Sustainable construction

Expected late 2024
How can the government create the right conditions for a transition to the use of sustainable materials for housebuilding?
Timber building under construction

Background and request for advice

The Netherlands is facing a major housing challenge in the coming years. Due to the increasing Dutch population and the additional growth in the number of households, around 100,000 new homes are expected to be needed each year up to the end of 2030. In total, some 2 million homes will be required by 2050, to supplement the existing stock of about 8 million homes.

This advisory report will focus on making the materials used to build new homes more sustainable. The construction industry has a substantial ecological footprint. Overall (including the construction of office and industrial buildings and civil engineering), construction is responsible for roughly 50% of raw material consumption, 30% of freshwater consumption, 40% of energy consumption and 35% of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the Netherlands. In recent years, the government has focused mainly on reducing the CO2 emissions of buildings during the usage phase (energy performance), paying less attention to the use of sustainable materials. Although there is support for more sustainable construction within the construction chain, getting this new approach off the ground is still no easy task. Additional efforts are therefore needed.

With this advisory report, the Council aims to help the government and the construction chain create the right conditions for a transition to the use of sustainable materials for building new homes.

The main question addressed in the report is:

How can the government create the right conditions for a transition to the use of sustainable materials for housebuilding?  

In this advisory project, sustainability is understood in broad terms and covers the CO2 impact of materials used, climate adaptivity, the circular use of raw materials and nature-inclusive construction. We are also focusing on ensuring a healthy indoor environment in homes and an adequate earning capacity for parties involved in construction. A transition to sustainable materials is also important in view of the potential shortage of raw materials for construction that we may face in the near future. As part of the advisory process, we are also focusing on the need to build enough homes and sufficient affordable housing.

Schedule

The advisory report is expected to be published in late 2024.

Composition of the Council committee

Karin Sluis, Council committee chair and Council member
Jeanet van Antwerpen, Council member

External committee members:
Annemarie van Doorn, Director of the Dutch Green Building Council
Gerard Roemers, Director of Sustainable Cities & Regions, Metabolic

 

Information or response

For more information about the advisory report or to comment, please contact the project leader, Bas Waterhout, at bas.waterhout@rli.nl or on +31 (0)6 21178802.