Private-owned houses in Munksogård (foto: Rune Johansen)

Munksøgård is a neighborhood in the Trekroner area by Roskilde with 100 dwellings, mixed-ownership; rental, owner, cooperatives and youth and senior housing. Started by the association Munksøgård in 1995 and finished in 2000. The goal was to create a area with mixed residential groups with values such as democracy, ecology and cohesion. 

Jordklinet ydervæg
Wall made by straw and clay(foto: Rune Johansen)

The developer group consisted, besides of the association of future tenants in the 20 owner-occupied dwellings, of the housing association Roskilde, which would be responsible for the 80 other homes. The following description draws on the experience gathering of the building process, in Inger Foldager and Søren Dyck-Madsen: Munksøgård – En Økologisk Bebyggelse ved Roskilde (in Danish) – Munksøgård – An Ecological Settlement by Roskilde (DØR 2002, see

Requirements of EU procurements

After several years of preparation with active groups on the various technical and economic questions and with support from architects and consultants, it turned out that the constructions were so large that the Enterprise and Construction Authority demanded that the construction work should be given up for procurement in the EU as a turnkey contract. This meant that they could not use the consultants who had helped so far.

Fælleshus opført med halm
Common house made by straw and clay (foto:

It now was extremely difficult for the group to translate the many visions and ideas into concrete requirements in the procurement, and they ended up with a “reverse procurement”: allowing bidders to describe how they would meet the formulated objectives.

This situation led to many disputes and to the abandonment or alteration of many of the original ideas. Furthermore, it is mentioned in the experience gathering that having a rather complex and inexperienced developer group made it difficult to make decisions and to prioritize between the various environmental objectives under time pressure and financial constraints. It has made the process more democratic, but also more expensive!

Cooperation with the municipality

Plan of the area Munksogård
Plan of the area Munksogaard (foto:

The cooperation internally and with Roskilde municipality is described as being well-functioning and flexible. The municipality was sympathetic and helpful towards the alternative solutions that the group wished and probably also found advantages in the group’s plan of establishing a decentralized wastewater treatment plant and their own energy supply, allowing the municipality to not to lay down supply pipes and wires to the rather remote area.

The local plan for the area contains different ecological regulations, for example that photovoltaic cells can be installed as an integral part of the roof structure, roofed composting facilities and waste separation.

The area today

Today Munksøgård presents a functioning and beautiful residential area with many ecological efforts, such as wood chip boiler, collection of rainwater for use in the laundry, a communal house made of bales of straw, its own sewage treatment plant with urine collection for agricultural purposes, non-burnt bricks inside and glass verandas.

The company Nielsen and Rubow was the architect until the procurement, after which Monberg and Thorsen won the turnkey contract for 80 of the 100 dwellings. They chose Mangor and Nagel as architects on the 80 buildings given up for procurement (the houses with steel roof and steel bands on the wooden facades). The company Egen Vinding & Datter was chosen as turnkey contractor on the 20 owner-occupied houses. The company House architects planned the houses and was project manager during the entire construction work (the black wooden houses with red tiles). Energy Consultant: Cenergia Aps/Peder Vejsig Pedersen.


Munksøgård - gårdmiljø med drenge, der spiller fodbold
(foto: Rune Johansen)
Af Jesper Holm, Inger Stauning og Bent Søndergård, RUC, 2008

This web-site is edited by Roskilde University in cooperation with Technical University of Denmark, Danish Building Research Institute, Technological Institute, PP-consult, Syd-tek and Bjørn Axelsen ApS. Coordinator: Inger Stauning, RUC, is (a) ruc .dk