Developing climate proof property is the key issue for Holland Metropole partners at the Provada real estate conference in Amsterdam, which takes starts on June 14.  

With climate change becoming ever more acute, and the Dutch government unveiling new measures to boost the energy efficiency of the country’s housing stock, Holland Metropole members will be showcasing their commitment to tackling environmental problems during the three-day Provada real estate event.

The theme of this year’s Provada is ‘Act now for a better tomorrow’ with a particular focus on climate adaptation and circularity. Several Holland Metropole partners, including Dick Boelen, director of Dura Vermeer and BPD’s Desirée Uitzetter who is also head of Dutch developers’ association NEPROM, will be outlining their views on the big issues during the conference programme.

This year the Holland Metropole partners again have a particular focus on timber-based construction. ‘Climate change is the biggest challenge of our generation,’ says architects practice MVSA. ‘We believe we must take responsibility, and using wood, which is a sustainable construction material, helps us to do this.’

In the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, for example, developers, investors and local authorities last year signed a new Timber Green Deal, based on a real commitment to the use of wood.

‘Awareness has grown across everyone involved in the real estate and development sector that building with timber on a large scale is essential if we want to meet the terms of the Paris climate agreement and speed up the supply of housing,’ says Bob van der Zande, programme director Houtbouw MRA.

Timber based construction is environment friendly as well. Experts have calculated that if the one million new homes which the Dutch government wants to see built by 2030 are made primarily from wood rather than concrete, it would save 50 megatons of carbon dioxide emissions.

‘The built environment accounts for 40% of global carbon emissions. By using more natural construction materials instead of concrete and steel, and focusing more on circularity, the CO2 emissions driven by new construction can be minimized,’ points out Ingrid Hulshoff, portfolio manager real estate at investor Syntrus Achmea.

Existing property is also being brought up to new standards. Investor Bouwinvest, for example, has improved the energy label of the World Trade Centre in Rotterdam from E to A in three years and has made societal returns a key part of its performance targets.

In Rotterdam, built around a major river delta, the role of climate change and the transition towards green energy are central themes across all planning decisions.  In particular, city officials are looking upwards, to18 square kilometres of city roofs, which are being turned into gardens, water buffers and more.

This year, throughout June, intrepid visitors can even walk across a 600 metres rooftop walk built on scaffolding to find out more about what is being done. ‘We have almost 170,000 m² of solar panels; we have 360,000 m² of green on rooftops, but that’s still [just] 3% of the potential of that 18km² that we have,’ organiser Leon van Geest told ‘We still have a lot of work to do.’

Check out the Holland Metropole partner stands

Find out which Holland Metropole partner experts are speaking and where