Recycled wood such as off-the-shelf goods, smart concrete elements and valuable «donor buildings»

The Regional Council's study trip to Denmark on 27 January provided inspiration for many new, sustainable solutions for the construction industry.

In connection with the project «Circular housing prototype - rent for ownership», the regional council invited to a study trip to Copenhagen. The project, in which all 6 municipalities in the region and Glåmdal Interkommunale Renovasjonsselskap are partners, is part-financed by the county of Innlandet. The study trip is included in the project plan.

Also present were Knut Hvithammer (Mayor, Sør-Odal. Regional Council Leader), Ragnhild Haagenrud Moen (Deputy Mayor, Nord-Odal), Anne Huse (Administrative Leader, Regional Council in the Kongsvinger region), Trond Sørensen (General Manager, Glåmdal Intermunicipal Waste Management Company), Sofie Pindsle (Project Manager, Circular Norway), Jon Guttormsen (General Manager, Topos Architecture and Design) and Eva Snare (Business Manager, Nord-Odal Municipality).

An intensive program was planned with 3 different visits to the capital region.

Winner of Circular Construction Challenge 2019

The day started with a visit to Stark Group at Frederiksberg where we got an introduction to GENTRÆ. GENTRÆ won Circular Construction Challenge 2019.

GENTRÆ is a brand name for a circular and sustainable alternative to using new wood on the construction site. GENTRÆ can be ordered via an app, or at the local Stark dealer, side by side with virgin wood. Initially, the recycled tree is based on wood from construction scaffolding.

The project is a partnership between the construction department store Stark, the consulting company Golder and the waste company Bottom. Maria Ekblad from Golder could tell that one is about to stop using the term waste. Instead, they talk about resources, which is also reflected in Morten Strandlod's title at Solum; his title is Resource manager and not a leader in a waste company.

The product and service have been developed in close collaboration with the construction industry and it is the industry itself that has concluded that GENTRÆ is a concrete and simple way to recycle something that would otherwise go to incineration (downcycle), explained Louise Askær-Hune who is Sustainability manager at Stark Group.

Morten Strandlod from Solum talks about the process around GENTRÆ.

Circular economy as a tool for change

The trip continued to Hillerød (about 35 km outside the city center), and to the head office Capital Region. The Capital Region is one of 5 regions in Denmark (Replaces 15 counties after reform in 2007). Here I would like to learn more about how the public sector works with circular economy. Unlike in Norway, Denmark has one national strategy for circular economy which is a leader in how to work with green change and development also at the regional level.

Ditte Vesterager Christensen who works with regional development told about the project Partnership for Circular Municipalities where the role of the municipalities in the transition to a circular economy is tested through five pilot projects. Included in the project are two waste companies, 6 municipalities and a hospital.

Furthermore, Pernille Kern told Kernel about how Waste and Resources Across will help the players in the waste sector to work together to create a market for the reuse of raw materials.

The third project, Cityloops aims to develop and demonstrate tools, decision-making tools and processes that support the transition to a circular economy within organic waste, building materials and soil. Partners are Høje Tostrup, Roskilde, Sevilla, Porto, Bodø, Mikkeli and Apeldoorn.

The Capital Region of Denmark's investments in circular projects are part of theirs Growth and Development Strategy.

Easy to be inspired by the Capital Region, it also applied to catering. From left: Ragnhild Haagenrud Moen, Trond Sørensen, Anne Huse, Sofie Pindsle, Knut Hvithammer and Pernille Kern Kernel.

Circle house demonstrator - 90% recyclable housing

From Hillerød the road went to Valby and Circle House Demonstrator. Alexander G. Kongshaug, architect at GXN Innovation, started the tour outside, where we saw examples of different types of clothing - from recycled shampoo packaging to rail-based ceramic tiles. The foundation itself in the 40 m2 large house is made of concrete elements, but these are of course demountable (wrench) and equipped with a separate material pass (RFID-Chip).

On display with Alexander Kongshaug from GXN Innovation.

Indoors, it was equipped with a number of exciting material choices, including many different creative examples of recycled insulation material.

Alexander could tell that it is planned to build 60 municipal homes according to this principle in a city in Aarhus.

Circular design as a principle

Afterwards we went to 3XNs (3 times Nilsen) architect's office or "drawing room" in Danish. Here we saw examples of buildings that are built with a circular design as a principle. We also learned about how GXN Innonvation, which is their R&D department, works to develop new building materials based on recycling.

Example “Circular, behavior and digital design”. Quay Qarter Tower, Sydney. Illustration 3XN.

Although we in our region have just built a couple of beautiful solid wood schools, it was incredibly exciting to see how in Sydney they plan to use 2/3 of an old skyscraper (Golder uses the term donor building) to build a new high-rise building the new Quay Qarter Tower. Feel free to look at some of the 3XNs projects on the website.

Kasper Guldager Jensen, Aleksander Guldager Kongshaug, Oanh Nguyen Henriksen and Eva Snare.

3XN has also left its mark in Norway, they have, among other things, designed "Plassen" which is Molde's culture house and is behind the idea for Bergen Byarena (Nygårdstangen Utvikling).

We are now looking forward to getting started with our own prototype. Feel free to contact us if you have ideas or want to contribute. (Mail:, tel. +47 90400643)