Amsterdam to build 21 storey wooden building, Arup provides consulting

05 August 2016 2 min. read
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The municipality of Amsterdam has hired Arup, among others, to design and develop a new 21 storey wooden building in Amsterdam’s Amstelkwartier. The new building will be awarded a BREEAM Outstanding label, on the back of its carbon sink building material, energy sustainability and water sustainability features, among others.

Concrete, while extremely useful, creates a considerable CO2 burden. The production of concrete involves the breakdown of calcium carbonate, which produces lime and carbon dioxide. While much of the world continues to leverage the material for infrastructure, releasing around 5% total CO2 per year, more sustainable methods are being considered – including, wood.

Wood, if it is harvested from artificial sustainable forests, is a carbon sink. The material is, in addition, relatively flexible, a natural insulator, strong and durable. The material is also seen by many as more aesthetically pleasing than concrete, and has been shown to reduce the stress response in certain environments. The material has, in recent years, again been garnering attention from companies seeking to reduce their carbon footprints from construction.


The HAUT, aptly named to sound like the word for wood in Dutch, is a new 73 meter tall building planned for the Dutch capital, Amsterdam. The building will be the country’s tallest wooden building. Situated in the Amstelkwartier, it will feature 55 apartments, as well as underground parking for electric vehicles and bicycles. The building will receive a BREEAM Outstanding label, the highest possible rating, for its innovative wood design as well as its energy efficiency, using 1.250m2 of solar PV, and water conservation, which is purified through a wetland on the roof.

The building is being designed and developed for the municipality of Amsterdam in partnership by Arup, Lingotto, Nicole Maarsen, TEAM V Architecture and Nederlandse Energie Maatschappij. Arup has been hired to provide a range of consultancy and engineering services, including building services engineering, fire, acoustics and building physics consulting.

According to a spokesperson for Arup, “The municipality of Amsterdam selected this team for their vision of the city of the future in which nature and architecture are balanced. HAUT also stands for haute couture: designed customised architecture. The design offers the first buyers unlimited freedom of choice in dwelling size, number of floors and the location of rooms, outdoor spaces and voids. Within a strong and simple façade design, with white-grey floor tapes and high windows, the balconies seem to have randomly been slid in and out. The wooden ceilings of balconies and large overhangs on the sharp corner at the Spaklerweg make HAUT's architecture expressive and iconic.”