Winner of the Floriade Entry Building Challenge

67-year old, first-time entrepreneur Rob van Hove won the challenge for a circular construction system for the entry building at Floriade Expo 2022 with his BB Block.

His system scored perfectly for all three assessment criteria:
1. the quantity of horticultural waste flows (the building will consist of 75% bell pepper stalks)
2. the system is modular and can be disassembled, and
3. it is exceptionally affordable.

Rob van Hove will now detail the design in collaboration with Floriade. The jury was also very positive about the entries from SLA (Peter van Asselt c.s.) and MDXL, the other finalists. This challenge proves that rewarding sustainability in tenders can lead to affordable, innovative solutions.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality’s Startup [sic] in Residence programme offers start-ups the opportunity to solve societal challenges. Stichting Innovatie Glastuinbouw Nederland (SIGN) [innovation in greenhouse gardening foundation] submitted the Floriade entry building as a case study to encourage the construction industry to start utilising horticultural waste flows. So afar, most of the latter ends up as compost even though the fibres are very suitable as a raw material for sheeting, organic composites and insulation materials. The assessment criterion ‘impact’ had therefore been defined as: the percentage of horticultural waste flows in the construction system. The second criterion was feasibility: can the proposed system be created, which architectural options does it offer, is it easy to disassemble afterwards? The third criterion was affordability: what does a six-metre wall cost using this system? The organisers of the challenge offered € 50,000 to build the small building (50 m2) and € 5,000 for the design.

Eight proposals were submitted that all used horticultural waste flows as their construction material. The winning construction system is marvellously simple: it consists of round timber I-Joist boxes: a beam that is replaced in the middle by woodchip. The detailing provides space for systems installation and the timber box will be filled entirely with shredded bell pepper stalks. This provides higher levels of insulation than are standard in the national building decree.

The Fantastic Fibre Floriade (SLA) entry used biomass waste flows from horticulture as the raw material for mycelium composites and sheet materials. The entry from MDXL used a structural framework of knots and loose facade elements which means it provides inname garantie for.
BB Block is a construction system for the sole international horticulture exhibition in the Netherlands: Floriade. The Expo will be held from 14 April – 9 October 2022 in Almere. The design will visualise that the building consists of 75% bell pepper stalks.

This project is a SIGN initiative as part of the Circulaire Tuinbouw [circular horticulture] programme and aligns with the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality’s vision on Kringlooplandbouw [circular agriculture]. The Startup [sic] in Residence programme InterGov is a cooperation between various government bodies who wish to increase their impact on societal challenges in conjunction with start-ups. The participants are: the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, the Provincial Government of Zuid-Holland and the Municipality of The Hague.