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The Aarhus Centre for Regenerative Building works to develop and promote a new construction paradigm that gives back more to nature, climate, and environment than it takes. The centre was founded by Aarhus University, Aarhus School of Architecture, and the engineering design firm, Søren Jensen.

The built environment must actively contribute to the regeneration of the planet whilst facilitating the highest possible quality of life for all.

Regenerative Building

What is regenerative building?

The construction industry is responsible for nearly 40% of the planet's total CO2 emissions and consumes vast amounts of natural resources every year. There is an urgent need for a new approach in the built environment, and regenerative building can be a significant step in the right direction.

Regenerative building is about building in a way that makes a positive impact; built environments should not only be sustainable in the traditional sense; they should actively contribute to restoring the surrounding ecosystems. In this equation, considerations for climate, environment, nature, economy, and human well-being must all be factored in.

Towards a new paradigm

If we in the built environment sector want to do our part in addressing the major challenges of our time, we must rethink our ways of working. This will require a deep transformation among the industry's stakeholders and a new perspective on the quality and value of buildings.

We have to imagine cities where transitions between outside and inside, nature and urban, are fluid. Where flora, fauna and people are more closely connected, and where buildings are powered exclusively by renewable energy. We have to imagine buildings shaped by new bio-based materials or local materials that can be infinitely reused. Buildings that employ novel technologies to create CO2-negative footprints, increase biodiversity, and promote human well-being and health.


A new practice

The ambition of the Aarhus Centre for Regenerative Building is to promote a new regenerative construction paradigm. We will do this by accelerating the dialogue between disciplines and facilitating collaboration across research, education, and the private sector.

Our driving force is the desire to make a tangible difference on the urgent climate crisis, and to do this we must seek knowledge beyond our own fields. As it stands, there isn't enough research within the built environment field, and too often the research is carried out in isolation from other professional sciences. This needs to change if we want to make rapid progress.

The centre's ambition is to become a beacon for regenerative building, both in a Danish and an international context. Through specific projects, research, and knowledge sharing, we aim to influence the industry's self-understanding, frameworks, and paradigms.

During the first year, we will focus on building our organisation, networking, and financing. From the second year onwards, we will embark on the first projects in close collaboration with partner companies and organisations that share our ambition.


To create and run a sustainable regenerative organisation that makes a positive difference

We aim to create an organisation that not only advocates for but also actively embodies regenerative principles. The centre, in other words, should have a positive impact on nature, environment, and society, including a focus on CO2 footprint, climate, biodiversity, ethics, and human well-being.

To promote interdisciplinary collaboration that can advance the built environment in a regenerative direction

We want to develop the best possible framework for collaboration between research, education, and the private sector. The goal is to create systemic change through new forms of collaboration and knowledge networks driven by personal commitment and high expertise.

To support the regenerative paradigm shift through a holistic approach to knowledge and research

We will assist the industry in the deep transition to regenerative building by employing an open approach to research, evidence, and learning. Sciences as diverse as agroecology, anthropology, biology, chemistry, sociology, and economics should be invited to participate and contribute.

To incorporate evidence-based knowledge about people and nature into the future's ethical aesthetics

We will initiate an evidence-based dialogue on the interaction between nature, people, and built environment, and how the relationship between these three elements will impact everything from financing and urban planning to architecture and the execution of future construction projects.

To promote learning and knowledge through experiments and practical application

We want to build a culture where theory and dialogue are always followed by implementation. We believe that learning occurs when ideas and visions meet reality, and therefore, pilot projects, prototypes, and practical testing will play a significant role in our work.

To contribute to defining regenerative building in a Danish context

We want to ensure that all relevant stakeholders in Denmark understand the rationale behind a regenerative built environment. We will achieve this through our projects and knowledge-sharing, as well as by being consistently visible in the public debate about the role of construction in the future.

To function as an international hub for knowledge

We will collaborate closely with leading international research and knowledge centres in regenerative thinking. Only by assembling and sharing knowledge internationally can we ensure that we learn from the best and become the best at sharing knowledge ourselves.

To promote the financing of basic and applied research

We will work to secure long-term and sustainable financing for both basic research and research-based demonstration projects within regenerative building. We will seek funding from both established and new sources, Danish as well as international, private as well as public.

To be a credible and independent conversation partner

We aim to be an internationally recognized knowledge centre for anyone seeking guidance and advice within regenerative building, whether they are legislators, researchers, engineers, or architects. We will work independently and build credibility through our research and communication.

About us

Aarhus Centre for Regenerative Building was founded on September 1, 2023, by Aarhus University, the Aarhus School of Architecture, and the family behind Søren Jensen to highlight how construction can make a positive difference for the climate, nature, and people.


Get in touch

Mikkel K. Kragh

Full Professor, Head of Department,
Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering, Aarhus University
Mobile: +45 3116 7999