Port of Amsterdam selected responsible wood construction

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  • Offsite construction, Kerto LVL

The Nautical Coordination Centre in Amsterdam is a wooden building that reflects the sustainable and circular ambitions of the Port of Amsterdam. The building is designed by WRK Architects and is in the western port area. The special feature is that the entire construction – walls, floors and roofs – is built with Metsä Wood’s engineered Kerto® LVL wood product. The industrial appearance of Kerto LVL products have remained fully visible.

The circular economy is a focus of the Port of Amsterdam’s strategy. The goal is to become the most important economic and circular hub in Europe. The Port of Amsterdam’s ecosystem brings together all kinds of companies, from waste, raw materials and port logistics to different kinds of demo plants and innovative circular economy companies.

‘This beautiful and natural building material contributes to a pleasant working environment and fits the Port of Amsterdam’s ambition to build sustainably. Those who step in the building are really surprised. A practical open-space working environment greets you when you enter the building, which is ideal for a 24/7 company like the Port of Amsterdam. The industrial appearance of Kerto LVL products is fully visible, and the large floor-to­ceiling windows offer a view of the IJ river,’ says Benjamin Robichon of WRK Architects in explaining why they chose LVL-based construction

Construction method

All the floor, wall and roof elements were prefabricated by the Belgian timber element manufacturer Dupac and delivered to the building site ready for assembly. Dupac specialises in the structural bonding of wooden elements and can therefore supply CE-marked Kerto-Ripa Elements.

Kerto LVL is a very material-efficient and sustainable product. In addition to its ability to store carbon, the high strength and slenderness of Kerto LVL means you need less volume than with many other wood materials. Using Kerto LVL also makes our element production efficient and easy,’ explains Marc Cuyvers, Managing Director at Dupac.

The chosen construction method was also new for the contractor, Dozy BV. ‘The craftsmen at Dozy are familiar with all sorts of construction methods, but they had never built an entirely new construction with Metsa Wood’s high-quality Kerto LVL before. We are proud that we were able to build such a high-profile centre,’ explains Luc Riemers, Project Manager at Dozy Bouwt.

Kerto-Ripa elements for floors and roofs

For the floor and roof construction, 350 and 230 mm high Kerto-Ripa elements were used. In these prefabricated elements, the rib and top and bottom panels work together with glued joints.

Most floors have a span of approximately 7.5 m, and vibration was the main design driver for the floors. A few floors are locally fitted with an extra rib to absorb the line load of a sliding wall. This could easily be integrated during production.

The largest floor elements (with a length of 8.6 m) had a fire requirement of 30 minutes, combined with a limited construction height. To meet this criterion, thicker top and bottom slabs of 67 mm were chosen. Interestingly, the relatively thick slab helps spread the loads in a transverse direction (especially variable point loads). The number of ribs is therefore reduced, simplifying production. Furthermore, the Kerto-Ripa elements are so strong and rigid that it is even possible to make holes for staircases.

Load-bearing walls

The load-bearing walls have a 25 mm external Kerto LVL Q-panel, glued on Kerto LVL S-beam posts of 45 x 200, and the top and bottom chords are also made of a 45 x 200 mm Kerto LVL Q-panel. The studs of this rib wall element stand with a c/c of 600 mm, and 200 mm Rockwool insulation is fitted between the studs. On the inside, in the finishing phase, a 21 mm Kerto LVL Q-panel cladding was applied to the wall, which remained completely visible.

The advantage of using bonded elements at this location was that it increased the wind stability. The thermal resistance of the walls is 8.6 m²K/W.


The building has been designed to be compact in volume, resulting in minimal walking distances, clear routing, and efficient logistics systems. In addition to sustainable construction materials, a lot of attention has been paid to control-room-specific ventilation and to minimising energy consumption. All the energy consumed by the building is generated by solar panels on the roof and on the facade, and the building is also equipped with a heat pump (a closed ground energy system).

The building thus provides 100% of its own energy. In addition to the sustainable energy system, a greywater circuit is integrated into the building. Rainwater is collected in a special underground tank and is then reused for flushing the toilets and watering the plants on the roof terrace and around the building.

The building materials used are demountable and retain their value when reused. They are therefore fully circular. The load-bearing Kerto LVL structure was chosen because it provides a warm and natural atmosphere in the interior. The timber structure is placed on a concrete foundation and locally reinforced by a steel structure. This utilises the specific advantages of each material separately.

Thanks to the construction in PEFC-certified Kerto LVL, the building has obtained an BREAAM Excellent certification, and a low CO2 footprint has been achieved. The total use of Kerto LVL was 200 m3, and it stores carbon a total of 159 tonnes of CO2eq according to Metsä Wood’s carbon storage calculator.