By Boris Zeisser

Inspired by nature

business park, climate change, CO2, cradle to cradle, eco, energy, energy neutral, footprint, Green building, renewables, sustainable

The chimney principle is copied from ants and termites, which ingeniously craft corridors that regulate the temperature without active ventilation

Inspired by nature!

Environmental Education Centre

This building has been inspired by a termite hill. Natrufied architecture designed a beautiful CO2 end energy neutral building. 

The Environmental Education Centre (picture) is housing offices, a restaurant, exhibition halls and a doctors practice. But for both of the buildings, the solar chimney is The Big Innovation!

Termite mount

In the solar chimney, air is drawn into the ground via pipes and discharged again via the tower. This principle is copied from ants and termites, which ingeniously craft corridors that regulate the temperature without active ventilation.

The buildings are designed with green roofs that isolate and will store all the rain and storm waters.

Markenhage, Inspired by nature

With new additions of wood and slate stone, together with the existing red bricks, a new earthy tone of materials will make a new composition of old and new in a ton-sur-ton strategy.

School renovation

For the new Campus Markenhage in Breda, the Netherlands, Natrufied designs a complex of buildings creating a base for 3 schools; Markenhage, Michael College and the Orion Lyceum. The 14.000 m2 building is partially new build, partially a renovation of an existing school building. Old and new are woven together into a new community, with respect to each schools own identity.

Inspired by nature

Working with ingredients from nature, the theme of Art d’eco has been developed as one of the main design philosophies of the office. With this the ambition is to support the environment as well as to create beauty: this makes the art of ecology.

All designs are inspired by Nature:

  • embedding the program into the surrounding environment
  • biomimicry design approach
  • use of natural materials
  • natural shapes or more abstract representation of natural patterns
  • parametric structures and biotic material approach

Integrating high tech and low tech sustainability into the designs is a natural part of their design work.

Facts & figures

By Gert Jan Scholte

High Tech Pavilion built of residuals

High Tech Paviljoen built of rest materials

The hollow columns are designed to store rainwater.

To accelerate the Clean Tech Innovation, green architect GertJan Scholte has built a high tech pavilion of residuals in Amsterdam.


High Tech Pavilion

Building with bio-composites needs repetition – and therefore modular solutions – because the molds are expensive. 

High Tech Paviljoen built of rest materials

six-sided base of bio-composite material

Residuals as raw materials

The concept of Cradle to Cradle is about quality and innovation. It’s main focus is striving for a large positive impact. 

For the design of the pavilion, Scholte has chosen a six-sided base of bio-composite material. Supplemented with a triangle element.

The aim is to build a smart system for the collection of rainwater, with these elements. The hollow columns are designed to store rainwater.



More architects are experimenting with residuals and construction methods to contribute to a circular world. The engagement to a circular world is common. An example is the complete cradle to cradle business park 20 | 20 in Amsterdam.

Europe intents to develop a C2C Certified Community of Practice in Europe. The Europe government is facilitating a ‘living lab’ for industrial participants to learn, share, and collaborate, in order to identify opportunities and solutions for shared success.

Cradle to Cradle advantages

  • Products and processes are designed in such a way that materials remain available to humans and their natural environment
  • Products are designed so that the materials can be completely reused in the technical cycle
  • Products in the technical cycle must act as a high-quality raw material for new products in the technological domain
  • Absolutely no harmful waste substances may be released during the manufacturing process
  • Products are manufactured using circular energy sources
  • Continuous improvement required.

Criteria on 5 topics

  • Material health
  • Material reutilization & carbon management
  • Renewable energy use
  • Water stewardship
  • Social responsibility

Facts & figures


By Kazuyo Sejima

Green Grace Farms

Grace Farms Building

The walkways, courtyards, and glass-wrapped volumes that form beneath the roof are remarkably transparent and invite people to engage with the expansive natural surroundings

The Grace Farms Building is a green building example nr. #1

Grace Farms, as this project is called, is also known as ‘The River’.

Not amazing, is it?

This new (2015), nature center for communities is designed by the Japanese architecture firm Sanaa.


Sanaa was asked to design a multi functional complex including a nature center, gym, hub for social justice groups, community garden, a chapel and more.

The primary concept was for the building to melt into the landscape. But instead, Sanaa choose to lit it up. The result is beautiful.


The main building, called the River, is a sinuous form that winds its way down a hill just a few hundred yards from the New York border, with five separate sections. Large glass walls provide views of forests and meadows; its covered roof twists and turns with the landscape. This is a perfect example of a circular, green building.

  • Trees that were cleared for construction, have been milled on site to construct the furniture for Grace Farms, including 18- foot-long community tables
  • Fifty-five 500-foot-deep geothermal wells have been drilled on the property for heating and cooling
  • Structurally, the building of glass, concrete, steel and wood is in essence a single long roof, which seems to float above the surface of the ground as it twists and turns across the landscape
  • The walkways, courtyards and glass-wrapped volumes that form beneath the roof are remarkably transparent and invite people to engage with the expansive natural surroundings
  • Seventy percent of mowed areas have been returned to natural meadows

Facts & figures


By Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects

The Sea Ranch

Sea Ranch

Most of the houses at Sea Ranch are made of Redwood and they have gone to great lengths to make sure that the homes are spread out giving a reclusive and private feeling. While the homes are all on or very close to the coast this isn’t your Southern California surfing paradise. What I always really appreciated about Sea Ranch is that you can truly escape into the woods while still enjoying the comforts of being at home:

The Sea Ranch: one of the most inspiring places in the world

In 1964, Al Boeke, architect and Vice President for Community Planning, fell in love with the barren and grand Rancho Del Mar in California USA.

He wanted to develop a natural community and made a dream come true.

The Sea Ranch became one of the most inspiring places in the world full filling a regenerative country-life colony within a wildlife preserve.

Green building

The Sea Ranch is noted for its distinctive architecture, which consists of simple timber-frame structures clad in wooden siding or shingles. The buildings are designed to deal with prevailing weather and topography and could be considered as a hybrid of modern and vernacular architecture.

Halprin created the master plan for Sea Ranch, which grew to encompass 100 miles north of San Francisco.

The Sea Ranch links buildings and natural beauty into a perfect community with the aim of dynamic conservation or ‘living lightly on the land’. Each landscape element can be recognized because of it’s natural form and scale.

Circular architecture

The used building materials are pure, rough and simple.

  • Details such as exteriors of unpainted wood or muted stains, a lack of overhanging eaves, and baffles on exterior lighting subdue the appearance of the buildings in the landscape.
  • Lighting is also baffled to minimize nighttime light pollution; there are no street lights, and the night sky is dazzling.
  • The lack of roof overhangs is also intended to allow the near-constant strong breezes to pass over the buildings without the turbulence the overhangs would create.
  • A herd of sheep is used to keep grass cut low to the ground to reduce the threat of fire during the summer months.

Facts & Figures



By Owen Zachariasse

C2C Business Park

c2c, climate change, building, architecture, greenhouse, business park, McDonough

The American architect William McDonough + Partners, founder of the cradle-to-cradle concept, developed a new full service business park with 13 offices, greenhouses, sport facilities and more

First Cradle-To-Cradle Business Park In The Netherlands

Let us introduce to you Park 20 | 20, the Netherlands. This business park is completely developed, using the principles of cradle-to-cradle or green, circular architecture.

This new business park involves: circular buildings, with extra attention for human dimensions. The developing process is much more complicated, but very successful. 

Our system functions as an economic weapon because we show that we can make money out of buildings, with a new system for a sustainable future.

The whole project is 92.000 m buildings plus a hotel of 18.000 m: An investment of 350 million euros. The construction started in 2010 and will be completed in 2020.


Developer Zachariasse thought of the crisis as an opportunity.

“Actually, the crisis is a blessing in an industry where all margins disappear and everyone is under pressure to survive. We noticed that people started thinking: … Maybe we should work different. This new thinking helped us tremendously. As a developer, Zachariasse only wants durability and quality. For the buildings, and for the people who are working in it.

Slow food

Part of the project is that the buildings are constructed, taking care of the entire supply chain. Food is one of that supplies. That’s why Zacharisse has built a number of greenhouses. He contracted a farmer who cultivates the food in the greenhouses, which is then delivered to, and served at the restaurant.
The greenhouses are heated with gas from the waste water purification system. So he has organized a cycle that benefits human and the environment.

Cradle-To-Cradle revolution

Zachariasse built the whole park with the idea that all materials should be cradle-to-cradle, because this concept eliminates waste. Closing cycles for materials, energy and water.

It is not a matter of less consuming. It is a revolution. During the designing period you have to reconsider that all materials can be reused.

All buildings are designed so that they can be taken apart again.

  • The furniture is refurbished and reused. Instead of furniture that disappears at the dump, it is given a second life.
  • The wood is treated with vinegar (no chemical coating), so the wood can be returned to nature safely.
  • 75% of the used concrete and steel are recycled material. Also, 30% of material is saved by using hollow floorings.
  • To much light was a problem in the Atrium. This problem is solved using solar cells which are integrated in the glass. The solar cells are providing enough shadow and renewable energy as well. By combining the budget of the glass with the budget of the solar panels, this solution was quite profitable.
  • All materials represent value. Therefore arrangements have been made with the manufacturers and suppliers of the materials. They remain owner of the materials and take them back at the end of the term.
  • The business park is developed with a central, integrated energy system, using solar and wind power.
  • Waste water treatment: a grey water system for rainwater is providing water for toilets and irrigation and energy is collected from the waste water.

The materials are the databases of the future. That means that you:

  • have to design considering that all materials can be taken apart
  • you need to create a database, knowing what material is where in the building

Scarcety of raw materials

If you follow this process, you have something very valuable. Demolition costs are on average of $ 50 per m2. These buildings gain more than $ 80 per m2, based on the materials and components that will be taken apart again. When you consider that material prices will rise, becoming scarcer and that the worlds population is growing daily with 250,000 people, it’s not rocket science to realize that the costs of materials will rise in the future. The next years, a materials database is a very good economic model.

Quality first

Zachariasse uses a very different way to involve its suppliers and manufacturers during the construction process:

  • They are not providing their products and then move on. He makes them jointly responsible
  • The suppliers are involved during the design phase
  • And instead of asking: “This is what we want, give your lowest price.” They are told: “This is your budget, give your highest quality! And tell us what your product can do for the overall quality of the building.”

This approach led to teams and mobilized knowledge.

Of course, this approach requires leadership and confidence but the result is that we realized a lot of innovations during the processes. There is more. The costs of failure during construction have been much lower because the industry was involved. They could tune their production to the delivery, avoiding a delay. And all suppliers earned a good living.

Facts & Figures



By Photanol

Programmed bacteria for all kinds of materials

Photanol is a biotech company that develops a breakthrough technology to convert CO2 and sunlight into valuable organic compounds. We are applying this technology in a number of markets, ranging from food ingredients to chemical bio-blocks and bio-fuels.