Ecological modernization of sustainable buildings: a Danish perspective

Jesper Ole Jensen, Kirsten Gram-Hanssen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


How has the contemporary development of sustainable buildings been influenced by the concept of ecological modernization? Ecological modernization is a policy concept describing how environmental considerations are increasingly being integrated into modern society's institutions through, for example, new types of cooperation and new applications of economic and market dynamics. Evidence is based on recent examples from politics and practice in the construction sector in Denmark, where sustainable buildings have gone through great changes - from being primarily isolated cases driven by enthusiasts and grassroots to being a more widespread, generally obtainable, and integrated product. This is considered within the context of ecological modernization, along with the implications of potential benefits and drawbacks. Based on the concepts of governance, standardization, and visibility, it is found that ecological modernization has penetrated in Danish sustainable buildings and has contributed to a positive development. However, there are aspects of sustainable consumption to which this development does not relate, including a constantly increasing demand for housing and the consequent increased demand for space heating.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBuilding Research and Information
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)146-158
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

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