NREP to build greenest timber resi block in Copenhagen

NREP, the Nordic real estate investor, has announced the construction of a six-storey timber residential building in Copenhagen, which will have one of the lowest ever carbon emissions in Denmark.

What the new residential building in Copenhagen will look like

“The new timber construction builds on our knowledge and experience with other projects to create an even stronger CO2 profile”, said Nicole van der Star, investment developer, NREP. “We have considered design, functionality and sustainability in every detail. The project will be open-source, and we will share both blueprint and construction plans so that others can freely copy or be inspired by it.”

The 13,100 sq m development is in Nordhavn, Copenhagen’s new sustainable harbourside city district. The building, designed by Henning Larsen Architects, will have 115 apartments and two commercial spaces and is expected to be ready for occupancy by mid-2026.

To reduce CO2 emissions, there has been close collaboration with progressive suppliers, architects, contractors and engineers. This has led to most elements traditionally made of concrete being replaced with timber materials, including load-bearing structures, walls, and partially facades, but also smaller elements such as shower stalls, elevator shafts, and stair cores.

Additionally, there will be a focus on ensuring that transport during the construction phase is with electric vehicles as much as possible, and the construction will take place under a total covering. This is to prevent the wood from getting moist and ensuring both a healthier construction and lower CO2 emissions during building work.

The building, which has been designed so that it can easily be disassembled and recycled if the asset needs to be demolished at some point in the future, will also be nearly self-sufficient in energy thanks to ground spikes, a heat pump, and solar panels.

“Architects are inventing a new design language for the new lightweight constructions in biogenic materials,” said Troels Dam Madsen, associate design director, Henning Larsen. “In this project in our quest to reduce the CO2 footprint as much as possible we have taken into account all components, as they are all mutually dependent.” We have considered design, functionality and sustainability in every detail.”

Denmark has a long history of sustainable architecture and green construction practices. The country has just passed new legislation that further tightens the level of CO2 that new buildings are permitted to emit, including during the construction phase.

Denmark is the first country to introduce embodied carbon limits into building regulations. From 1 July 2025, multi-storey apartment buildings must have max emissions of 7.5 kg of CO2 per sq m and a max of 1.5 kg of CO2 per sq m for emissions arising from the construction phase. The Nordhavn development from Nrep will have a total of 5kg of CO2 per sq m, well below the strict new requirement.