UN city

The UN City in Copenhagen has united all the different UN agencies in Denmark under one green roof.

A unified, efficient and sustainable building complex for the UN

In order to support the UN in becoming more efficient and unified, the Government of Denmark wished to move all the UN departments in Denmark into one complex – the UN City.

Orbicon was hired as the consulting engineer and made the engineering design of the UN City. The building is shaped like a star and located on an artificial island. The eight points of the star reach out to the world, like the UN, while being rooted in the same set of values.

UN City is a state of the art complex, which clearly reflects the UN’s commitment to environmental sustainability. On the roof, 1,400 square metres of solar panels generate electricity for the building. Cold seawater runs through the cooling system, regulating the building’s indoor temperature, while using a minimum of electricity. Even rainwater is captured and reused to flush the toilets in the building. Through the innovative and sustainable initiatives, the UN City uses 55 percent less energy than office buildings of similar size.

The green initiatives are a part of what makes the star-shaped UN City an icon of sustainability – and why it has received the European Commission’s Green Building Award for New Buildings.

At the opening ceremony, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the new UN complex, saying “UN City is an example of how modern, energy-efficient offices can play their part in building the future we want.”

The focus on environmental sustainability has furthermore resulted in the highest LEED certification, an LEED® Platinum certification. The LEED certification is based on the internationally recognized green building certification system Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). The UN City was one of the first LEED-certified buildings in northern Europe.

“The UN City is a very ambitious and innovative building project, and it is of course a great pleasure that it is attracting international attention. By now, City & Port and our contractors have built up quite a lot of know-how concerning energy-effective building, and we have been able to put all that knowledge into the UN City.”

Jens Kramer Mikkelsen, Managing Director of CPH City & Port Development

Meeting high requirements and a tight timetable

As the main consultant, Orbicon was involved in the project from the first stages of planning, and was responsible for putting the turnkey contract out to tender, the regulatory review process and the completed main project. Orbicon furthermore helped the architects at 3XN design the building, which had to comply with strict international environmental standards and regulations. The work plan also had to live up to more than 1,000 specifications from the UN.

Due to the high requirements and a tight timetable, close cooperation between all the involved parties was essential. Orbicon worked closely with the turnkey contractor to ensure an efficient coordination of work between the client, tenants, users and contractors, and made sure that the UN City would meet all the UN’s wishes and requirements for its new headquarter in Copenhagen.

The UN City is the largest Danish commercial building rewarded the LEED® Platinum certification

CPH City & Port Development
45.000 m2
The northern harbour of Copenhagen
Turnkey contractor
E. Pihl & Son A/S
Sub-consultant and architect
Main consultant
of all disciplines within engineering
Energy consulting
(the building earned LEED® Platinum certification)
within innovative solutions, such as the use of seawater