Dr. Peter J. Fraanje

Director Dutch Confederation of Building Material Producers

The Dutch Confederation of Building Material Producers (NVTB) looks after the interests of producers and suppliers of building materials. The NVTB represents twelve industry branches and more than 500 producers and suppliers of building materials and building products, who account for a combined annual turnover of €20 billion.

Sustainability requires cooperation between parties? How do you promote that cooperation?

‘The construction industry is moving away from a culture of inequality to one of partnership and co-makership. Closer cooperation helps in achieving better results, smoother processes, and sustainable projects. Changing culture is very much a matter for the long haul. Construction companies that award contracts, including BAM, have formulated some business principles, with the aim of promoting professional cooperation and responsible supply chain management. The principles should connect economic considerations with core values such as social responsibility, integrity, transparency, and sustainability. From the supply point of view we are also considering an ambitious set of business principles.

Does the current economic climate represent an opportunity or a threat to sustainable projects?

‘An opportunity, absolutely. Due to heavy competition in the current market, you can distinguish and excel through excellent sustainable achievements. The 103 passive houses that BAM Woningbouw W&R has built in Almere, are an excellent example. Having completed projects like that, you are already ahead of the game. Anyone who is able to combine a competitive offer with superior sustainable quality increases their chances during the tendering process.’

What are the most important sustainability issues in the construction industry?

‘Making existing buildings sustainable is the major challenge of the 21st century. And it is not just about homes, but also about factories, offices, etcetera. Sustainable construction includes more than renovation, another option is demolition and sustainable reconstruction. From an engineering perspective, this is something we can nowadays accomplish within a month. I also believe there will be a greater focus on raw materials. And then there is bio-based building and the circular economy- model, where users no longer take ownership of a product but only pay for its performance. BAM is building a town hall in Brummen based on the circular economy-model. The municipality’s tender required a semi-permanent facility that would last at least twenty years. Neither the architect nor BAM wanted to compromise on the quality of the building or its professional environment, and the circular economy model provides the solution. Due to careful choice of materials and design, the building’s components can be disassembled and reused at the end of its lifespan. It is also possible to optimise the use of materials with DBFMO contracts. We are very pleased to be sharing our ideas and insights with BAM in this area!