Denmark - Green Building ProductsDenmark - Green Building Products
Overview• There are approximately 2.7 million homes in Denmark, with an average of 560 square feet per person. In addition, there are almost 64,000 public buildings and 150,000 commercial buildings. Operation of buildings accounts for between 30 and 40% of total energy consumption in Denmark. The Danish government recognizes energy efficiency in buildings as one of the most cost-effective ways to combat climate change. At the same time, there is considerable focus on indoor climate and health conditions. Those, together with an overall goal of becoming independent of fossil fuels, are the main drivers behind quality building in Denmark.
• Green building has many different components and involves several different industries. In Denmark, green building is considered to embrace all activities and routines that take place around a household -- from sustainable architecture and building materials to ventilation, water supply, and heat production, and from renewable energy supply and energy efficiency to sewerage systems and waste management -- not just the building process. Ultimately, it also extends to energy efficient lighting and major appliances.
• Danish households consume on average 34 gallons of water per day per person. In order to preserve the valuable ground water, as well as to increase energy efficiency, green building initiatives encourage water efficient toilets, taps and showers, water free urinals, and recycling of rainwater for things like car washing and garden watering. It has recently become permissible to recycle rainwater (from roof gutters only) inside the house for toilet flushing and laundry.
• Approximately 64% of Danish households are supplied with water-based district heating, which is part of the reason that Denmark is one of the most energy-efficient countries in the world. Oil-fired burners are now present in only 200,000 Danish homes. The oil-fired burners must be inspected annually and public authorities offer free consultation as to how they are best replaced. Since 2016 it has no longer been permitted to install oil-fired burners in existing buildings where collectively supplied district heating and natural gas are available. Natural gas, which was introduced in the 1980s, is seen in 15% of Danish homes today. Denmark gets its natural gas from the North Sea and it is considered the cleanest of fossil fuels. With the current consumption level, the supply will last around 20 years into the future.
• Consumption of wood pellets is modest, but becoming increasingly popular as it is recognized as a CO2 neutral alternative to fossil fuels. Denmark’s annual consumption is currently a little more than 1 million tons, mainly consumed by private homes but also commonly seen in thermal power stations. Close to 95 percent of wood pellets are imported of which a major part comes from the Eastern Europe. Installation of electrical heating in new buildings and buildings that have access to a central water-based heating system is prohibited.
• Most renewable energy sources for electricity in buildings come from solar and biomass. Although Denmark is a world renowned net wind-energy producer, the general attitude regarding wind turbines remains, “fine, but not in my backyard.”
• On an annual basis, Danes produce 13 million tons of waste, which is equivalent to approximately 28 pounds per person per day. Waste from households makes up one fourth of total waste. 66% of the waste is recycled. Some households sort organic waste and make compost, but it is not required by law. Waste disposals in sinks are not common in Denmark, mainly because the sewerage system is not built to handle it. Few municipalities allow the use of disposals.
Best Prospects• The most important competitive parameter in the Danish market for building materials is quality, so foreign suppliers must meet very high standards. A U.S. manufacturer can differentiate itself by offering price competitive products and efficient logistics and service.
• New and innovative solutions to green building will have good potential. Local competition, particularly in building materials such as insulation and windows, is quite strong. High quality and documented efficiency are important parameters. U.S. companies may find good prospects in green building consultancy (ESCOs) and new products and methods. Intelligent housing and office buildings with the use of sensors to control heat production etc. are interesting prospects. The U.S. may also be ahead of Denmark with regard to heat pump solutions.
Opportunities• As the Danish government is trying to stimulate the economy through massive investments in fixed assets, there will be a possibility for American firms to supply materials and equipment. Denmark has ambitious goals for green building. All new buildings are required to increase energy efficiency by 25%. At the moment there is a voluntary goal of 75% energy savings in buildings by 2020 and Denmark has invested substantial resources in promoting energy efficiency in buildings.
Local events and conferences:
• Solar Days
• Byggeri ´18
• Bolig for Alle
• The Danish Building Research Institute
• The Danish Construction Association
• The Building material industry, Confederation of Danish Industries
For more information, please contact Sabina Kroigaard, Commercial Specialist. Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.