Arup will act as the lead partner of a Nordic Consortium to create the Nordic Blue Building Alliance – an initiative that will promote the use of marine-based building materials to reduce embodied carbon across the Nordic construction sector.

Embodied carbon – the emissions released from materials during the construction of buildings and infrastructure – will be responsible for half of the planet’s total carbon footprint of new builds between now and 2050. Marine biomaterials like seaweed and shells, and repurposed industrial waste materials found in the ocean have the potential to reduce embodied carbon emissions in the construction industry.

The Consortium welcomes the voices of 10 partners across the public and private sector and academia, including Ørsted, NREP, RISE, White Arkitekter and more; as well as Nordic Innovation who is co-financing the initiative. The Consortium will work closely together to explore business models for marine-based materials, inspire change in production supply chains and encourage city policymakers to adopt marine-based solutions for reducing whole life cycle carbon.

A new technical playbook on marine-based low carbon construction for cities, currently under development, will provide a practical guidance for policymakers and planners across the Nordics, offering procurement and project management support. The playbook will be introduced at the World Congress of Architects (UIA 2023) in July in Copenhagen.

Inside the playbook, users will find a map of market needs by location, a list of key technical principles of biobased construction, building typologies, local regulations, legal and technical issues, alongside procurement checklists, business models for marine-based materials and a number of case studies.

The playbook will offer guidance and inspiration to influence public and private sector players looking to scale up the use of marine-based solutions – unlocking their potential to shift the needle on climate change.

Peter Vangsbo

Associate Director, Arup