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1980 - 1990: Indoor climate becomes important

The environment continues to take centre stage during the 1980s, and even more so when the indoor climate and the working environment also appear on the agenda. At the same time, the company continues its work on sustainable energy solutions.

The Danish parliament, the Folketing, passes the Action Plan for the Aquatic Environment in 1986, and both public and private bodies subsequently require a range of new initiatives in a number of areas including wastewater planning, drainage systems and wastewater treatment plants.

When new EU waste regulations and international chemical conventions are introduced, the company's environmental department is acknowledged as the expert and asked to clean up chemical depots and conduct environmental impact assessments both in Denmark and abroad.

Working environment under a magnifying glass

The indoor climate and the working environment are attracting more and more attention. The company gathers together microbiologists, noise experts, work psychologists, and occupational therapists and carries out indoor climate analyses.

The consultants formulate a code of conduct for indoor climate on behalf of the Danish Building Research Institute. And when the asbestos bomb explodes in 1986, the Danish Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs asks the company to map the use of asbestos and asbestos cement for the entire country, and to provide guidance on its eradication.

Consumers under the spotlight

There is, at this time, also a need to find alternative, sustainable energy sources. The social debate centres on the technical choice between coal, combined heat and power, and natural gas.

COWIconsult employs a number of economists and takes the process one step further – now, the company does not set out to simply design a wastewater treatment plant at the Roskilde Fjord in Denmark – it also seeks to identify the solution that will provide the largest volume of clean water and the greatest value to users.

New systems are developed

The company's economists rapidly spot opportunities for providing socio-economic consultancy services within transport, energy and environmental planning.

They secure projects that include a rationalisation system for the Danish Energy Authority, a fisheries management system for the then Danish Ministry of Fisheries, and the drafting of action plans for the UN's Brundtland Commission.

COWIconsult also becomes a strategic consultant to the European Commission, international development banks, and to organisations in central and eastern Europe.

COWIconsult is a leading international environmental consultant by the time the Danish development aid, with its environmental programmes, is introduced in the 1980s.

Three-dimensional modelling

An IT system for designing bridges and other load-bearing structures is also developed. The system allows the company's consultants to prepare drawings and carry out analyses and calculations while completing a design. This three-dimensional modelling system offers a unique level of detail for the optimum bridge design.

The company develops the tool further to include the latest design practices – it will later be used for both tunnels and marine structures made from concrete.

LAST UPDATED: 20.07.2017