Built by Nature Accelerator Fund awards grant to AMS Institute to extend study into timber myths, misperceptions

Industry and academic partners to address misinformation and knowledge gaps around mass timber construction in Europe

AMSTERDAM – June 8 Built by Nature, a network and grant-making organisation with a mission to accelerate the timber building transformation in Europe, is pleased to announce a €56,000 Accelerator Fund grant to the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS Institute) to continue mapping industry concerns and misperceptions around mass timber construction.

The six-month project will build on similar work done by AMS Institute for the Netherlands in 2021, extending the scope of the research to a wider European market. Alongside academic partners at TU Delft and Wageningen University, AMS Institute will work with leading timber experts from across Europe and the United Kingdom, with support and insight from Built by Nature, to study the perceptual barriers and myths related to mass timber use.

The project aims to shift mindsets in the European construction industry by identifying information and knowledge gaps and the programming required to confront outdated or inaccurate perceptions.  An international steering committee of academics, industry experts and policymakers recommended in part by the Built by Nature network will oversee the output and help create a common and consistent mass timber building narrative.

The 2021 perception research was conducted and funded by AMS Institute with support from EIT Climate-KIC and the Metropolitan Region of Amsterdam. AMS Institute was founded by TU Delft, Wageningen University and MIT in the US as an applied research institution focused on urban challenges and is partly subsidised by the Amsterdam Municipality.  

Built by Nature’s Accelerator Fund provides grants of between €50,000-€250,000 to teams and solutions that can increase the uptake of sustainable timber and improve its climate impact, overcoming some of the most challenging barriers.  Since launching in October 2021, the Accelerator Fund has awarded €738.586 through five grants, with cumulative spending across the UK, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland. 

Built by Nature connects key actors across the built environment and forest communities to spark city-scale projects and amplify stories of groundbreaking timber projects and solutions. In close collaboration with its major partners and frontrunners, Built by Nature aims to change perceptions around timber construction and reshape the built environment system. 

Built by Nature is supported by founding partner Laudes Foundation, which launched in 2020 and is part of the Brenninkmeijer family enterprise. Laudes Foundation supports initiatives that inspire and challenge industry to harness its power for good, at a time when philanthropic capital is increasingly recognised as a catalyst for change, and an essential part of crowding in private finance. 

Amanda Sturgeon, Chief Executive Officer, Built by Nature says: “This project is important as it extends vital research to a broader market — harnessing the academic and industry expertise of AMS Institute and its partners to confront legacy perceptions and outmoded thinking around mass timber construction specifically, and regenerative models in general. By articulating what these barriers are, especially in a pan-European context, we can begin the critical process of designing and deploying relevant and timely awareness and information campaigns to shift mindsets and accelerate the use of timber and biobased solutions. This work, therefore, is an important step toward decarbonisation of our built environment, and an excellent alignment with the objectives of the Built by Nature Accelerator Fund .”

Kenneth Heijns, Managing Director, AMS Institute , says: “To create places that are truly fit for the future, we need to think and act fundamentally differently across the construction industry. It’s great to see that Built by Nature shares the same vision as AMS Institute. With this grant, AMS Institute can strengthen the Built by Nature network by researching misconceptions within wood construction and thereby accelerate the transition to wood construction.


Built by Nature kent financiering toe aan AMS Institute voor onderzoek om houtbouw in Europa te versnellen

Industriële en academische partners pakken desinformatie en misvattingen rond houtbouw in Europa aan

AMSTERDAM – 8 juni Built by Nature kent een Accelerator Fund toe aan Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS Institute) voor een uitgebreid onderzoek naar misvattingen over houtbouw. Met deze samenwerking beogen de projectpartners een mentaliteitsverandering ten aanzien van houtbouw in de Europese bouwsector te bewerkstelligen.

Perceptuele barrières en mythes rondom houtbouw

Bouwen met hout heeft veel voordelen – zoals de mogelijkheid tot pre-productie, een gezond binnenklimaat, lagere CO2- en stikstofemissies, circulariteit en hernieuwbaarheid. Toch verloopt de grootschalige adoptie en acceptatie van hout als bouwmateriaal traag.

In dit boekje onderzoeken experts van AMS Institute veel voorkomende hardnekkige misvattingen die de adoptie van massahout in de bouw in Nederland belemmert.

Internationale stuurgroep om een consistent verhaal te creëren

Built by Nature is een netwerk en een subsidieverstrekkende organisatie met als doel de transformatie van houtbouw in Europa te versnellen. Een internationale stuurgroep van academici, experts uit de industrie en beleidsmakers, mede aanbevolen door het Built by Nature netwerk, zal toezicht houden op de output en helpen een gemeenschappelijk en consistent houtbouwverhaal te creëren. Research Fellows en Principal Investigators van AMS Institute zullen verder onderzoek doen naar massahoutbouw om dit project succesvol te versnellen.

Waarom is een transitite naar houtbouw nodig?

Ondanks de schadelijke effecten op ons klimaat en milieu zijn abiotische bouwmaterialen zoals beton, staal en baksteen de meest gebruikte materialen in de bouwsector. Klimaatverandering, materiaal schaarste en de huidige woningnood vereisen dringend het gebruik van alternatieve bouwmaterialen die de door de bouwsector veroorzaakte milieuschade beperken. Ter illustratie: de bouwsector is verantwoordelijk voor 38% van de door de mens veroorzaakte CO2-uitstoot, waarvan ongeveer een derde rechtstreeks verband houdt met de ontginning en productie van abiotische bouwmaterialen.

Amanda Sturgeon, Chief Executive Officer, Built by Nature zegt: “This project is important as it extends vital research to a broader market — harnessing the academic and industry expertise of AMS Institute and its partners to confront legacy perceptions and outmoded thinking around mass timber construction specifically, and regenerative models in general. By articulating what these barriers are, especially in a pan-European context, we can begin the critical process of designing and deploying relevant and timely awareness and information campaigns to shift mindsets and accelerate the use of timber and biobased solutions. This work, therefore, is an important step toward decarbonisation of our built environment, and an excellent alignment with the objectives of the Built by Nature Accelerator Fund .”

Kenneth Heijns, Managing Director, AMS Institute, zegt: “Om plaatsen te creëren die echt geschikt zijn voor de toekomst, moeten we in de gehele bouwsector fundamenteel anders denken en handelen. Het is mooi om te zien dat Built by Nature dezelfde visie als AMS Institute deelt. Met deze subsidie kan AMS Institute het Built by Nature netwerk versterken door onderzoek te doen naar misvattingen binnen houtbouw en daarmee de transitie naar houtbouw te versnellen.”

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