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Concrete on a loadbearing timber structure





NOVA5 Architects


Enemærke & Petersen


Breathing new life into Galgebakken

Galgebakken, located in Albertslund, Denmark, has been an iconic residential area since the 1970s, with clear values ​​of community and a life closely connected to nature. The area's 640+ houses, forming the framework for the large car-free area, were originally clad in experimental reddish-brown concrete with large exposed aggregates, designed to change character with the weather and the changing light of the seasons.

When extensive renovation of the entire Galgebakken began in 2013, after years of significant moisture problems among other issues, it was important to ensure the preservation of Galgebakken's unique aesthetic expression.

At the same time, the scope and financial size of the renovation were such that it was carefully assessed (via a thorough Life Cycle Analysis (LCA)) whether a renovation would actually be meaningful from an environmental perspective. By prioritizing materials with long design life and minimal environmental impact, the LCA showed that a renovation (rather than demolition and new construction) would be worthwhile after 42 years.

With the requirements for the new facade cladding, the search began for the right facade material.


GRC - the solution that checks all boxes

For Galgebakken, we have tailored a completely unique solution that meets all the wishes and requirements of NOVA5 Architects and Galgebakken's residents. Our GRC (glassfibre reinforced concrete) has a design life of 100+ years - far exceeding the desired design life according to the LCA. At the same time it is also both moldable and lightweight, making it possible to meet the other requirements for design freedom, preservation of the area's aesthetic expression, low environmental impact, and low weight.

The solution for Galgebakken includes a special face mix, with large aggregates of Rød Vånga (0-2 mm) and Glensanda (5-8 mm), which mimic the original facade and create the desired aesthetics and unique expressions based on weather and season. This face mix is chosen to accommodate the large aggregates and increases the thickness of our GRC elements from our standard 12 mm to 22 mm. Nevertheless, all elements are still thin and light enough for installation on the chosen loadbearing timber structure.

To ensure a consistent appearance across the entire project, aggregates of Rød Vånga and Glensanda were procured in one batch for the entire project, thus coming from the same part of their respective quarries.


One of Denmark's largest renovations

The renovation of Galgebakken is one of Denmark's largest of its kind to date. For us, the renovation of Galgebakken involves the design and production of over 7000 elements with a height of 3180 cm and a width ranging from 1890-4277 cm, totaling almost 35,000 m2 of unfolded high-quality GRC.

The elements are made in 22 mm thickness, and the majority are equipped with special stud-frames, providing only 4-8 mounting points with so-called "radiator brackets" at the bottom. All of this contributes to making handling and installation easy and quick. 

We began production in 2021 (Galgebakken was then our largest project to date), and while phase 1 is now completed, the renovation is still ongoing. We expect to produce elements for the case throughout 2024.


Note: Many of the project images come from NOVA5 and Enemærke & Petersen (Photographer: Jonathan Weimar). We thank them for sharing the beautiful images.

Durable, lightweight, formable

GRC cladding

Through design and manufacturing we help architects, entrepreneurs, and builders create unique, durable, and sustainable facades. Whether you are starting construction on a new build or embarking on a renovation project, GRC is suitable for both.

Glassfibre reinforced concrete (GRC or GFRC) is incredibly versatile and grants you an architectural design freedom with almost endless possibilities. With the formability of GRC you can achieve any geometry and with a surface designed for your specific project. GRC is a lightweight material and our cladding elements are typically only 12 mm. Thus, making it easier to work with and transport whilst also easing the load on buildings.

GRC is an excellent facade material if durability and sustainability is of great concern and importance. GRC is durable for more than 100 years without any technical maintenance and it does not dent, rot, corrode, nor burn (class A material). With a sustainable material and an environmentally friendly production without toxic materials, GRC elements from BB fiberbeton are ideal for environmental certifications, such as LEED, DGNB, and BREEAM.

GRC is made of white cement and fine aggregates and reinforced with glassfibre. Elements are produced using a special spray-technique that allows for a low water/cement-ratio, a low thickness, and a high strength.

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