About Sustainable Build

We create growth in sustainable building

The purpose of SUSTAINABLE BUILD is to create growth in sustainable building. We help strengthen the competitiveness of sustainable solutions and scale new sustainable products and business models. This is done through an increase in innovation, knowledge sharing and strengthening cooperation across the building industry.

SUSTAINABLE BUILD is a collaboration between The Danish Industry Foundation and the Danish Architecture Center, and has been developed together with Leaderlab. The project derives from a call for initiatives promoting sustainable production by the Danish Industry Foundation.

The partners in Sustainable Build include: Pension Denmark, Central Region Denmark, Henning Larsen Architects, NCC and Tarkett. SUSTAINABLE BUILD is created in close collaboration with various actors from the building industry such as manufacturers, suppliers, builders, architects, knowledge institutions and government organisations.

How we work

Sustainable Build’s Innovation Process


First phase: Kick-off


First phase: Build-up


First phase: Summit


Second phase: Industry Task Forces


Second phase: Call for innovators


Third phase: Screening and Selection


Third phase: Accelerator forum


Third phase: Implementation and acceleration

The innovation process in SUSTAINABLE BUILD consists of three annual phases:

  1. Kick off
  2. Build-up
  3. Summit
  4. Industry Task Force
  5. Call for innovators
  6. Screening and Selection
  7. Accelerator Forum
  8. Implementation and acceleration

In phase 1, the specific challenges of this year’s theme are identified by Sustainable Build partners and other experts in the Danish building industry. During the Kick Off of each annual cycle, the partners choose the theme of the year. Subsequently the events Build-Up and Summit are held, where the participants identify the specific challenges within the annual theme worth focusing on in the next phases.

In phase 2, the possible innovation solutions for the Innovation Challenge are identified. This is done through a Call for Innovators, where innovators are invited to apply with an innovation. At the same time, 3 Industry Task Forces consisting of project partners, develop new solutions best solved through collaboration from within the Danish building industry.

In phase 3, the 10 best innovations are selected and presented at the Accelerator Forum. Here, the partners provide feedback on how the innovations and solutions can be scaled and implemented in the industry.

Theme for year 2

Recycling and upcycling solutions

In 2017 Sustainable Build is focusing on recycling and upcycling solutions. Based on feedback from our Build Up event and the Sustainable Build created a call for innovations that answers the question:

“How do we ensure maximum recycling of materials, components and buildings in the future?”

The solutions can be within one of the following categories or you can surprise us with entirely different solutions:

  • Solutions that can create new types of modular building – We are looking for innovations with component, design and construction solutions that support the ongoing replacement and upgrades of different building layers or components, based on their respective service lives and the adaptation to changing user demands.
  • Solutions that ensure health and security in the recycling of materials and components – We are looking for innovative technologies regarding scanning, cleaning, sorting and general quality assurance of materials for recycling and upcycling gained from across the different building phases or from completely different sectors.
  • Solutions that create new incentives for the recycling of materials and components – We are looking for innovations that give new practical approaches to ownership and service models (life time or leasing based) for materials and components, increased manufacturer responsibility and take-back systems, and new types of digital cooperation platforms regarding control of material streams and products/components across the different building phases.
  • Solutions that create market places for recycled materials – We are looking for innovations regarding the management of value chains and material streams, tools for data analysis and matchmaking, quality assurance, software platforms or something else that supports the creation and scaling of market places for reused materials and ensures reliability and transparency in the buying and selling of reused materials.

Who can apply to become a Sustainable Build innovator?

We expect that the solution is more developed than at an idea/concept stage, and that the solution can have a significant positive effect on the building sector’s opportunities to create economic growth in recycling and sustainable building. We are looking for Danish as well as foreign innovations. We would also like to see strong solutions from other sectors that can be applied to the building sector.


Every year SUSTAINABLE BUILD selects 8-10 innovators within the theme of sustainable building. The chosen innovators will gain access to the SUSTAINABLE BUILD accelerator program, that begins in the end of May. Here the innovators will get the opportunity to present and discuss their solutions with some of the strongest actors and investors in the Danish building sector. These experts will contribute their expertise as well as create access to new markets, testing, networks or resources that can help grow and scale the innovators’ solutions – nationally and internationally.

The objective

The objective is that with inputs from the SUSTAINABLE BUILD partners and other experts from the building sector, the innovators will enter into new partnerships and get the opportunity to test initiatives with other actors in the sector. All initiatives are made to create growth for sustainable building.

Please contact Sofus Midtgaard regarding the process.