Sustainable housing: Dutch companies want to build more wooden houses

The Dutch construction industry emphasises that more houses will need to be built using wood if the Netherlands is to achieve its climate goals, reports the NOS.

Some smaller companies with a focus on sustainable construction have advocated for wooden houses for a long time but now the big players are finally jumping on the sustainable bandwagon. πŸ’ƒ

The Royal BAM Group (the largest construction company in the Netherlands based on revenue) are building a factory that’ll produce 1,000 wooden homes per year in 2025.

Heijmans β€” another major construction company with headquarters in the Netherlands β€” is also planning to increase its production of wooden houses.

Better late than never

Tony Mol from the construction company Startblock tells the NOS that even though their support comes rather late, “it’s fantastic that the big builders are now also joining in.”

According to Mol, the move towards wooden houses has been happening slowly over the past 15 years, so the sustainable innovation didn’t come from the large construction companies (are we surprised?). Nevertheless, he now sees them as “partners who can help solve the need.”

What need is that? Well, the Netherlands has to invest more in timber construction to build a more sustainable future. 🏑

Why should we move to wooden houses?

According to TU Delft researcher, Pablo van der Lugt, the production of concrete and cement releases “an insane amount of CO2” and resultingly, “about 7% of global emissions come from cement production.”

However, “wood stores CO2 during growth. And during production, there are much fewer emissions than with concrete.” πŸ™Œ

The downside to timber production is that it’s more expensive than concrete due to increases in the price of wood. Van der Lugt is nevertheless optimistic. He expects the prices of wood to fall again soon since “the wood we use in the Netherlands comes from sustainably managed coniferous forests in Europe. More is being added quickly, about 300,000 football fields per year.”

Additionally, he mentions the possibility of taxing concrete production to make it less attractive. πŸ’β€β™‚οΈ

Before we all pack up and move to Swedish log cabins, πŸŽ’ it’s important to know that one: wooden houses don’t have to look like cabins, and two: concrete houses won’t completely vanish from the Dutch cityscape. Rather, Van der Lugt explains that “about half of the housing construction can eventually be made with wood.”

What do you think of this move by Dutch construction companies? And would you move to a wooden house? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image: photoweges/Depositphotos

Christine Stein Hededam πŸ‡©πŸ‡°
A Dane with a special place in her heart for Minnesota, Christine is now falling in love with everything Dutch. Between finishing her bachelor’s degree, learning Dutch, and doing yoga teacher training, you will find her wandering about the Hague. Always up for visiting new places, she loves to explore the Netherlands with friends and takes pride in scoping out cute cafΓ©s (wherein to discuss books, big plans, and food).

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