University Post
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New university building is carbon neutral

Some said it couldn’t be done – and that if we did, it would be ugly. Not so, says Lord Mayor Ritt Bjerregaard to University Post

The sustainable building project Green Lighthouse opened Tuesday, with carbon neutral music, carbon-efficient cake – and a whole lot of carbon optimism.

See the picture gallery from the opening ceremony here.

The airy and spacious new construction, at the Northern Campus on Tagensvej, is the University of Copenhagen’s first carbon neutral building, and will have facilities for the dean, professors and students of the Faculty of Science.

Both Lord Mayor Ritt Bjerregaard, Minister of Science, Helge Sander, Rector Ralf Hemmingsen and Prorector Lykke Friis were there. The University Post managed to get a word in with Lord Mayor Ritt Bjerregaard.

»This proves that it can be done. A lot of people said it was not possible to build an energy neutral building, and that if we did, it would be ugly and people wouldn’t want to be in it. Now we have a beautiful building with daylight and a great feeling inside it,« she said exclusively to the University Post.

»Internationally, this means that we really give priority to the natural sciences. These have been underestimated. I hope the students will use and enjoy this house. It’s the future!« added the Lord Mayor with a smile.

Even the knives are green

At the inauguration ceremony, the crowd seemed to have dressed thematically: The number of green boots, scarves and t-shirts was such that it couldn’t possibly be coincidental.

Lykke Friis even produced lime-green bread knives with which to cut the Green Lighthouse-shaped cake which she called, »the first ever cake with solar panels on the top of it«.

Incredibly, considering the complexity of the project, the Green Lighthouse was built in less than one year.

Poking fun at the Minister

However, not all stages of the building have gone entirely smoothly. Lykke Friis couldn’t resist informing the crowd that Helge Sander managed to burst a steam pipe when digging the first spade full of earth at the commencement of the building project. Luckily, things seem to have gone a lot better since.

Rector Ralf Hemmingsen focussed on the connotations of the ‘lighthouse’, saying the building will send a green signal out to the world, and that it would »expand horizons« when it comes to climate-friendly buildings. He couldn’t resist a jab at the Minister of Science either, reminding him with a smile that without funding there would be no-one to work in the impressive new surroundings.

Climate music

The reception was accompanied by ‘climate music’ sung by Tamra Rosanes. Click here for a taster of this new and slightly odd musical genre.