Built by Nature Frontrunners
Accelerating the timber building transformation
Tackling the global climate crisis means implementing transformative solutions to decarbonise our built environment. Built by Nature’s Frontrunners — developers, designers, investors, insurers and asset owners recognised as industry leaders in sustainability and timber construction — are helping to drive this transformation through research, innovation, advocacy, demonstration and city-scale projects. They exhibit an entrepreneurial mindset that embraces cross-industry collaboration to deploy collective solutions for our planetary and societal wellbeing.
Frontrunners help shape the vision and activities of the Built by Nature network with their commitment to connect with other industry leaders from across Europe, contributing to sector-shaping coalitions and sharing market-leading know-how; enable innovation and change through activities and accelerator initiatives that build the knowledge, innovation, city-scale projects and advocacy required, and amplify success stories, case studies and knowledge while being profiled as leaders in the timber building transformation.
Built by Nature is pleased to welcome three new organisations: Dasos Capital, dRMM Architects and White Arkitekter to our Frontrunner network. The descriptions below outline the reasoning behind their recognition as Built by Nature Frontrunners.
Dasos Capital Oy is an investment advisor to private equity funds focusing on sustainable forests and natural capital. Established in 2005 and headquartered in Helsinki Finland, their clients include European pension funds and endowments, family portfolios and other investors. With assets under management totalling over EUR 1.3 billion, they are one of the industry’s largest forest investment managers in Europe and the world.
Dasos Capital has published Real estate as urban carbon storage, which advocates that ‘wood-based real estate represents remarkable potential for storing carbon removed from the atmosphere by forests’. Dasos’ CEO & Senior Partner, Dr. Olli Haltia, is established as a respected and knowledgeable proponent of how timber construction can be utilized as a solution to tackle the climate crisis and promotes this as an opportunity for clients to invest in wood-based assets.
Dasos Capital supports the KnockOnWood project, (KNOW) launched in 2021 to examine solutions to increase the development of multi-storey timber construction in Finland and Sweden. Dr Haltia represents Dasos Capital on the Advisory Board of KNOW, and he and his team at Dasos Capital represent the influential stakeholder group that needs to be activated to drive acceptance by and funding from the investment community.
The company’s stature also provides the opportunity to channel more thinking and guidance from Finland, with that country’s track record of implementing timber buildings serving as valuable knowledge to be shared with Built by Nature’s Frontrunners and wider network.
dRMM are radical makers of sustainable, socially useful architecture. The practice was established over 25 years ago with a core commitment to sustainability and social equity – today, their studio of over 50 people has 50% female representation across all levels of the organisation.
Since the inception of the practice dRMM have been a leading advocate of timber design and construction in the UK, declaring in a 2009 manifesto that ‘Timber is the New Concrete’. Their design of ‘Naked House’ in 2006 was followed by construction of the UK’s first CLT school building in 2007. They have maintained a leadership position in the UK by producing buildings such as Maggie’s Oldham, the first hardwood CLT building in the world, and the Hastings Pier. dRMM also works in close collaboration with various forefront developers as demonstrated by their work at Brent Cross Town.
dRMM are increasingly demonstrating a Pan-European perspective, opening an office in Berlin, completing work in Norway and working on a timber project in Portugal. Their local market insights here provide valuable contrasts and comparisons to the UK market – important content to be shared within the Built by Nature network.
As a key collaborators awarded one of the first Accelerator Fund grants, dRMM have been very proactive in engaging with the Built by Nature network through their participation and commitment to the accelerated adoption of mass timber.
Founded in 1951, White Arkitekter is one of the largest architectural firms in Scandinavia with almost 800 employees headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden and with offices in Norway, UK and Germany.
With its four-market presence in leading countries producing timber buildings, White Arkitekter is considered a pan-European frontrunner, which also reflects the firm’s reputation for delivering some of the more forefront buildings in the world. The latest example is the recent winner of the International Award for Wood Architecture, the Sara Cultural Centre in Skellefteå, Sweden which is, as of 2021, the world’s second-tallest wooden tower at 75 metres tall and targeted to be carbon negative over its lifetime.
White Arkitekter’s vision is that every building they design will be carbon neutral by 2030.
The firm is well-positioned to facilitate the introduction of Built by Nature into Nordic markets, while demonstrating a willingness to engage and share valuable practical experience with the Built by Nature Frontrunner network.
We welcome all our new Frontrunners to the Built by Nature network as we continue to build a Pan-European movement towards accelerating the adoption of sustainable timber within the built environment.