The use of biobased building materials, particularly wood construction, has boomed over the recent years. Architects are rediscovering materials, developers and builders are slowly taking the plunge, and politicians are increasingly speaking out in favour of the use of biobased building materials. Not only houses, but also more and more offices, sports facilities and schools are made out of wood. Nevertheless, all the wonderful projects, the vast majority of buildings in the Netherlands are made of concrete and steel, so there is no real revolution currently. What should we do to start the wood building revolution? This evening we will speak with frontrunners and showcase some new wood building projects.

This programme is part of the Houtbouw XL day that takes place during the day, find more information here and register for free. Since we have one international speaker, the program will be partly in Dutch and partly in English.

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.

About the speakers

Hermann Blumer is a Swiss carpenter who completed his studies in civil engineering at ETH Zurich and graduated as a civil engineer in 1969. From 1971 to 1997, he managed his father’s wood construction company, where he pioneered the digitisation of wood construction in the early days of CAD and CNC. As of today we know Hermann Blumer as a pioneer, visionary and expert on building with timber.

Robert Winkel is an entrepreneurial architect and has been the founder of Mei architects and planners since 2003. Mei architects designed SAWA, a unique residential building in Rotterdam of 50 meters high, consisting entirely of cross laminated timber and therefore the most healthy building in the Netherlands.

Bas van Dam is co-founder and CEO of real estate and project developer Being. Among other projects, Being is currently working on Mediavaert, one of the largest hybrid wooden office buildings in the world, for DPG media. 44,700 m2 of healthy and nature-inclusive working environment in which synergy between different users, functions and activities are central.

Maarten Hajer is a Dutch political scientist and urban planner. Between 1998 and 2015, he was professor of governance and policy at the University of Amsterdam. From 2008 until 2015, he was director of the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL). Since 2015, Hajer has been faculty professor of Urban Futures at Utrecht University’s Faculty of Geosciences and scientific director of the Pathways to Sustainability Strategic Theme at Utrecht University. In 2016, he was chief curator of the seventh edition of the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR), The Next Economy.

Bob van der Zande leads the programme in the Metropolitan Region Amsterdam (MRA) to build 20% of all residential in timber. He developed the Green Deal Houtbouw in 2021 in public-private collaboration, now endorsed by 140 organisations such as municipalities, developers, housing associations, construction industry, architects and banks. As member of the board of the Built by Nature Foundation, he is amplifying the use of timber in the real estate industry worldwide. Chair of the Houtivation Foundation, that subsidizes research to scale up biobased construction. As urban strategist he is advisor of municipalities and real estate companies.

Yvette Watson is a dedicated sustainable entrepreneur. Through her company, PHI Factory, she assists organizations in achieving their sustainability and circular economy goals, challenging market players to drive systemic change. Additionally, she co-founded The 2B Collective, a gamified learning platform designed to engage large groups in sustainable thinking and action. With this powerful tool for behavioral change, she aims to involve the collective on a massive scale in the transition to a sustainable future.

Jasper van der Munckhof is a transition expert with extensive experience in programs related to social housing, private residences, office buildings, and more. He was a key figure in the establishment of Energiesprong. In 2019, Jasper shifted his focus to agricultural transition, dedicating his efforts to fostering a more regenerative sector. Currently, he serves as the program director for Building Balance.

Since May 30, 2018, Jan de Reus (VVD) has been a member of the Provincial Executive of Flevoland. Since 2019, his portfolio has included Spatial Planning, Housing, Almere 2.0, Amsterdam Lelystad Airport, Mobility, the Mobility and Infrastructure Test Center (MITC), and Personnel and Organization. He is also a member of the administrative steering committee for the MRA timber construction covenant.


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?