Materiaalvraag: The environmental impact of utility building construction in the Netherlands

Recommended strategies to reduce the use of materials, CO2 emissions and environmental impact

In this project, we analyzed the use of materials, CO2  emissions and environmental impact of the construction of utility buildings until 2030.
  • Client: Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland en het Transitieteam Circulaire Bouweconomie, Rijksvastgoedbedrijf, Gemeente Amsterdam
  • Partner: Alba Concepts, Copper8, NIBE
  • Date: 30 february 2024

Besides the housing sector, the utility building sector in the Netherlands faces sustainability challenges

The country has approximately 570 million square meters of utility buildings, with 90 million square meters slated for renovation and an additional 55 million square meters to be constructed between now and 2030. Meanwhile, the construction sector accounts for approximately 50% of the nation’s resource use and 11% of its CO2 emissions.

In order to reach the Paris Climate Agreement, the emissions and material use in the utility buildings sector will have to be reduced

We have modelled the material use and environmental impact of business as usual, and compared this to three reduction strategies: high value reuse, biobased construction and sustainability innovations for the production of building materials.


In order to reach maximum sustainability impact, the material production sector needs to start producing more sustainably

This could lead to a reduction of 12,6% in CO2 emissions. Combined with the other two strategies, we foresee a maximum potential reduction of 13,8% in CO2 emissions. Furthermore, we conclude that a large part of emissions is due to the construction of distribution centers and large factories. We also conclude that the application of biobased building materials is not yet happening on the necessary scale, and growth in this sector is happening too slow.
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Built Environment team lead


For more information about this project, please get in touch.