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The Locationmonitor: visualisation of progress of timber construction projects

Wood and bio-based construction can be a solution to make the construction sector more sustainable. Mees Eringa shares more about the new visualisation tool we developed, to monitor the progress of timber construction projects in Amsterdam.

The construction sector is an industry with a massive environmental impact. Wood and bio-based construction can be a solution to make the sector more sustainable. Fortunately, we are seeing more and more timber construction projects emerging; both governments and market parties are committing to the development of such projects. To gain insight into the development and progress of timber construction projects, we have developed the Locationmonitor. Mees Eringa, Junior Expert Sustainable Construction, tells you more about the current developments and steps that have been taken recently.

Background: Where do we stand in relation to our ambition?

The construction sector and housing market are under pressure; new homes need to be built, but the construction sector has a huge environmental impact. Therefore, from the Green Deal Covenant on Timber Construction, there is an ambition that by 2025, in the Amsterdam metropolitan area, 20% of all new construction must be carried out in wood or other bio-based materials.

The metropolitan region is a partnership of 31 municipalities. Many tasks for these municipalities are regional tasks and can be tackled more resiliently in a partnership. The urbanization challenge is also a regional task, and therefore it makes sense to tackle it jointly so that urbanization is interconnected.

The metropolitan region

The region also has major sustainability ambitions. An important part is the sustainability of construction through timber construction, where the ambitions are captured in the timber construction covenant MRA. Through this covenant, we can save about 220,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually and significantly reduce nitrogen emissions.

Achieving 20% timber construction is quite an ambitious target. Therefore, from various corners, the question arose; how can we keep track of the progress? So that we can see to what extent we are on course. If we have insight into this, we can also make adjustments. And share the results with market parties, so that there is also motivation from the market to build more in wood.

The Green Deal has been signed by a variety of parties, from both the public and private sectors. Think of developers, municipalities, banks, but also academic institutions, architects, and the national government. In total, around 140 organisations have signed the covenant.

The Locationmonitor is the visualisation of progress

The Locationmonitor is an online environment, where a map precisely shows where timber construction projects can be found in the Amsterdam metropolitan area. These are projects that have actually been built or delivered. Projects that are still in the exploratory or development phase are often not yet public and are therefore not included. You can click on the displayed projects and see information about the specific project.

The development of the Locationmonitor

The aim of the Locationmonitor was clear from the beginning; a visualisation of progress. Where do we stand now? How many houses are already being built in wood each year? What are the forecasts for the coming years? And how does this number relate to the total housing production we see that year?

Additionally, through the Monitor, we collect knowledge about why certain locations are not developed in wood. We gain insight into the obstacles that prevent timber construction from getting off the ground in those projects. And it also becomes clear why timber construction is possible for certain projects.

In the Locationmonitor, we also differentiate what kind of projects they are; how many homes are involved, what type of homes, and when is the expected delivery? This way, we can really monitor the progress and keep track of the percentage of timber construction we have already achieved.

The locationmonitor

The insights are valuable for the entire market

The Locationmonitor provides insights that are interesting for a variety of stakeholders. Primarily for the covenant itself, of course, but also for other parties (both public and private).

Contractors of timber construction projects, for instance, can showcase their expertise in timber construction. And they can be discovered by developers with ambitions in timber construction. Municipalities can assess their policies on how much they are developing and encouraging sustainable housing construction.

Future vision for the locationmonitor

The Locationmonitor is a dynamic tool, and hopefully, new timber construction projects will quickly find their way to the monitor. Fortunately, the monitor will never be complete because we expect, and hope, for significant acceleration in timber construction in the coming years. And it's needed; there are timber construction projects that have been realized and are under development, but the current pace is still too low to actually achieve that 20% by the end of 2025.

Developers, investors, housing associations, and municipalities can register their projects themselves. So, this is really an invitation to the market; make your projects visible via the Locationmonitor. So that eventually, all the beautiful timber construction projects are fully visible and can be found in the monitor. Then, the monitor truly becomes the showcase of all the steps we as a region are taking. And something we can be proud of. The monitor will then be the go-to place for information about timber construction projects.


Hedgehogs Imme Groet and Mees Eringa form together with Bob van der Zande, Wouter van Twillert, and Rosa Kip, the program team of the Timber Construction Covenant. Imme and Mees have worked on the Locationmonitor together with Victor Kuipers (Hedgehog Company)

Do you want more information about the covenant, the ambition or the Locationmonitor? Email Imme or Mees.

Take a look at the Locationmonitor
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