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Amsterdam opts for zero-waste and zero-emission buildings

Amsterdam opts for zero-waste and zero-emission buildings

Image source: © canva
Anna RusakAnna Rusak,29.12.2023 09:00

Amsterdam aims to become an entirely eco-friendly city by 2050. To achieve this goal, the city is exploring innovative ways to construct zero-waste buildings. Some initiatives implemented include constructing new neighbourhoods using wood, developing building materials from sewage, and creating a database of all materials used in existing buildings.

There is a growing trend in Poland towards constructing treeless squares, due to the popularity of the "concretosis" architectural style. However, it might be worth considering the idea of creating zero-waste buildings, which has already been implemented in Amsterdam.

According to the Miasto 2077 website, Amsterdam plans to base its architecture on the circular economy by 2050. This means the city will prioritise constructing zero-waste buildings, with the first ones already in the pipeline.

Constructing with recycled materials in Amsterdam

According to a report by Miasto 2077, Amsterdam aims to transition to a circular economy by 2050. This means that the city intends to rely solely on reused goods and closed-loop systems, where everything produced and used elsewhere is given new life. This approach is known as zero waste construction or architecture, which involves reusing textiles, buildings, solar panels, furniture, and more.

To achieve this goal, the city authorities are working with researchers from the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions to explore ecological and sustainable solutions in six areas: transport, energy, city functionality, food systems, digitalisation, and closed-loop creation. For instance, one project investigates how to produce building materials from wastewater.

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Mandela Buurt: A wooden neighbourhood in Amsterdam

You are mistaken if you believe the current city development plan is a vast revolution. The Miasto 2077 website has provided various examples that indicate that Amsterdam authorities are already taking measures to make the city greener and more eco-friendly.

For instance, the Mandela Buurt, a new housing project next to Nelson Mandela Park in Amsterdam, is being constructed entirely from wood, according to forestmachinemagazine.com. The building is scheduled to begin in 2025, and at least 20% of the new buildings built by 2025 are to use wood as the primary building material, thanks to the commitment of Amsterdam's neighbourhoods. Secondly, wood is an excellent material for implementing second-circuit principles since it can be reused.

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Amsterdam and the second-hand housing

A Dutch architect, Thomas Rau, has been working on a public database that will contain information about the materials present in existing buildings and how they can be reused. As of 2020, The Guardian reported that more than 2.5 million square meters of building material have already been catalogued in the Madaster database. The architect has now taken up the task of cataloguing all the elements of public buildings in Amsterdam.

"We have to think of buildings as material depots. Waste is simply material without an identity. If we track the provenance and performance of every building element, giving it an identity, we can eliminate waste," says Thomas Rau in an interview with the Guardian.

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When motivation strikes, anything is possible. Unfortunately, in Poland, eco-friendly development is overshadowed by "pathodevelopment".

Source: Miasto 2077, Guardian, forestmachinemagazine.com

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