Build for Life Hackathon 2023

Building Tomorrow - Today

We invited young professionals working within the building sector to join us on our common journey towards a more sustainable building industry. Climate change, urbanization, and using sustainable materials and technology are some of the challenges and dilemmas to tackle in the near future – to ensure the far future.​


The weekend-long Build for Life Hackathon 2023 brought together young minds with drive and passion from diverse backgrounds to share their take on challenges and dilemmas they found interesting – and that we all need solutions for.​

The concept is borrowed from the software industry, and the main purpose of the event is to develop new approaches to solving problems that requires close collaboration to ensure a radical change in an industry.


Check out the video below to get an idea of the Build for Life Hackathon 2023 experience. It's time to start “hacking” the future!




BFL Hackathon Top Image

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Challenges from our Partners

We've teamed up with our partners to share the biggest challenges they believe have an impact on the transition towards a healthier and more sustainable building industry. 




The increase of temperature on a global scale will challenge our understanding of thermal comfort, if we have to avoid using cooling solutions.


How can we create a balance between comfort and climate impact?




The climate crisis is intertwined with biodiversity loss. Climate problems can be managed if we act promptly, but the biodiversity crisis is irreversible.​ 


How can we design our buildings and urban developments with a focus on biodiversity and regeneration? 




With the current focus on life cycle assessment of building projects, the pool of available data on our building stock is growing rapidly. So is the potential of harnessing this vast amount of information for higher-level decision-making.


How can we utilize the data available today to drive the sustainable solutions of tomorrow and decarbonize our building stock?




The levels of resource consumption and waste in the building industry is a massive issue - but it also presents a great opportunity and responsibility to do better.​


How can we reframe our thoughts about current building stock to see it as a valuable resource bank?



EFFEKT Architects

Rethink the construction industry's focus from accumulating wealth to enhancing well-being and environmental health. Develop a holistic strategy for all building lifecycle stages, emphasizing well-being and ecosystem regeneration. Integrate low-impact materials, biophilic design, and community impact to make construction a force for global well-being and ecological restoration.


How can we realign with the planet's dwindling CO2 capacity?




Address the challenge of providing comfortable, well-being-focused residences for all in a rapidly changing world that strains ecological limits. Tackle housing scarcity in Europe while addressing an aging population and increased migration due to climate change, political instability, and economic challenges.


How can we provide affordable housing for the many within planetary boundaries?

Inspirational talks

Hannah Pallubinsky Health And Resilience Thumbnail 2

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Health and resilience - promoting indoor environments by Hannah Pallubinsky

In this inspirational talk Hannah discusses comfort and health. Where is the boundary between the two? Is everything that we find comfortable also healthy? Do we know what the real tolerance of our body is? And can we build up our heat tolerance to be more resilient for future climate change?


"Bend the curve" by Steffen Petersen

Steffen talks us through the importance of “bending the curve”. He gives examples of how nature can regenerate itself, implying that we should leave space for nature and learn to live in connection with it.


Steffen Petersen Bend The Curve Thumbnail

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Kristine Kjørup Biodiversity And Life Thumbnail

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Biodiversity and life by Kristine Kjørup Rasmussen

Kristine presents the topic of biodiversity, explaining what it is, what kind of nature crisis we are experiencing and how we can mitigate it. She poses a very important question: how can we get to live with, from and as nature?


Doughnut for Urban Development by Kasper Guldager Jensen

In this talk, Kasper presents the Doughnut for Urban Development concept and the work that Home.Earth is doing in creating homes that are people and planet positive. How can we transition from a degenerative way of doing business and building societies to a regenerative one? 


Kasper Guldager Urban Development

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Team Presentations



Marco Viscolani, Kate Gayler, Maria Risager

ShowUp was formed around the premise of focusing on what we believe is the most important part of buildings: the people. Our living spaces can be linked to more health implications than most of us realize, whether that be from uncomfortable temperatures or high pollution concentrations. In the design space, this is more widely known but often lacks consideration during the design process. Thus, solving this issue begins with empowering building occupants with this knowledge and incentivizing designers to make it a priority. To do this, we’ve developed the concept for a simple Home Health & Wellness assessment tool that, based on a variety of inputs about a building or a particular apartment, will provide scores for three drivers of indoor health & wellbeing: Indoor Environmental Quality, Environmental Health, and Social Structure. In addition, the reasoning behind the score will be described and action items listed for improving the living environment. Designing and maintaining healthier places for people starts with empowering them to understand how their spaces may impact them and create a demand. As designers, we want to show up for the demands of current and future building occupants alike.



Anna Deeg, Nicholas Davine, Charlie Møller, Magnus Hansen, Astrid Nørgaard

In response to EFFEKT's evocative call for considering an alternative to economic growth at VELUX Build for Life Hackathon 2023, team Barefoot proposed an ambitious degrowth overview for attaining climate neutrality and social equity. To center in on architectural implications, the degrowth strategy presented in this video focuses on revising existing residential space within urban infrastructure (as well as conventional conceptions of typical sizes) in order to live communally within planetary boundaries. We hope to have formulated a framework for initiating a discussion around existing systems and practices, and to have provided some tools that we as architects, engineers, and planners can utilize in our respective professional fields. The required transformation to stay within planetary boundaries asks us all to re-think and challenge 'business-as-usual' approaches - a move toward private sufficiency, and public luxury. The transformation is possible, however it requires that we all act immediately and collectively. 


Thermal Delight 

Rhea Lee Bøgeholt Revier, Dania Pharaon, Magdalena Stefanowicz, Chenxuan Zhan 

How do we deal with the warmer climate of the future when our residential buildings already have overheating issues today?
Studies imply Copenhagen will be as warm as Paris in the near future. At the same time 12.3% of people living in residential buildings built after the 2000s already have overheating issues today. This means that Denmark will be facing a cooling demand in the near future. We have discussed how we can answer this need in passive ways by giving occupants a feeling of control over his or her indoor environment. The idea is based on research showing that simply by giving an occupant the feeling of control, he or she has a wider thermal comfort range. Therefore, we suggest integrating notification systems in existing weather apps to educate and alert occupants during heat waves. In this way, occupants can take the necessary precautions when they wake up in the  morning and see a notification on their phone saying Its going to be hot today, so remember to draw your curtains before leaving for work. 



Asami Ikeda, Anastasiia Berg

We proposed how to build a healthy environment by transforming existing buildings. Our approach focused on social value, as we believe the decision related to social value creates a large impact on the environment. We proposed that the demolished buildings could be transformed into green spaces for the local community, while partially saved buildings could be affordable homes providing people with opportunities to learn and network. 


Chapter 1

Louise Østergaard Pedersen, Olesja Lami, Waldemar Grendatsch, Sourabh Jogalekar 

Construction and demolition waste, comprising materials like concrete, metal, glass etc. significantly impacts the environment and carbon footprint. Disposal and management pose environmental threats such as landfill use, resource depletion, greenhouse gas emissions, air/water pollution and more. To address this, a focus on recycling and reuse is crucial. In Denmark, annually demolishing 2-3 million m2 of buildings offers a substantial potential resource bank. However, the challenge lays in a lack of knowledge about available materials. Chapter 1 proposes turning building waste into a resource by making material labelling mandatory and creating a material catalogue by developing a methodology involving mapping processes and AI databases. Utilizing technologies like LIDAR, GPR-radar, infrared thermal cameras, and drones, data will inform an AI platform to categorize buildings for salvage or recycling, fostering circular architecture and sustainable design.