Erlev School/



Project Details



Haderslev / Denmark



Year (Design/Construction):

2017 / 2020

Area (Net/Gross):

- / 5.800 m2
Operational Carbon emissions

Operational Carbon emissions (B6) kgCO2e/m2/y:

Embodied Carbon emissions

Embodied Carbon emissions (A1-A3) kgCO2e/m2:

  • The project focused from the start on a high level of social, economic, and environmental sustainability.
  • Use of wood as the main material for the construction of the building (CLT structure, facade, interior walls and roof, furniture).

Project description as provided by the Architects.

In the municipality of Haderslev in Denmark, Erlev School is a newcomer with strong ambitions. The school is the first “new-generation” timber schools located in Denmark, one of the very first of its kind in Scandinavia. In August 2021 the school also won the award “Best School Building of the Year 2021” in Denmark.

Erlev school is in many ways unique in its appearance and the project focused from the start on a high level of social, economic, and environmental sustainability. Haderslev municipality had a clear ambition to do something different from the classical school structure. This inspired the architects to create a project where both content, construction and materials were shaped in new ways.

A forward-thinking perspective is a consistent characteristic of the interior design with simple and open geometries which encourage curiosity and creativity. The school aims to be a “learning universe” with atypical learning spaces and activity zones that support activity-based learning. Through well thought architecture the facilities support and enhance an innovative way to acquire new competencies. Furthermore, the school is characterized by a range of different types of rooms in different sizes and functionalities. Large common rooms, traditional classrooms, smaller educational rooms and small niches. 

The load-bearing structure of the school is made of cross laminated timber (CLT). The use of timber creates a visually attractive building that emphasizes the environmental aspect. The sensory experience becomes stronger. The scent, feeling and sound of timber creates a living and creative environment. In addition, the use of timber contributes to warm and visually interesting surfaces.  

Outside a classic schoolyard has been replaced with new initiatives. One of the new initiatives is that green areas provide shelters for outdoor stays, which can be used for teaching as well. The purpose of the outside area is also to create space where pupils and the locals can use the facilities in their spare time. 

When the school was awarded Best School Building of the Year 2021 the jury said:

“This is an inspiring project, where architecture and functions go hand in hand. It is very easy to decode the different spaces and it seems very convincing in the way the spaces, the small niches and the use of materials are used. Despite a high Danish level, this project seems extremely convincing – and there is a very nice link between the educational values of the school and the physical environment created.”

The school and the areas around have a total of 5.800 square meters and educate 500 pupils in the municipality of Haderslev. The project was created in collaboration with Slothmøller and the school was put into use in the winter of 2021.

Client: Haderslev Kommune

Architect: Arkitema

Landscape: Arkitema Urban

Engineer: Sloth Mølle

Photography: Arkitema

Want to stay up to date?

Sign up to our mailing list to receive regular updates on the most exciting news, research, case studies, and events related to sustainable design.