LKR Innovation House will bring together all VELUX research and development areas to work on creating VELUX products for the future. During the next two years, an existing timber warehouse in Østbirk, Denmark, where VELUX Group’s oldest production site is located, will be transformed into a creative innovation hub.
The overall ambition is to co-locate research and development resources in one building and create an inspirational workplace for innovating VELUX products. I believe that by bringing a range of functions together under one roof, we will create the optimal environment for co-creation and innovation. It will also help in attracting and retaining the best employees to further develop VELUX and our products. Furthermore, by transforming this historic space and reusing the materials it was originally built from, instead of constructing something new, we are leading the way to a more sustainable building sector – Tina Mayn, Executive Vice President, Products in the VELUX Group.
History and purpose of LKR Innovation House
The LKR Innovation House is named after Lars Kann-Rasmussen, the son of the founder of VELUX. It was Lars’ idea to construct the original building mainly from timber due to environmental considerations.
When inaugurated in 1995, it was referred to as ‘an experiment in wood’ because the building contains untreated and responsibly grown timber from mainly Danish and Swedish forests. It has stood the test of time as the timber used on the outside of the building will remain. The existing 9,500 m² warehouse will be modified to meet current building standards and adapted inside to suit its new purpose as a state-of-the-art innovation facility of 14,000 m².
LKR Innovation House is expected to result in significant synergies because much of the product development VELUX does today is spread over several locations in Denmark and abroad. Future products will be designed and developed in LKR Innovation House and tested in production facilities in nearby buildings before going into production at VELUX manufacturing facilities around Europe.
Focus on sustainable building processes and materials, plus healthy indoor climate
A main focus of the project is to reuse as many existing materials as possible while also carefully considering the choice of new materials to minimise the building’s carbon footprint. Just like in the existing building, the key is to use timber as the primary construction material to reduce embodied carbon.
LKR Innovation House truly represents the VELUX legacy, by providing an abundance of daylight and fresh air through the roof and thereby ensuring a healthy indoor climate. It will be a mix of office spaces, workshop areas and laboratories, where employees working with design, product development and implementation, plus supportive functions can easily collaborate. There will also be several green courtyards to bring nature into the building’s core. The 20,000 m2 surrounding area will be landscaped with respect for the natural habitat. Repurposing of the building is expected to be completed in 2024 and, when fully operational during 2025, it will be the workplace for approximately 500 employees.