This building in Amsterdam might be easy to drive past. It’s a simple and elegant design with lots of windows but doesn’t look all that spectacular. Take another look because actually this is a marvel of sustainable design and ambition.

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A black rectangular building during a stormy and overcast day

The Nautical Coordination Centre designed by WRK Architects in Amsterdam is made entirely out of wood. The walls, the roofs, the floors… Everything was created with a product from Metsa Wood, an engineered Kerto LVL wood.

Related: Take a look at Toronto’s first net-zero community center

An interior wood of the building with steps leading upwards

When you walk inside, you’re greeted with an open working environment with floor-to-ceiling windows that provide natural lighting and overlooks a river. Belgian timber manufacturer Dupac prefabricated all the building elements and delivered them ready to assemble. It’s all Kerto LVL wood, a highly sustainable material that is incredibly strong and lightweight. The walls do not need to be thick to be supportive. Glued joints hold it all together. The wood is built on top of a concrete foundation and reinforced with steel.

Two people wearing white helmets and yellow hazard suits watching a wood part being lifted in the air

Moreover, sustainable construction is just the beginning. The building was also designed for minimal energy consumption. There are solar panels on the roof that provide for all the building’s energy needs. Meanwhile, a closed ground heat pump provides more energy.

Wooden planks being assembled by a machine

Additionally, greywater circuits were integrated into the design. Rainwater is collected in a tank underground, water that is reused for flushing toilets and watering the plants on the roof terrace.

Wooden planks assembled with a machinery

Down to every detail, this building was made for sustainability and it was made to exist without taking away from nature. It provides all its own energy with a circular design where water is recycled and reused. This is a beautiful example of how humans can lie without harming the planet, something that is becoming more important by the day. So take another look at this building in Amsterdam. Hopefully, designers and manufacturers all over the world will be taking a pretty close look at it, too.

+ WRK Architects

Images via Metsä Wood