The spatial impact of building in concrete versus building in wood

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic

    60 Downloads (Pure)


    In order to be able to meet the Dutch demand for cement concrete, 110 to 215 ha must be excavated annually to quarry the aggregates - coarse sand, gravel and limestone - in The Netherlands as well as abroad. If alternative and secondary raw materials are used, the demand for the aggregates mentioned above will decrease.
    Within the last few years, the opinion has been voiced more and more to turn to wood for building, particularly because wood is a renewable raw material. Besides, the Dutch climate is very suitable for growing trees. The discussion whether wood is better than concrete is in full swing. There may, however, never be a complete answer to this question.
    In this article it has been calculated how much of our surface has to be covered with woods, should we turn to wood for building in The Netherlands. Depending on the percentage of wood versus concrete we are talking about surfaces to be covered with woods, which are beyond our perception. Since space is very scarce in The Netherlands it may be expected that in the distant future The Netherlands will never be self-sufficient as far as the use of wood for the building industry is concerned. The Netherlands will remain dependent on imports from wooded areas elsewhere in the world. Compared to excavating, the space required for growing wood is considerably larger. It is estimated that during a period of 100 years, 10 to 60 times more space will be needed for growing wood for building in wood than for quarrying aggregates for building in concrete. This will certainly raise problems in such densely populated areas like The Netherlands.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationMineral Planning in a European Context
    EditorsB. van der Moolen, H. Voogd, A. Richardson
    Place of PublicationGroningen
    PublisherGeo Press
    Number of pages10
    ISBN (Print)90-71971-62-7
    Publication statusPublished - Dec-1998


    • aggregates
    • building with wood
    • building with concrete
    • spatial impact
    • cement concrete
    • coarse sand
    • secondary raw materials
    • renewable raw materials
    • excavating
    • minerals planning
    • quarrying
    • afforestation
    • raw materials supply
    • mineral planning policy
    • alternatives to minerals
    • excavation
    • surface minerals
    • extraction
    • gravel
    • environmental index
    • replacement of concrete
    • raw materials
    • renewable materials
    • wood
    • structural outline plan

    Cite this