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New knowledge centre to promote regenerative building

Aarhus University, the Aarhus School of Architecture and the consulting engineering firm, Søren Jensen, have joined forces with a new, interdisciplinary knowledge centre to create buildings that pay back nature, the environment, the climate and society.

[Translate to English:] Et nyt Aarhus Center for Regenerativt Byggeri vil synliggøre, hvordan byggeriet kan gøre en positiv forskel for klima, natur, miljø og mennesker. På billedet ses stifterne af centret (fra venstre): Frank Jensen (Ingeniørfirmaet Søren Jensen), Torben Nielsen (Arkitektskolen Aarhus) og Mikkel K. Kragh (Institut for Byggeri og Bygningsdesign, Aarhus Universitet)

The construction industry's significant CO2 footprint calls for urgent action, but research in the area is limited. For this reason, Aarhus University, the Aarhus School of Architecture and Søren Jensen are launching an unusual collaboration: Aarhus Centre for Regenerative Building – a knowledge centre that will focus on promoting research and dialogue about regenerative solutions for the future construction industry.

"We hope the centre will stimulate a real paradigm shift in the industry. As things stand, sustainable construction is no longer enough. We need to build in a way that actively restores the surrounding ecosystems and contributes positively to the environment, climate and human well-being," explains Mikkel K. Kragh, head of department at the Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering at Aarhus University.

Read more about the Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering

Frank Jensen, chair of the board for the engineering firm Søren Jensen, elaborates:

"The construction industry accounts for 40 per cent of the Earth's total CO2 footprint, and it consumes vast resources. So there is good potential to make a significant and noticeable difference if we can develop and implement regenerative building principles. However, this entails that we have to work together across expertise, scientific disciplines and industries, and here we believe that the centre can act as a beacon and a necessary hub."

A new paradigm on the way

Phasing in the principles and technologies of regenerative construction will clearly require great adaptability on the part of the various stakeholders in the industry. This, in turn, requires rethinking the way we finance, plan and execute construction projects, as Torben Nielsen, rector of the Aarhus School of Architecture explains:

"Regenerative buildings call for a new aesthetic that will provoke the dogmas we normally take for granted. It will affect every aspect of the construction process and require an unprecedented level of interdisciplinary collaboration. Many of the technologies, principles and materials already exist, but we need to combine it all from start to finish in actual regenerative buildings. That's exactly what we're going to do now."


Aarhus Centre for Regenerative Building (ARCB) was founded on 1 September 2023 by Aarhus University, the Aarhus School of Architecture and the engineering consultants Søren Jensen. The centre will showcase how building and construction can make a positive difference for the climate, nature, the environment and people. 

Regenerative building is a holistic approach to construction that addresses the climate, the environment, energy, biodiversity, financial aspects and the economy, as well as human community and well-being.  

Regenerative principles aim to ensure that buildings and the environments in which they stand are not only sustainable, but can contribute positively to the surrounding ecosystem

Learn more about Aarhus Centre for Regenerative Building (ACRB)

A centre with many functions

The goal of the knowledge centre is to promote and fund research within regenerative construction, but the ambitions do not stop here. In the years to come, the parties will focus on establishing much closer collaboration between research institutions and the business community, and facilitating experimental and pilot projects within the field to contribute to the development of new civil engineering solutions.

The centre also encourages sparring and debate for everyone with an interest in regenerative construction.

"This initiative is an important step towards a greener and more sustainable future for construction in Denmark. We’re already seeing great interest in the project, and we’re looking forward to putting action behind our words and making a real difference," concludes Mikkel K. Kragh.

The new Aarhus Center for Regenerativt Byggeri will be presented to the construction industry at the Building Green conference in Copenhagen on 1 November 2023.


Mikkel K. Kragh, head of the Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering.