Sustainable Cities™

Sustainable architecture wiki

London Metropolitan University and the National Association of Norwegian Architects have collaborated on development of the knowledge portal EcoArchWiki about sustainable building in Europe. The user-based website has a strong focus on integrated energy design. The site is a so-called 'wiki', a website based on users contributing their own content. The aim of the wiki is to inspire architects, developers, local authority planners in the construction industry.

Websitet EcoArchWiki har et simpelt og logisk layout. Illustration venligst udlånt af EcoArchWiki.

EcoArchWiki was developed by London Metropolitan University and the National Association of Norwegian Architects as part of the EU-subsidised INTEND project which brings into focus integrated energy design in public building. EcoArchWiki is a knowledge-based database which presents good practical examples of European sustainable architecture which focuses on integrated energy design.

The database, which currently contains almost 50 buildings from eight different countries, is intended as a source of inspiration and a possible way of interchanging competences in sustainable architecture. The object of the site is to inspire architects, developers, local authority planners and the construction industry.

EcoArchWiki allows users to search within a variety of criteria: alphabetical, geographic or under typologies Housing, Offices, Education, Sport, Culture, Health or Commercial. Even more interesting is the search category Technology, which concerns buildings with integrated Passive Design Measures such as daylight and shadow, Energy Efficiency Measures by means of e.g. heat pumps, energy generation using solar or wind energy, processes using an integrated design strategy and finally, the broad category Sustainability, concerning other green initiatives for e.g. transport, waste disposal or green recreational areas.


The site features simple, step-by-step instructions which make contributing content easier. A number of obligatory fields must be completed, for example introduction, building description, technology, typology and location, all of which help to ensure consistency and clarity. Contributions must be in English, although text in other languages can be added.  

Numerous databases have already been set up in the field of sustainable building and EcoArchWiki is not one of the most expansive websites. What is special about EcoArchWiki is partly the fact that the database specifically focuses on integrated energy design and its technical sub-categories. It is also a wiki to which users can contribute interesting cases as well is evaluating buildings presented on the site.

"Most people, when they first learn about the wiki concept, assume that a website that can be edited by anybody would soon be rendered useless by destructive input. It sounds like offering free spray cans next to a grey concrete wall. The only likely outcome would be ugly graffiti and simple tagging, and many artistic efforts would not be long lived. Still, it seems to work very well," - says Swedish data systems specialist Lars Aronsson.

The association Sustainable Cities and Buildings

In Denmark there is also the website of the association Sustainable Cities and Buildings, which contains knowledge about urban ecology, project descriptions and evaluations, as well as links to relevant databases. What we have here is not a user-based wiki but a professional network of local authorities and other public bodies, as well as advisers, researchers, housing associations, companies, grass roots organisations and other interested parties.
The association's purpose is to provide an overview of urban ecology activities at home and abroad, to disseminate knowledge about urban ecology, provide consultancy using familiar methods and also to develop new ones and to create a forum for networks, exchange of experiences and dialogue between players in urban ecology.

The association Sustainable Cities and Buildings was founded in December 2005 as the association Danish Urban Ecology which during the period 1998-2005 functioned as a sparring partner for the Danish Urban Ecology Centre.

Last updated Tuesday, January 21, 2014