Municipality of Amsterdam – Sustainable Buildings

The municipality of Amsterdam aims to reach climate-neutral business operations and assets that are free of natural gas by 2030. This is an ambitious goal, aiming higher than the European Union target of reaching climate neutrality by 2050. The municipality’s real estate department has a portfolio that consists of ± 1000 buildings, which together make up almost half of the municipality’s carbon footprint. So the municipality asked us to help expand their framework of how their real estate can help to achieve their climate goals. Our solutions will target three different subgoals that together contribute to the overarching goal of a sustainable city. Firstly, the use of externally sourced energy should be minimized by reducing the overall energy consumption while also increasing the green production on its own premises. Moreover, the municipality wants to eliminate material waste by improving circular use. Finally, the resilience of the buildings to the effects of climate change such as heat, drought, and flooding, should be enhanced. Embedded within this third goal is the desire to regenerate nature as much as possible to increase biodiversity in the city. In general, our ideas will be aimed at achieving these goals, while making minimal use of installations such as air conditioning, boilers and heat pumps. For our client, we will formulate an extensive, science-based toolbox of concrete tools and practices that can be used to achieve the subgoals while maintaining the welfare of the tenants. Our approach is divided into three phases. First, we organize site visits to evaluate the current status of the real estate portfolio and identify future needs and opportunities. During this stage, we will also conduct expert interviews. Secondly, we will formulate a toolbox that can guide our clients through the sustainability transformation of their buildings. Lastly, we will apply our toolbox to several representative buildings to quantify the possible impact and costs of our solutions. We hope that our report will not only improve the sustainability of these buildings but also that these buildings can contribute to an overall clean and green Amsterdam.

Martijn den Hoed, Naomi van der Most, Tamar Tulp & Dominique Daatselaar