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26 March, 2024

Built by Nature Prize Announces 15 Semi-finalists

AMSTERDAM March 26. Built by Nature, a network and grant-making fund with a vision of a built environment in unison with nature, has announced the semi-finalists for its inaugural Built by Nature Prize. Launched in November 2023, the Prize is the world’s first initiative totalling €500,000 in awards to recognise innovation and stimulate scalability in the use of biobased materials such as timber, bamboo, hemp, straw, algae, and fungi in construction.

The Prize’s overall winner will receive an award of €250,000 with criteria focusing on the demonstrated potential for significant carbon emissions reduction and benefits to nature and local communities.  Three runners-up prizes of €50,000 each will also be awarded based on the same criteria, with €100,000 in discretionary funds reserved for promising projects judged to be worthy of support. 

The semi-finalists for the Built by Nature Prize are:

  • BlueBlocks B.V., Netherlands, Seaweed boards
  • Casa Congo, Italy, Bamboo Housing
  • Ecovon, Ghana, Coco fibre panels
  • Elementerre, Senegal, Typha blocks
  • GreenJams, India, Straw blocks
  • IndiNature Ltd, UK, Hemp insulation
  • istraw GmbH&Co.KG, Germany, Straw panels
  • Lanarq EIRL, Chile, Sheep wool insulation
  • Modulina Straw Panels, Lithuania, Straw panels
  • MycoTile Ltd, Kenya, Mycelium boards
  • Plantd, Inc, USA, Grass boards
  • Strawcture Eco, India, Straw boards
  • Sugarcrete®, UK, Agricultural Waste boards
  • Urban Machine, USA, Secondary lumber machine
  • Widuz, Singapore, Bamboo Veneer Lumber

The semi-finalists have met the Prize criteria: solutions composed mainly of biomaterials and intended for use in the built environment; proof that the product can be successfully manufactured using currently available technology, and demonstrating that the product/service is already in market, whether through an early-stage pilot project or openly available. 

Reflecting the global reach of the Built by Nature Prize, the judging panel comprises experts from diverse fields including architecture, finance, and biomaterials. The jury panel includes Arief Rabik, Ariel Shtarkman, Mae-ling Lokko, Stig Hessellund, and Ana Belizario, each bringing unparalleled expertise to the table. Dr Yasmeen Lari, Pakistan's pioneering architect, is providing invaluable guidance as Honorary Advisor.

The call for submissions, which closed on January 25, generated 297 applications in total, 243 of which qualified past the first screening. Built by Nature is also encouraged by the global distribution of submissions: 51% from Europe; 14% Asia; Africa 13%; North America at 12%, South America at 7% and Oceania 3%.

During April and May, assessment and detailed evaluation will be taking place, with Prize winners announced on June 4.


The Built by Nature Prize is designed to identify, highlight and reward scalable, market-ready innovations in biobased construction materials. This helps Built by Nature transform a sector. For entrants, it means promotional exposure and importantly, access to our network of frontrunners and industry leaders for mentoring and potential collaboration. And through the monetary incentive – a €250,000 grand prize out of total funding of €500,000 to be awarded – Built by Nature will help spur renewable, low-carbon material innovations to reduce the carbon footprint of new buildings and cities.