The use of biobased building materials, in particular wood construction, has exploded in recent years. Architects are rediscovering materials, developers and builders are slowly taking the step and politicians are increasingly speaking out to support the use of biobased building materials. Not only homes, but also more and more offices, sports facilities and schools are made of wood. Despite all the beautiful projects, the vast majority of buildings in the Netherlands are made of concrete and steel, so there is no question of a true revolution. What should we do to start the timber construction revolution? In conversation with the front runners and a showcase of some new timber construction projects.

This event can only be attended physically at our studio. The recordings will be made available later on and can be viewed via or via our YouTube channel.

This programme is part of the “Houtbouw XL” programme. Click here for more information about the day programme and to register. (The evening programme wil be in English. The day programme will be in Dutch)

About the speakers

Oskar Norelius is an Architect and partner at White Arkitekter and will tell more about the project ‘Stockholm Wood City‘. The project extends over 250,000 square meters in Sickla, in the southern parts of Stockholm. This makes it the world’s largest known urban construction project in wood. The new area houses 7,000 office spaces and 2,000 homes in a lively, urban environment.

Cécilia Gross is architect and director-partner at VenhoevenCS architecture+urbanism. This evening, Cécilia will introduce the compact, flexible design of the Aquatics Center for Saint-Denis for the 2024 Olympic Games. Construction is progressing rapidly and along the A1 near Paris, the curved wooden roof and wooden slatted facades of the swimming pool and sports stadium are now real eye-catchers. That construction with a hanging roof of 50 cm-thin beams that span almost 90 meters! Gross shows how the properties of wood led the way to elegant design and thus to a new perspective on aesthetics.

Verali von Meijenfeldt is an urban planner and works as City Executive Amsterdam at Arcadis and Samuel Orobio de Castro is an project developer at G&S&. They will tell more about the new headquarters of Arcadis ‘The CubeHouse’, which will be the first wooden building on the Zuidas. For example, the construction consists of 75% bio-based material. By using 13,000 m3 of wood, 9,000 tons of CO2 are stored. Solar panels on the roof and incorporated in the facade generate more than 138,000 kWh annually and supply 80% of the building’s expected energy consumption. In addition, a gray water system is used that collects rainwater that is used for flushing toilets and irrigating the greenery on the roof garden.

Bob van der Zande works as an Urban Strategist at Balthasar & Partners and is chairman of the Urban land Institute. Before that, he was a housing director and strategic advisor at the Municipality of Amsterdam. Bob has been designated by the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area as Director Build-in-Wood to bring more wood into the construction industry. The ambition is to build twenty percent of the houses in wood in the MRA from 2025. That is about 3,500 homes per year. Bob brought all stakeholders together to sign this ambitious ‘Green Deal’. He was therefore dubbed by Het Houtblad as ‘The man of twenty percent’. During the programme Bob will speak about what it takes to achieve this goal within the MRA.

Pablo van der Lugt is the author of Tomorrow’s Timber and Booming Bamboo, among others, in which he investigates the possibilities of building with bio-based materials. With this, he sets an important tone for the necessary transition to sustainable, circular construction. As founder of Green Matters Consultancy, he advises construction companies on making sustainable choices. He is also involved with the AMS Institute and TU Delft as an ambassador for biobased building. Pablo informs us in 10 minutes about the latest trends and developments in “Houtbouwland”.

Sander Woertman is Programme Leader Lente-akkoord 2.0 Circular Industrial Building on behalf of Bouwend Nederland, WoningbouwersNL, Aedes, IVBN and NEPROM in collaboration with the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations. The Lente-akkoord 2.0 has completed a major study into the valuation of wooden housing and consumer ideas and prejudices about living in wooden houses. No fewer than 1,100 consumers with short- and medium-term relocation plans completed a carefully composed survey. The survey shows that 35% of the respondents would consider a wooden new-build home for their next move. That percentage can increase through good information about the alleged disadvantages of timber construction. Sander will tell more about this during this evening. Click here for the research.

René Tuijn is alderman area development and sustainability at the municipality of Zaanstad and member of the timber construction board Amsterdam Metropolitan Area (MRA). Zaanstad has a long history of building with timber and is committed to realize more projects in timber. Enough political support is very important to take the timber construction transition to a higher level. We will talk with René about how the governments in the MRA and Zaanstad will take this transition further.

Carolien Schippers is Director of Land and Development at the Municipality of Amsterdam and has area development and transformation in her portfolio. The Municipality of Amsterdam supports the objective of having 20% ​​of the projects carried out in wood and tries to support this form of construction in various ways. Various wooden projects have been completed in recent years and several are in the pipeline. Carolien will tell you more about the wooden ambitions of the Municipality of Amsterdam, which projects are coming up and how this form of construction is being stimulated by the municipality.

Group 565 Climate Neutral
Programme seriesHoutbouw

Waar niet hernieuwbare materialen zoals beton, staal en baksteen in de laatste eeuw de meest gebruikte bouwstoffen waren om steden te bouwen, worden de negatieve effecten van deze fossiele bouwmaterialen op het klimaat steeds duidelijker. Hernieuwbare, of biobased materialen, met in het bijzonder hout, bieden een totaaloplossing voor het (her)ontwikkelen van een ‘future proof’ gebouwde omgeving. Onder de noemer ‘mass timber’ worden ondertussen hoogwaardig producten ontwikkelt waarmee complete constructiesystemen en hoogbouwprojecten kunnen worden gemaakt. Wat zijn de voor- en nadelen van houtbouw? Welke invloed heeft houtbouw op de ruimtelijke ontwikkeling van steden? En wat betekent hout voor de huidige woning vraagstukken?