Country & City

  • The Netherlands
  • Amsterdam


Contact Information

Local policy of the city of Amsterdam is that all new developments should be carbon neutral by 2015. The Houthaven in Amsterdam West (‘Stadsdeel West’) is one of the pilot projects having already the objective to build carbon neutral and set the standard for cost effective carbon neutral development in Amsterdam after 2015.

Houthaven used to be a timber handling area where many wood factories and related companies were located. After a long history of industrial activities, the Houthaven is being transformed into a residential area. In total 7 islands are under development, providing space for 2200 dwellings, 70 house boats and 50.000 m2 facilities. In the NEXT-Buildings project, 30.000 m2 of net zero energy buildings were realized in the area named Blok 0. Special about Blok 0 is that consortia of future residents had the lead in developing this area. In total about 250 dwellings were foreseen, as well as about 700 m2 of other functionalities such as ateliers and studios. A collective car parking was realized, and additionally parking is possible at some of the plots. 

The construction of the first building (Puuur) started in December 2013, the second (Building 4you) in February 2014. As of November 2014, the apartment blocks of Het Pakhuis and Myloft have been commissioned. The last ones were finished in April 2016. In June 2016 Blok 0 was almost completely occupied. Part of the project is the Brede School that is in use since September 2014. The school is an excellent building to link climate neutral building to education. It has a gross floor area of 6810 m2 and the roof is equipped with a large array of solar panels of high performance.

First monitoring devices are being installed to ensure that useful energy data from the neighborhood is available. The approach is based on smart meters and web-based data collection. 

Financial & Economic

Financial & Economic
Encountered barriers
The Netherlands

Upfront capital costs; Split incentives

Several financial instruments were introduced to cover for the extra costs of the first net zero energy buildings in Houthaven Demo Site - Blok 0:

1. The sustainable district heating and cooling system is partly financed by the fee that builders need to pay to connect to the grid. The remaining part is financed by the ESCO (Westpoort Warmte), which will exploit the heating and cooling system in order to obtain a return on their investment.

2. Home owners and builders could take advantage of the existing regulations and grants to lower the extra costs of the net zero energy buildings.

3. No split incentives for developers: the city of Amsterdam compensates developers for the remaining extra costs of the net zero energy buildings by adjusting the price of the building plots.

NEXT-Buildings Website

Access to capital, Regulations & standards, Financial & Economic, Regulatory & Administrative, Energy