Carbon Stories: Carbon Neutral High-Rise or The End of an Era?

High-rise in times of fighting climate change. Is it desirable? Can it be done in a responsible manner? Is carbon neutral high-rise within the realm of possibilities? Thursday, April 25, GROUP A-CARBONLAB, International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR) and KeileCollectief organize the 9th Carbon Stories debate titled ‘Carbon Neutral High-rise or The End of an Era?’ at the Keilepand. On this evening LEVS, V8 architects, WSP and the municipality of Rotterdam will share their views on the sense and sensibilities of Carbon Neutral High-rise. Register for your free ticket.

With reducing climate change effects taking center stage in investment reporting, regulations and tenders, the topic of embodied carbon is an area of increasing interest for everyone involved in the built environment.

This puts ‘reaching for the sky’ into a new perspective in our national high-rise capital, Rotterdam. High-rise gave the city a postwar identity that is known beyond national borders. In Rotterdam, projects up to 70 meters no longer raise eyebrows. New heights are on the horizon with more and more planned high-rise projects crossing the 200-meter-plus mark.

High-rise is material intensive with large cores, a lot of climate technology and therefore produces relatively large amounts of embodied carbon (kilograms of CO2 eq / m2 GFA). High-rise also means density, boosting urban intensification and a less carbon intensive lifestyle (less car ownership, more public transport, shared urban services).

This poses questions like: Is high-rise desirable in times of fighting climate change? Can high-rise be constructed responsibly? Is carbon neutral high-rise construction possible? And to what height?

Can Rotterdam continue to densify with the high-rise model or is a shift to other densification necessary? These questions will be addressed in the debate that will be moderated by Geert Maarse.

Architect Jurriaan van Stigt, founding partner at LEVS, will share their study on carbon neutral high-rise for G4. Architect Michiel Raaphorst, founding partner at V8 architects, will take us through a selection of their (mid-)high-rise. Engineer Thomas Musson, advisor at WSP, will elaborate on hybrid high-rise projects worldwide and policymaker Mattijs van Ruijven, head urban planner at Municipality of Rotterdam, will infuse the conversation with the perspective of Rotterdam.

Register for your free ticket. The event is English spoken.

Jurriaan van Stigt
Jurriaan is an architect and partner of LEVS architects in Amsterdam. He is a craftsman with integral knowledge of the total scope of architecture. The connection to making, materializing and building for people plays a crucial role in his work. For years he and LEVS have been committed to making buildings more resource efficient, greener and more circular. This has already resulted in several award-winning sustainable projects. For him, Carbon-based Design is a logical continuation of a tradition of sustainable innovation within the firm.

Matthijs van Ruijven
Mattijs van Ruijven (born 1977) is the head urban designer and planner for the city of Rotterdam. With a large team of designers and planners he works on many developments and strategic projects for the city. He also works on the long term vision for the development of Rotterdam. He is educated as an urban designer at TU Delft university (2004). For several years he has worked for Palmbout Urban Landscapes before starting work at the municipality of Rotterdam. First as designer, since 2014 as the head urban designer and planner.

Michiel Raaphorst
Michiel Raaphorst (1972) is architect-director and partner at V8 Architects. Based in Rotterdam, V8 is known for characteristic, narrative designs in which pragmatic solutions are depicted in a poetic way. With an ambitious team of thinkers, makers and doers, the firm works on public buildings, commercial projects, housing and infrastructure, in an international context and at different scales.
Michiel has strong intuition and a healthy drive for perfection. Synergy and energy of collaboration are the fuel, powerful solutions the result.

Thomas Musson
Over the course of his career Tom has successfully led complex multi-disciplinary projects across a wide range of sectors including stadiums, high-rise buildings, commercial buildings, and conservation engineering for historic monuments. Through this experience Tom has developed a critical understanding of the technical and commercial challenges faced by projects through the complete project life cycle. In recent years Tom has developed a dedicated focus on low carbon sustainability and circularity. With a strong belief that sustainability should be about choice and using the right material for the right function Tom has become a champion for hybrid structures particularly in the high-rise building sector.

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