Buildings have a larger carbon footprint than the entire transportation sector and a new prefab, modular facade aims to help with that, says Fast Company. Old, inefficient buildings will likely remain for decades to come, but this new facade solution from Denmark hopes to help all those old buildings save energy, bringing them up to speed to new construction standards. Testing of the product will soon begin, reports Fast Company. The facade team says the product will be easy to use and easy to scale up, with an entire housing block able to be completed in just a week.
“The world is burning, and all of us in our respective fields need to do something,” says Martin Vraa Nielsen, who is co-leading the project at the architecture firm Henning Larsen, which is collaborating on the project with eight other organizations. “If you look at the building industry as a whole, it’s very clear that we, in particular, need to make a change . . . If we want to make a difference as an industry, it means starting with what already exists, fixing what we already have. We need to be doubling that amount of transformation work we do.”
The partners are focused first on nonprofit-run social housing projects in Denmark that were built in the middle of the 20th century. “The point of departure was this very particular typology of social housing that we have from the 1960s and ’70s: long blocks of housing that, after a half-century of use, are in need of some attention,” Nielsen says. “How can you start to renovate this mass of housing stock in a way that’s both energy efficient, and not deeply disruptive to the residents?”