Denmark's largest and most sustainable international school has opened

All of the interior have been made by natural materials; the floors consists of oiled Oaktree and the bookshelves are made of solid bamboo. Photo: Adam Mørk

Published: 14-03-2017

A new chapter for Copenhagen International School began, when the school opened its doors for the first time last week. The new school building, which is built exclusively from sustainable elements, will play a vital role in preparing its students for a global future with focus on sustainability.

Copenhagen International School is not a new school institution. The new aspect is the 25,000 sq.m. school building in Copenhagen's Nordhavn quarter, built to house Denmark's largest international school.

"The new building gives us the space to welcome even more Danish and international students, and we can offer modern teaching matched to the students and their age and grade levels," says Jennifer Weyburn, Director of Copenhagen International School.

NIRAS has, along with the architectural company C.F. Møller, been consultant for Ejendomsfonden Copenhagen International School, ECIS, and has been an integral part of the design and supervision team for the construction of the school.

"We wanted to create a sustainable educational flagship in the heart of Copenhagen’s Nordhavn that in a persuasive way brings every side of the new quarter to life, using a transparent and open base and a façade that, due to its functionality and aesthetics, is an innovative landmark in the new quarter," says Mads Mandrup, architect and partner at C.F. Møller.

Optimal indoor climate
NIRAS has delivered all of the consultant engineering services, including coordination, assessment and calculation of site environmental conditions as well as the challenge of the building being placed on a waterfront in a new and expanding harbor development area.

There has also been focus on giving the building an optimal indoor climate, which is an important precondition for the students learning.

“We have drawn on many of NIRAS’ core competences to solve this exciting project. It has been fantastic to be part of a first mover project of this size and complexity with such high demands for cooperation,” says Project Director Andrew Ferguson Dunn from NIRAS.

A sustainable and innovative construction
The 25,000 sq.m. school building is situated on the waterfront in Copenhagen's Nordhavn quarter, on a specifically built extension – surrounded by the sea and coming green areas, and close to the planned new Metro station in Nordhavn that will open in a few years' time.

The building comprises four towers, stacked asymmetrically on the building's base. The four towers are designed to match the students' age and grade levels. The building's facilities include three full-size basketball courts, a theatre with space for a large audience, and adjacent rehearsal rooms.

Another unique aspect of the school building is the façade, consisting of 12,000 solar panels, covering a total area of 6,048 sq.m., making it one of the world's largest solar panel systems integrated into one building.

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The solar power façade has been developed in a system and design, which is an important feature of the buildings architecture and expression.

“In cooperation with suppliers, we developed a panel in greenish shades and in quadratic shapes which has been mounted with small palettes and four degree displacements on the facades of the building, “ says Project Manager Thomas Kudahl Jensen from NIRAS and continues:

“It is now possible today to design these systems with a sound economy. I am convinced that we, in the future, will see even more solar power systems fully integrated into the design of our buildings.”

Rich on school-references
With Copenhagen International School, NIRAS secures its position as consultant on school constructions. The latest additions to the long list are the school in Sydhavnen, Frederiksbjerg School in Aarhus, VIA University College in Aarhus and a school in the Russian city Irkutsk located in Siberia.

Copenhagen International School Nordhavn

  • CIS was founded in 1963. Today, the school is the largest international school in Denmark.
  • The students on the school is in the age 3-19 years and comes from more than 80 different countries. The majority of the students are children of parents, who are employed in international companies and organizations in Denmark.
  • 20 % of the students are from USA, 13 % are from Great Britain and 20 % are from Denmark.
  • Today, the school houses 930 students and 180 teachers. In the new campus, there is room for 1200 students and 280 teachers.
  • CIS is an IB World School.
  • Every section has its own tower: Early Years, Primary School, Middle School and High School, and every section has its own design, color and layout fitted for the respective ages and grades.
  • Almost all of the classrooms have been placed in the corners of the building, which gives the best opportunities for daylight and view. The classrooms are spacious and have been equipped with large, modern and interactive smartboards with high resolution.
  • All artificial light is LED-based and teachers can control color temperature and intensity according to what activity is ongoing in the classroom.
  • All of the interior have been made by natural materials; the floors consists of oiled Oaktree, the sofa’s clothing is made by wool and the bookshelves are made of solid bamboo. In the future, the school’s toilets will be recycling water when flushing.

Parties behind the building

  • Client: Ejendomsfonden Copenhagen International School (ECIS). ECIS is commercial and non-profit foundation established in 2012, with the aim to build a campus for Copenhagen International School, among other things.
  • Lesee: Copenhagen International School (CIS).
  • Architect: C.F. Møller
  • Engineer: NIRAS A/S
  • Major contractors: Per Aarsleff A/S, Eiler Thomsen Alufacader, Konsortiet KT DTEK

Financing of the construction

  • The overall building sum for the 25.000 square meter large campus is over DKK 500 million.
  • The construction was partly made possible with fund donations on more than DKK 350 million from A.P. Møller and wife Chastine Mc-Kinney Møllers fund for general purposes, the Novo Nordisk fund, the Villum fund, the steamship company NORDEN A/S / D/S Orient fund, the Hempel fund and the Augustinus fund – whereas A.P. Møller and wife Chastine Mc-Kinney Møllers fund for general purposes is behind a donation of DKK 200 million, while the Novo Nordisk fund is behind a donation of DKK 100,1 million. Furthermore, loans have been acquired for the rest of the financing from Danske Bank.

Contact info

Andrew Ferguson DunnAarhusDenmarkT: +45 8732 3353E: Send E-mail
Further contact info
© NIRAS Gruppen A/S - Sortemosevej 19 - 3450 Allerød - Denmark - T: +45 4810 4200 - F: +45 4810 4300 - E: niras@niras.com - Sitemap - NIRAS Gruppen A/S CVR: 73432219

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