Urban Rigger could crush European housing problem

Thursday, 2 November, 2017

EUROPE: Students are amongst the first to experience the challenges of finding a place to live in an undersupplied market. In fact, rising urbanization in Europe’s major cities will leave a projected shortfall of more than four million beds by 2025.

The Urban Rigger student housing project is an example of how architects and engineers working together can make a real difference to life in a growing city. Like placing buildings on water, rather than land. Developed by Udvikling Danmark in close collaboration with Bjarke Ingels and architects from BIG, Danfoss and other companies, these floating dorms are an ambitious attempt to meet the student housing challenge. 

Rigger leaves a minimal CO2 footprint
Made from upcycled shipping containers, construction of the prototype was finished in the summer of 2016, and the Rigger is now located in Copenhagen’s harbor. Along with its modern style, its green benefits can also make people feel good about living there. “As the ultimate symbol of hedonistic sustainability, the students can take long, warm showers without feeling guilty,” says Bjarke Ingels, Founder & Creative Partner, BIG. “Today, sustainable is almost another word for common sense, or making things practical and smart. Companies like Danfoss have pioneered innovation and made cutting-edge technology available,” Bjarke Ingels adds. 

Free and clean heating source
Danfoss has played an important role in the Rigger’s heating and ventilation infrastructure. Technologies like heat pumps, hydronic floor heating and heat recovery ventilation help ensure an ideal indoor climate is maintained, while also contributing to the Urban Rigger’s objective of a minimal CO2 footprint. 

The Urban Rigger’s so-called “Hydro Source Heating” is an efficient, economical and sustainable solution that uses surrounding water as a free and clean heating source. The heat pump ensures that 75% of the energy for heating and hot water is extracted from the sea. Together with solar panels, this means the Danfoss 13KW heat pump uses very little electricity. Additionally, the Rigger’s ventilation unit removes stale air and supplies constant fresh air, while minimizing heat loss with up to 95% heat recovery. 

We have come to associate buildings with land, but could urban water areas be at least part of the answer to the world’s growing housing shortage? The potential is clear.

Urban Rigger

Urban Efficiency is key to sustainable growth

The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs has estimated that by 2050, the world’s population will reach about 9.8 billion – nearly 70% of whom will live in cities.

And the cities are what we need to focus on to reach the goals of the Paris agreement, which sets out a framework to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.

Explore our theme site on urban efficiency and discover why it’s the most effective way to turn the challenges of our cities into opportunities.