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Denmark Biomass Plant Design Rocks

Amagerforbraending, a Copenhagen-based waste management company, is building what will be one of the largest waste-to-energy plants in Northern Europe, and the design is turning heads everywhere.
By Rona Johnson | July 15, 2011

Amagerforbraending, a Copenhagen-based waste management company, is building what will be one of the largest waste-to-energy plants in Northern Europe.  The plant will convert 500,000 metric tons of waste (10 percent of all residual waste in Denmark) into enough heat and electricity for 140,000 homes. The plant will replace an existing facility that has been in operation since 1970.

Although the size of the plant alone is enough to turn heads in the waste-to-energy world, the plant design is even more amazing and has captured the attention of many outside of the industry.

Bjarke Ingels Group came up with the winning design for the plant, creating a building that is functional, yet fun. The roof of the facility is a 31,000 square meter ski slope with an artificial surface (no snow) that can be used year round. The building will be surrounded by a park that will offer sports activities in summer and winter.

From a distance the building will look like a green mountain because of all the planters that will be stacked like bricks on the outside of the building. The smoke stake is unique as it will release giant rings of smoke that will be lit up with lasers at night. 

“The new plant is an example of what we at BIG call hedonistic sustainability—the idea that sustainability is not a burden, but that a sustainable city in fact can improve our quality of life,” said Bjarke Ingels, BIG founder and partner. “The waste-to-energy plant with a ski slope is the best example of a city and a building which is both ecologically, economically and socially sustainable.”

I love the Ingels term “hedonistic sustainability” and I’m pretty sure it’s going to catch on quickly.

I don’t know how many plants will be designed like this, however, as the price tag, $648 million, is pretty steep.  

The plant is expected to be operational by 2016 and, I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely planning a trip to Denmark to see it.

To get a better idea of how it will look, go to http://www.big.dk/projects/amf/.

 

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