Construction Day – Double Nature Summit 2023

The construction sector can be made regenerative with transitions in roughly three areas: energy, materials and social. On May 22 we gathered with about 80 frontrunners in the game to make the construction industry more regenerative. The main takeaways.

For Day 1 of the Double Nature Summit, on Constructions, we partnered with Gideon Building Transition Tribes to host a co-creative program on the material transition. The transition needs actions on five levels, all of which are part of the Carbon Design Principles: (1) build less (and use urban space more effectively), (2) build & design smarter, (3) re-use, (4) build bio-based, (5) use less-intensive materials.

With presentations and co-creation sessions, we decided on the best actions to take and actors to involve in each of the five domains. Marjet Rutten from Gideon highlighted the massive untapped potential that empty or under-used buildings provide for the Dutch housing crisis and the construction sector’s climate impact. Together with Leonie van der Steen from Squarewise, she led a group of frontrunners in a brainstorm on initiatives to launch for more efficient use of urban space.

Erik Koremans from New Horizon presented their “We don’t demolish, we harvest” initiative to promote re-use of construction materials, and his colleague Rob van Lith hosted a workshop to promote re-use and find new “donor buildings”.

Norbert Schotte from Gideon co-hosted the entire day and presented the latest Gideon Tribe initiatives to create effective legislation and regulation that incentivises low carbon emissions and high carbon storage in the built environment. Together with Laetitia Nossek from the Dutch Green Building Council, he led a deep-dive session on legislative measures needed for an equitable material transition.

Jan-Willem van de Groep from Building Balance explained how they are setting up integrated value chains with farmers, processors and builders that work together to grow bio-based building materials, process them into a product and apply them in the construction of homes. This way we can achieve less nitrogen runoff, more CO2 storage, and improve water quality, soil quality and biodiversity.

Sacha Brons from Climate Cleanup co-hosted the day, and presented Climate Cleanup’s theory of change and latest interventions. This included the Construction Stored Carbon Credits initiative, in which we develop (together with 40+ frontrunners) a certification protocol for carbon storage in the built environment. With this protocol, certificates can be issued for construction products and projects that store carbon reliably and permanently (>100 years). Based on these certificates, their owners can sell their certified carbon storage at minimally €150 per tonne of CO2. Climate Cleanup is testing this method in practice on at least five beautiful pilot projects.

Crucially this financial incentive must create more ecologically managed forests and farmland. Together, Jan-Willem van de Groep and Sacha Brons hosted a session to gather valuable expertise and ideas on how to create credit schemes that are fit-for-purpose.

If you want to learn more about, or contribute to any of the strategies and actions that featured on this day, feel free to reach out to us or to the speakers. Gideons Tribe is organising a next event on September 6 to take further steps with this great and growing community. Take a look at the program on the website www.gideonstribe.nl and join the new nature economy!