Natural Science Center Future

Natural Science Center © NORD Architects / Adam Mørk

Denmark acts against the issue about The “Naturvidenskabens Hus” in Bjerringbro, created by NORD Architects, offers a “learning laboratory” for natural sciences. While in numerous countries, the scientists complain about the lack of young academics. At the same time, the learning laboratory makes the technical functions evident to the users.

A very popular quote by Albert Einstein says, “I never teach my pupils: I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn”, which explains the intention of Naturvidenskabens Hus quite well: to provide a place where new teaching and learning methods in natural sciences can be tested.

Winners of an architectural competition in 2007, NORD Arkitekter from Copenhagen, compare their building to a lighthouse. The monolithic cylinder, which is located on a hillside within the North of Bjerringbro, is clad in u-glass profiles that can change character when light conditions and weather change. A “Natural Science Garden” will also be established, on the exact same plot, as an external educational site open for the public.

A partner at NORD Arkitekter, Morten Rask Gregersen, explains that the main idea of building concept should have an iconographic exterior. While the interior have to show how a contemporary building works in term of installations. This meant that many installations are exposed and the main technical room is visible to the visitors. There are monitors around the building which show the visitors how the building performs in terms of CO2 levels, energy use and acoustics.

Natural Science Center Natural Science Center - Energy Scheme Natural Science Center - Second Floor Natural Science Center Working Room

The building has geothermal heating system, which is utilizing probes that go 50 metres into the ground, will also work as a cooling system. The entire building can be supplied with extra heat from the district heating system when the ground heat is not sufficient enough. This building has 2000 m2 of the interior spaces which are ventilated naturally. Only the laboratories and the auditorium have mechanical ventilation. To flush the toilets within the building, the building utilize rain water from the roof which is very environment friendly. The building consists of supplies that will effortlessly be reused, such as the steel girders, te glass facade, and also the plasterboard walls. To limit the heat obtaining into the building, it uses an automatic sun screening system.

Nevertheless, the primary concept of the experimental building is that the energy supply systems are exterior. In future, to offer the latter with energy, numerous energy resources (like wind power, solar power and fuel cells) will probably be installed within the landscape garden around the building. Thus, the elements can be plugged in over time rather than integrating them within the building where the exchange of these elements could be costly and complex.

The Natural Science building have been already collaborating with a number of parts of the industry and elements like H2 cells, windpower, solar cells, etc, which will probably be placed within the park. Overall, the demand of building energy is calculated at 95 kWh per square metre per year.

Image credit: NORD Architects