When undertaking a site development as sustainably as possible, portable buildings are naturally a consideration.

This is the reasoning behind the portable building complex that is currently erected on the easternmost side of the Port of Aalborg. Here, heat pumps, heat recovery and intelligent control of temperature and lighting help to reduce energy consumption considerably, and by fitting solar cells on the roof of the three combined buildings, the aim is to reduce the overall CO2 emissions of the complex to around zero.

- It's no secret that the electricity can be a relatively high cost on a construction site. Consequently, it was natural to think in terms of reducing consumption, and fortunately Port of Aalborg was completely on board with the idea, says Lone Høyer, Project Manager at Arkil.

- Now, we are excited to see what all these measures will mean for the energy consumption, she says.

Pushing development forward

Because the site development is being undertaken in partnership between Arkil and Port of Aalborg, the decision to lease a photovoltaic plant together with the portable building complex has been taken in consultation with the developer. Carsten Væversted Ladefoged, Engineer, Construction of New Buildings, explains that economy was not the decisive factor in this case.

- We have two agendas when, as in this case, we make sustainability the primary requirement in our tender. Of course, we would like to reduce our carbon footprint, but we also want to help push the construction industry in a greener direction, he says.

According to Carsten Väversted Ladefoged, this is a trial designed to provide a useful source of experience for later projects.

- When the site development is completed, we can see how much CO2 we have saved for every extra krone we have spent on the portable building complex, he says.

Portable solar cells

The decision to install solar panels on the portable building complex is already helping to advance the development. For the equipment supplier JM Trykluft, this was the catalyst for developing a modular solution that is readily transportable on a case-by-case basis.

- This has enabled us to keep the price down to a level where the solution, especially given current energy prices, also makes sense economically. Consequently, we have now become the first equipment supplier in Denmark to add solar panels on a portable building complex to our official price list, says Søren V. Bech, who is in charge of the portable buildings department at JM Trykluft.

The portable building complex with the selected specifications is expected to consume 55-70 per cent less energy than an equivalent typical, good Danish standard, portable building complex and together with its solar panels and associated battery pack will produce more energy than it consumes.

The site development is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

Facts: Lower CO2 emissions from the portable building complex

Energy consumption of the portable building modules has been reduced by 55-70 percent by means of:

  • Ventilation with heat recovery
  • Heat pump
  • Night-time drop of temperature
  • LED lighting with sensor control
  • Low energy double glazing
  • Shutters on windows to reduce heat loss in winter and solar radiation in summer

In this specific case, the modular portable buildings have been combined into one portable building complex. A 3x3 kW photovoltaic system is installed on the roof. Any surplus power will be stored in a battery to meet the consumption needs of portable building complex from the end of the day until noon of the following day.


  • Lone Høyer Sørensen, Project Manager, Arkil, +45 40 45 86 04 and loh@arkil.dk 
  • Søren V. Bech, Portable Buildings Manager, JM Trykluft, +45 40 18 54 46 and svb@jmtrykluft.dk 
  • Press service: Johannes Hartkopf-Mikkelsen, Communications Consultant, Arkil, +45 73 22 50 26 and jhmik@arkil.dk