Built by Nature Announces Amanda Sturgeon as Inaugural CEO

Architect, Regenerative and Biophilic Design Visionary to Lead Acceleration of Mass Timber Construction

Wednesday May 4, AMSTERDAM. Built by Nature, a network and grant-making fund with a mission to accelerate the timber building transformation in Europe and the UK, is pleased to mark a major milestone in its growth and development with the appointment of Amanda Sturgeon as inaugural CEO.

Amanda joins Built by Nature from Mott MacDonald, where she was the Regenerative Design and Climate Change Practice Lead for the Asia Pacific region. As the former CEO of the International Living Future Institute, based in the US, she spent a decade creating regenerative frameworks such as the Living Building and Community Challenge programmes, scaled the organisation globally and created a global movement around biophilic design. Amanda is an award-winning architect and a fellow of the American Institute of Architects. She is the author of Creating Biophilic Buildings, a TED Speaker on Bringing Biophilic Design to Life, and has an essay in the anthology All We Can Save: Truth, Courage and Solutions to Climate Change. Amanda holds a BSc in Architecture from the University of Sydney and an MSc from the University of Wisconsin.

“We must urgently address the way we renovate and construct our buildings. To be truly Paris Agreement-aligned we need to transform the sector into one that prioritises a regenerative approach, champions decarbonisation and supports the innovation we need to stay within our planetary boundaries. Mass timber should become a mainstream construction choice, and Built by Nature – with its coalition of pioneering developers, designers, investors and city leaders – is driving this change through a pragmatic, collaborative programme to connect and fund industry frontrunners. I am thrilled to be its first CEO. I have spent my career focussing on how we connect the built environment back to nature, and I am passionate about scaling solutions for the industry that can address both climate change and biodiversity loss,” says Amanda. “I look forward to leading Built by Nature’s ambitious agenda, as it strengthens its network across European markets and as its Accelerator Fund supports a growing portfolio of barrier-breaking projects.”

Built by Nature connects key actors across the built environment and forest economies to spark city-scale projects and amplify stories of ground-breaking 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 playing a critical role accelerating the timber building transformation. It is uniquely placed to foster the creativity, innovation and commitment needed, through its network of industry and climate leaders and innovators, and its multi-million euro grant-making fund, to unlock the opportunities to catalyse the industry to advance timber building solutions for rapid decarbonisation. The immense experience and knowledge Amanda brings to the role of CEO, from non-profit leadership and stakeholder management, to fundraising and technical expertise, is key to driving forward this timely and significant initiative. I very much look forward to working closely with her,” says Donald Brenninkmeijer, Chair, Built by Nature.

Built by Nature is both a network and an Accelerator Fund, providing grants of between €50,000-€250,000 to teams and solutions that scale timber building and raise the bar on the positive climate impact of building with timber from sustainably sourced forests. Since launching in November 2021, the Accelerator Fund has awarded just under €700,000 through seven grants, with cumulative spending across the UK, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain.

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 and has a track record of leveraging philanthropic capital as a catalyst for industry wide change.

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Over the coming weeks, Amanda will be meeting with the Built by Nature network, including key stakeholders, partners, frontrunners and ambassadors. More information will follow on our channels, and please join us in welcoming her to the Built by Nature network and mission.

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