Built by Nature, a network and grant-making fund, has announced a global prize totalling €500,000 to recognise innovation and stimulate scalability in the use of biobased materials such as timber, bamboo, hemp, straw, algae, and fungi in construction.
The built environment generates up to 40% of the world’s greenhouse gases, and the increased use of sustainably sourced timber and renewable biobased materials offers a tangible, realistic solution to address climate change through decarbonisation of our cities and buildings.
The Built by Nature Prize aims to identify and attract biobased construction material manufacturers and their market-ready innovations from all regions and help those producers overcome barriers to mainstream market entry.
“Given the scale of urban development that is inevitable around the world over the coming decades, we simply cannot afford to build in the way we have in most of Europe for the last few hundred years. We urgently need to find innovative, renewable, low-carbon construction materials to radically reduce the embodied carbon footprint of new buildings and cities.” according to Paul King, Built by Nature CEO. “Since our launch in October of 2021, Built by Nature has seen a rapid expansion of our European network to over 1,300 individuals and organisations committed to a building industry transformation and now this Prize enables us to broaden our scope and deepen our impact on a global level.”
Built by Nature has awarded €3.3 million in grants to date with additional co-funding of €2.2 million toward 28 projects across Europe focused on developing solutions to overcome barriers and stimulate increased uptake of biobased materials, with a focus on mass timber.
The prize’s overall winner will receive an award of €250,000 with the criteria focusing on the demonstrated potential for significant carbon emissions reduction and benefits to nature and local communities.