  • How do we ensure user involvement in law making processes?

  • How do we make sure that ambition and speed follows the urgency of the climate crisis, the biodiversity crisis, and the supply crisis?

Nordic Pavillon at UIA 2023

In July 2023, SUSTAINORDIC faciliitated the Nordic representation at the Nordic Pavilion at the UIA World Congress of Architects in Copenhagen.

See event here

Transformation Panel

SUSTAINORDIC has established a Transformation panel that represents the industry, academia and civil servants in order to test and anchor the findings of the work package.

The purpose of the Transformation Panel is furthermore to ensure market insights and access to state of the art research in SUSTAINORDIC’s work and to ensure that SUSTAINORDIC’s work obtains the highest possible influence.