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Ballast Nedam Development in the Netherlands is the first construction and development company in the world to start trading the CO₂ storage in its biobased housing projects. The company is doing this in cooperation with the Climate Cleanup Foundation.
Editorial office / Amsterdam

The first project announced by the company is the ‘Nature House’, a climate-positive project: it stores more CO₂ than the entire construction process emits. The project uses biobased building materials, such as wood, hemp and straw. In the growth phase, these crops take CO₂ from the air and once processed into building materials, they store that CO₂ for more than 100 years.

According to Ballast Nedam and Climate Cleanup, climate-positive construction should become the new standard. At 13% of the Dutch economy, the construction and real estate sector is the perfect engine to remove CO₂ from the atmosphere and store it for a long time in biobased building materials. These can also be grown locally, allowing farmers and builders to work together on a positive climate impact.

Scaling up faster

By attaching a monetary value to CO₂ storage, climate-positive building projects can compete with projects using polluting materials, such as steel and concrete. This will increase demand for biobased materials, allowing the biobased industry to scale up faster.

Climate Cleanup Foundation determines the amount of CO₂ stored in biobased buildings, issues certificates for it and values it financially based on European and international guidelines. These (partial) certificates are sold to companies and governments that want to invest in nature-friendly, long-term CO₂ storage, for instance to offset their own CO₂ emissions.

This should transition the entire construction sector, which currently still accounts for 11% of global CO₂ emissions. In the future, the sector will become carbon-negative, according to Ballast Nedam and Climate Cleanup Foundation. By removing tonnes of CO₂ from the air every year, the sector will contribute to slowing down climate change.

CO2 hoover

According to Onno Dwars, CEO of Ballast Nedam Development, this makes the construction and real estate sector “a CO₂ hoover for society.” In this way, farmers and builders “can become our new climate heroes by setting up biobased construction chains together,” says Sacha Brons, project leader at Climate Cleanup Foundation.

Anyone -government, company or individual- can register from now on for the pre-sale of this CO₂ storage in Ballast Nedam Development’s housing projects.

For more information on this initiative, visit the Construction Stored Carbon website

Image: Nature House, Ballast Nedam Development