The densely populated residential area of Brøndby Strand Parkerne outside Copenhagen, Denmark is being transformed through a large-scale urban renewal project. Built in the late 1960s and early 1970s, using prefabricated concrete elements, the buildings that currently comprise 3,200 apartments with 7,500 residents are decaying and have reached the end of their technical life.
The urban renewal plan is being developed by the cooperative housing societies that own the properties. Golder is the environmental consultant for the project which includes field studies, baseline studies, calculations, and analysis of environmental impacts and related engineering services.
Golder’s initial investigation of the indoor climate in the buildings revealed the presence of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs), an organic chlorine compound. Once widely used in building materials to increase their durability, it is now known that PCBs are harmful to human health and are no longer used in building materials. As a result, it was necessary to demolish five 50-meter-high tower blocks, representing about 10% of the total number of residential dwellings at the location.
The Golder team managed the demolition to minimize impacts to the residents and the environment. The project involved: environmental investigations of the buildings; identification and quantification of hazardous materials in the building materials; planning demolition work while also considering the safety of people as well as surrounding buildings and infrastructure, some of which are located only eight meters away from the demolition site. In addition to addressing logistics like local traffic, Golder also planned for the handling and management of hazardous materials and optimized recycling and reuse of materials. Preparation for demolition started in early 2018, commenced in 2020 and is expected to be completed in 2023.
To better understand and serve the community, Golder is also providing input via social impact studies. An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), requested by the local municipality, was performed by Golder to address the demolition’s effects and determine potential future uses for the site. The goal is to minimize the environmental impact of dust, noise, and vibrations, on residents as well as groundwater and biodiversity in the local area. Golder will make recommendations as to whether the site can be used as a public recreation area or if further action needs to be taken to allow new housing to be built on site.
By 2023, it is expected that the demolished dwellings will be replaced with a combination of new accommodations and recreational areas. This urban renewal project will deliver safe, affordable housing and outdoor spaces for current residents, new businesses and the next generation to enjoy, while also providing easy access to sustainable public transport.