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Nordea Bank's 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 2017, Nordea Bank moved 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 are occupied by one of Northern Europe's largest trading floors and data centres.

From the beginning, the bar was set high for the new building, both in terms of architecture and sustainability. Only with a complete focus on the sustainable aspects of the construction process, will it be possible for the building to achieve the high LEED Platinum certification, which is reserved for the most energy-efficient and environmentally friendly buildings.

With regard to the data centre, the energy consumption is calculated according to a particular model in the LEED system and measured against a different benchmark than the rest of the building. In this way, it is possible to achieve platinum in the LEED certification, although the building has an energy-consuming data centre.

Materials, energy and water

COWI was consultant for the LEED certification. Along with Henning Larsen Architects, we implemented 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 is very low. The energy consumption is about 6% below the requirements for low-energy class 2015. The building also has 1,870 square metres of solar cells on the roof. In the data centre, the engines are cooled effectively with spot cooling instead of cooling the entire room. In the office building, as well as the data centre, 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 was handed over in 2017, it underwent
extensive commissioning. This involved 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 were replaced, and the whole building was flushed with fresh air before it was put to use.

Facts about LEED

In the LEED system the office building will be classified as an ordinary office building. The LEED system has a special module for data centres, which are certified according to other criteria than the rest of the building. In this way, it is possible to obtain LEED certification of platinum, although the building has an energy-intensive data centre.

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and is the US system, which is operated by the US Green Council. LEED operates with four categories: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum.

LAST UPDATED: 27.10.2017