Scaling up biobased construction materials
At Hedgehog Company, we are a driving force in the sustainable transition of our planet. An important sector within this transition concerns the built environment. With our interdisciplinary knowledge and entrepreneurial approach, we are contributing to a new construction method. We present this ‘HoutKern’ (wood-core) construction method as the Natural Pavillion at the Floriade Expo 2022.
In collaboration with the Woningbouwatelier, Hedgehog Company will present three more innovation projects that contribute to the realization of our sustainable housing assignment. These will be showcased in the Natural Pavillion, in addition to the Houtkern construction method. One of the three projects concerns the upscaling of biobased construction materials. Hedgehog Company, on behalf of the Woningbouwatelier, is mapping the environmental impact of ten new biobased construction materials.
An exhibition of biobased construction materials will be set up in the Natural Pavilion. These natural materials are made from Dutch (agricultural) products and selected on the basis of their applicability in residential construction. Biobased construction materials are natural materials that grow back. This means that these materials are renewable and, if grown sustainably, are infinite. The exhibition is intended to accelerate the integration of biobased construction materials. This is a crucial step in making the Dutch construction sector more sustainable.
Hedgehog Company specializes in performing Life Cycle Assessments (LCA). We use LCAs to map the environmental impact of a wide range of products and organizations. Commissioned by the Woningbouwatelier, we carry out LCAs for the ten biobased construction products from the exhibition. An LCA will be made for six products, which the producers can use to register with the (Dutch) National Environmental Database (NMD). If the products are included in the NMD, they receive more attention and can be used in so-called MPG calculations (environmental performance of a building).
The other four products are not as far in development. That is why we perform simplified environmental impact analyses. Based on these analyses, the developers gain valuable insights into their products. They use this information while further developing and scaling up their innovations into ready-for-market products.
Biobased materials potentially contribute majorly to making the construction sector more sustainable since:
- Through photosynthesis and through sustainable agriculture, these materials store CO2.
- Biobased materials are lighter than conventional construction materials. This makes them easier to handle and transport, causing less CO2 and nitrogen to be emitted.
- Biobased materials grow back and are therefore renewable. Unlike raw materials for conventional construction materials which are finite.
Over the coming months, Hedgehog Company will post regular updates on our role at the Natural Pavilion. Among other things, we shall provide updates on the other two innovation projects. In addition, we will keep you informed about this LCA process, the insights it gives us and the suppliers and which suppliers will participate.