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Nordea Bank builds new LEED certified headquarters in Ørestad

Photo: Hennning Larsen Architects

​Nordea Bank's new headquarters in Ørestad, close to the city of Copenhagen, is an ambitious sustainable building, aiming at the highest LEED standard - LEED Platinum.

In 2016, Nordea Bank moves from Christianshavn in Copenhagen to an attractive location in Ørestad Nord next to DR (Danish Broadcasting Corporation) and the DR concert hall, Koncerthuset.

The new building features 46,000 square meters of sustainable floor area in six floors, of which 5,000 square metres will be occupied by one of Northern Europe's largest trading floors and data center.

The bar is set high for the new building, both in terms of architecture and sustainability, and only with a complete focus on the sustainable aspects of the construction process can Nordea's new headquarters achieve the high LEED Platinum certification, which is reserved for the most energy-efficient, environmentally friendly and healthy buildings.

With regard to the data center, the energy consumption is calculated according to a particular model in the LEED system and measured against another benchmark than the rest of the building. In this way, it is possible to achieve the level platinum in the LEED certification, although the building has an energy-consuming data center. In addition, the data center is very efficient compared to other data centers.

Materials, energy and water

COWI is consultant for the LEED certification. Along with Henning Larsen Architects, we are implementing a number of sustainable initiatives including low energy consumption, a healthy indoor environment including the use of healthy materials, and rainwater management:

  • The energy consumption for the building very low. The energy consumption is about 6% below the requirements for low-energy class 2015. The building will also have 1,870 square metres of solar cells on the roof. In the data center, the engines are cooled effectively with spot cooling instead of cooling the entire room. In the office building as well as the data center, ammonia is used as a refrigerant.
  • There is a particular focus on visual, thermal and atmospheric indoor climate. During the entire process, there has been considerable focus on the optimal use of daylight. Especially in the 5,500 m² large trading floor, located in the heart of the building, it has been a challenge to keep the room temperature down and ensure a good thermal indoor climate. Therefore, COWI has developed a unique ventilation principle known from server rooms and laboratories where the fresh air enters the room through the floor. A "full-scale" test of the ventilation principle in the trading floor is performed.
  • Rainwater from the roof is collected in a rainwater tank that supplies the toilets and irrigation of the green areas. Rainwater in terrain from non congested areas is led to a nearby rainwater channel, and only rainwater from busy areas is discharged into the sewers. The result is that only 10 % of the water that falls on the ground is discharged into the sewer.
  • Materials must comply with the overall architectural concept and the user requests from the bank. At the same time, the materials must meet the LEED system's high environmental and health requirements. Mainly low-emitting materials, local materials and materials with a high recycling rate have been chosen.
    In addition, focus is on promoting the green identity on the site. In the green areas biodiversity will be secured by, for instance, native vegetation.


Before the building is finished in 2016, it will undergo
extensive commissioning. This will involve testing all the technical facilities including ventilation, pumps and lighting to ensure that the complex systems can work together.

At the same time´, the filters in the ventilation system will be replaced, and the whole building will be flushed with fresh air before it is put to use.

Facts about LEED

​LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is the U.S. system run by the U.S. Green Council. LEED operates with four categories: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum.
COWI is responsible for ensuring that a building can achieve the platinum level of certification, while it is the organizations behind that approves the labelling.

LAST UPDATED: 06.10.2017