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

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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, we organize the 9th Carbon Stories debate titled ‘Carbon Neutral High-rise?’ 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. 

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). 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.

This event is English spoken.

Carbon Stories is an initiative of GROUP A | CARBONLAB, International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR) and KeileCollectief.