City of Amsterdam

Urban Solution Sloterdijk III

Project: Urban Solution Sloterdijk III

Year: 2014 – present

Collaborating parties: City of Amsterdam, Waternet, Schiphol and RVR Hoofddorp

Materials: hemp, linseed and primrose

In brief: Temporary cultivation of hemp, linseed and primrose for bio-based product development

The City of Amsterdam has joined forces with Waternet and RVR Hoofddorp to use part of their construction-ready land in Amsterdam Sloterdijk III temporarily for the cultivation of crops that serve as raw material for local manufacturing of sustainable products. They work in collaboration with Schiphol that provides land for the same purpose.

In 2014 and 2015, for instance, the land was planted with hemp, linseed and primrose. The yield of the various parcels of land is sold upfront to sustainable regional companies. RIGO Paint, for example, purchase the linseed oil using it to develop a sustainable paint for local production. Moreover, the fibres of the different crops were used as basic material by NPSP Composites in the manufacture of a variety of products, with applications ranging from tables and chairs to scooters, boats and car doors.

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Project: Flaxcat

Year: 2001

Manufacturer: NPSP Composites

Images: NPSP Composites

Materials: flax

In brief: A racing catamaran constructed with natural fibres

Experienced sailors at NPSP built a personal racing catamaran using natural fibre composites: the Flaxcat. According to NPSP, ‘the Flaxcat is the world’s first large construction using flax, built to withstand immense mechanical pressures.’

Epoxy injection on a single-sided mould under vacuum foil was first experimented with during the manufacturing stage of this project. This production process is especially relevant when making natural fibre composites. Vacuum-assisted resin infusion ensures that the resin completely seals the natural fibre surfaces.

NPSP is the European industry leader in sustainable composites. Working with natural resources such as flax, hemp and bio-based resin, NPSP produces composites with a longer life cycle and a highly reduced waste production, while maintaining true value for money. The bio-based composites developed by NPSP are sold under the Nabasco® brand name, short for nature-based composites.

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Project: Stonecycling

Year: 2015

Designer: Tom van Soest

Manufacturer: St. Joris Keramische Industrie

Materials: natural and industrial waste materials

In brief: Bricks made from 100% waste material

Tom van Soest, the Chief Creative at StoneCycling is the godfather of the WasteBasedBrick. This is a new and sustainable brick made from natural and industrial waste. StoneCycling believes in a circular world. The primary input for new building materials can and should be waste materials. With the WasteBased-Brick, Tom is a frontrunner in the movement towards a circular building industry.

StoneCycling is well on its way to becoming a major new player in the surface material market. Those architects and real estate developers with a penchant for something new and a taste for Aubergine, Truffle or Mushroom should especially take note, as these are names of various types of WasteBasedBricks.

And that’s not all: perhaps your own waste could lead to something new. With his ‘Your waste, your brick’ principle, Van Soest is motivating property owners, municipalities and architects to develop a WasteBasedBrick together with him. This can lead to surprising opportunities and designs. It also increases owner awareness of the potential value waste has.

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Eco-friendly sanitary facilities

Project: Eco-friendly sanitary facilities

Year: 2008

Designer: Faro Architects

Manufacturer: NPSP Composites

Materials: hemp, flax and sisal in combination with a polyester resin

In brief: Environmentally friendly and natural looking sanitary facilities for park campsites

Staatsbosbeheer, a Dutch public organization that manages a sizeable amount of the nature reserves in the Netherlands, commissioned NPSP and Faro architects to design and build low-maintenance, environmentally friendly and natural looking sanitary facilities for their nature camp sites. For both their environmental as well as aesthetic goals the use of NaBasCo to produce the units was well suited.

Using natural fibre composites resulted in maintenance free wash basin and toilet units that are more environmentally friendly produced than with traditional materials. For the ’natural look’ NPSP has used a milky, semi-stransparent resin, which shows off the fibre and emphasises the natural character of the sanitary facility.

Image Bio-based road signs


Bio-based road signs

Year: 2017

Manufacturer: NPSP

Materials: hemp, flax and sisal in combination with a polyester resin

In brief: Environmentally friendly road signs

The Provincial road N272 in the Netherlands is again open to traffic after a thorough renovation. Bio-based materials have been used on a large scale for this renovation. NPSP delivered road and hectometre signs produced from biocomposite on this sustainable road.

In addition to the biocomposite traffic signs, the asphalt, the guide rails and the bench at the bus stop are also made of waste materials from the agricultural and paper sectors.

The material has been developed in close cooperation with Staatsbosbeheer, AKZO Nobel, Waternet and the water boards Aa & Maas and HHNK.

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(Bio)composite bridges

Project: (Bio)composite bridges

Year: 2013

Manufacturer: Fibercore

Images: © DSM

Materials: Synolite™ 7500-N-1 resin of DSM

In brief: Low weight Biocomposite bridges

According to DSM the benefits of composite bridges for the end-customer and the environment are as follows. Composite bridges can be easily installed because of their low weight. This reduces installation time and potential disruption to traffic and people. Also the lower weight requires lighter foundations compared to bridges made in pure steel or concrete.

Because of their very nature, composite materials resist well water, heat and chemicals. Therefore these bridges only require limited maintenance (unlike steel bridges that need painting after some years of use). This saves time and cost, while again the impact on the environment and traffic is minimized.

For the bio-bridge project of Fibercore the novel Synolite™ 7500-N-1 resin of DSM is used. This is a high strength structural resin partly based on renewable raw materials. The resin can be easily converted through vacuum infusion manufacturing processes into composite components. It contains approximately 50 % bio raw materials.


Pastoe design chair

Project: Low Chair LC03

Year: 2011

Designer: Maarten van Severen

Manufacturer: NPSP Composites

Materials: flax fibre

In brief: Production of a slender, gracious and comfortable seat at a competitive price

Maarten van Severen (1956-2005) created the elegant design for a piece of furniture that reflects his personal and design philosophy: straightforward, well-considered and made with modern materials. In cooperation with Pastoe and Ecological Textiles, NPSP has developed an environmentally friendly variant of the Low Chair based on biocomposites where the glass fibre is replaced by a natural fibre, in this case flax.

The polyester hull is lightly curved, 4 mm thick at the edges and 8 mm in the middle of the seat, giving the chair a slender and delicate appearance without having to forego strength and stiffness. The RVS inserts are invisibly integrated, resulting in a direct fit of the seat to its steel frame. The natural basic materials allow the seat to ultimately be used as biomass, producing green energy at the end of its life cycle.

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Rene Roman Smeets

Bio-based Longboard

Project: Bio-based Longboard

Year: 2014

Designer: Rene Roman Smeets

Manufacturer: Rene Roman Smeets in collaboration with NPSP

Materials: Nabasco®

In brief: High-performance natural fibre composite products

In close cooperation with NPSP, Rene Roman Smeets has designed and built a longboard (a type of skateboard) made of natural fibre composites. This high-performance natural fibre composite product mainly consists of flax and a natural resin. The material is also known as Nabasco® (Nature Based Composite). The fibre will be visible at the surface due to the semi-translucent resin used and a transparent coating that creates exposure. It gives a natural feeling important for emphasising the sustainability of the material.

As yet, purely in terms of strength, natural-based composites still are weaker than their glass fibre forerunner. Regarding stiffness, however, they are actually quite similar. Fortunately the latter is often the limiting factor, especially when high-performance products like longboards are involved. If the board is stiff enough, the strength will generally be acceptable too. Natural based composites are much lighter than glass fibre composites, with an ecofriendlier production method. Working with natural-based composites is also much more sensible: exposure to glass fibre can cause skin inflammation. With natural based composites Rene Roman Smeets and NPSPO have manufactured a variety of boards, all customised to rider preference and purpose, including very stiff boards for mountain riders and very flexible ones for urban use.


Façade elements made from natural fibre composites

Project: Façade elements made from plants

Year: 2015

Designer: Cityblob

Manufacturer: NPSP

Materials: Nabasco®

In brief: High-tech façade elements made from natural fibre composites

Cityblob is an Amsterdam-based architecture, urban planning and real estate development company with a particular focus on railway and underground stations and their surrounding areas. A recently realized project is a large-scale sport, retail and leisure development that is part of the new Amsterdam Bijlmer Arena railway station. For this project specific dark orange coloured composite façade elements have been developed.

A similar project Cityblob is currently working on will have façade elements made with natural fibres instead of glass fibre. These elements are developed in close cooperation with NPSP Composites. NPSP is the European industry leader in sustainable composites. Working with natural resources such as flax, hemp and bio-based resin, NPSP produces composites with a longer life cycle and a highly reduced waste production, while maintaining true value for money. The bio-based composites developed by NPSP are sold under the Nabasco® brand name, short for nature-based composites.

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MVRDV + Cityblob

Barapullah Springs

Project: Barapullah Springs

Year: 2018

Architect: MVRDV

Collaborating parties: Cityblob

In brief: From one of the largest open drains in Delhi to an eco-corridor

The 12.5 kilometre Barapullah open sewage drain runs through the centre of New Delhi. MVRDV and CITYBLOB have made a plan to turn this heavily polluted drain into a clean and safe eco-boulevard that connects a multitude of Delhi’s historic treasures, hotels and metro stations via newly added slow traffic lanes. A closed underground sewage system will be added to the green backbone to separate the polluted water from the rain water. On ground floor level the extensive landscaped public spaces will facilitate sport, cultural and community activities and connect neignbourhoods from each side of the old drain.

The necessary infrastructure and new public space wil be financed by the profit on real estate development in the empty land in close proximity of the drain. As the average property price per square metre price is one of the highest in the world, the whole project can finance itself.

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Image Capital A for Amaravati


Capital A for Amaravati

Year: 2017

Architect: Cityblob

Collaborating parties: IMG+, Martijn Anhalt

In brief: Capital A is the new landmark building for Amaravati, the new capital city of Andhra Pradesh, India

Cityblob is currently working on the new landmark building for Amaravati, the future capital city of Andhra Pradesh, India. The façade elements of the Capital A building will be made with natural fibres instead of glass fibre. Working with natural resources such agro waste and bio-based resin, we will produce composites with a longer life cycle and a highly reduced waste production, while maintaining true value for money.

Agricultural waste can be a fabulous natural resource for bio-based building products. Agricultural waste could be converted into building elements and other engineering goods, providing farmers with often desperately needed additional income. This raw material is sustainable and biodegradable: the true way to go forward.

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NIOO-KNAW + Cityblob


Year: 2018

Architect: Gert Jan Scholte Architects

Collaborating parties: NIOO-KNAW, TU Delft, WUR and Unesco IHE

Materials: Microalgae

In brief: LOTUS-HR: LOcal Treatment of Urban Sewage Streams for Healthy Reuse

LOTUS will demonstrate a novel holistic (waste-)water management approach for the recovery of water, energy and nutrients from urban wastewater. The required treatment and reclamation steps will be determined by the water quality needed for safe and healthy reuse in households, industry and urban agriculture. Innovative but proven robust technologies, will be incorporated in a modular pilot treatment plant along the Barapullah drain in New Delhi, India.

The programme consists of 3 research lines (4 projects); Together with researchers at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW) Gert Jan Scholte Architects is working on a new urban planning and architectural design based on a new treatment method that uses bacteria and microalgae to treat raw sewage water and reclaim valuable substances in it. NIOO considers microalgae to be more than just tiny green plants. Certain members of the Chlorella-family will grow on the wastewater that comes out of the anaerobic reactor, which has a unique composition. These algae can absorb useful substances, such as phosphate and nitrogen, from our feces. All they ask in return is light and CO (and any CO² not released into the atmosphere helps to reduce the greenhouse effect).



Be.e: the first biocomposite e-scooter

Project: E-scooter made from plants

Year: 2013

Designer: Van.eko

Manufacturer: NPSP Composites

Materials: hemp, flax and bioresin

In brief: Introducing the Be.e, a monocoque electric scooter made from natural fibre composites

Conventional metal scooter frames have over one hundred separate parts and fourteen plastic covering caps. The structure of the Be.e electric scooter, however, is integrated into a single load-carrying monocoque made from natural fibre composites. This material – produced from Dutch flax and bioresin – is extremely strong and ultralight. Hopefully, this innovative and sustainable prototype will lead to the application of high-grade biocomposites in all vehicle types.

The team consists of the following parties: NPSP Composites, electric scooter manufacturer Van.Eko, flax supplier Van de Bilt Zaden en Vlas, mould manufacturer Modec, resin supplier Euroresins, resin manufacturer DSM, hemp supplier HempFlax, electronics developer Betronic, engineer Co.En, design agency Waarmakers, spray paint shop Ton de Rooij, Qwic and Inholland University of Applied Sciences.

Images: © Van.eko


Nova modular car

Project: Body panels for the new Nova modular car

Year: 2015

Manufacturer: NPSP Composites

Images: © Lotus

Materials: Nabasco®

In brief: NPSP develops bio-based body panels for the new Nova modular car

NPSP has developed interchangeable body panels of Nabasco biocomposite for the modular electric car named Nova, designed and built by a team of students from the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e).

Nova is a radical electric three-seater with a modular approach that can completely be customised to suit driver demands. Weighing in at a mere 300 kg, the car is extremely lightweight thanks to its biocomposite components. The vehicle achieved the design team’s aim, easily reaching speeds of 90 km/h and over.

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World’s first bio-based façade

Project: Gas receiving station

Year: 2013

Designer: Studio Marco Vermeulen

Manufacturer: NPSP Composites

Materials: Nabasco® 5010 (a mix of bioresin and hemp fibre)

In brief: World’s first bio-based façade constructed in Dinteloord (NL)

NPSP Composites, in close cooperation with Studio Marco Vermeulen and TOM – Tuinbouwontwikkelingsmaatschappij, has created the world’s first bio-based façade, building it in Dinteloord.

The structure, a gas transfer station, is clad with 104 bio-based panels. These façade elements are made of Nabasco® (NAtural BASed COmposites) and are finished in a brown, opaque coating that gives them a state-of-the-art look not readily associated with natural fibres. The exact constitution of the resin varies, but often soya beans, linseed oil and biodiesel production waste are used by NPSP. Each panel, measuring 140 x 185 cm, has the letters C, H and N printed in relief. These refer to the chemical symbols of the main components (carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen) of the gas handled by the station.

Images: © Ronald Tilleman


Bio-based signposts and road signs

Project: Cycle path signposts

Year: 2012

Designer: NPK industrial design

Manufacturer: NPSP Composites

Materials: flax and hemp fibres

In brief: Environmentally friendly cycle path signposts for the Dutch traveller’s association, the ANWB

NPSP was asked by the Royal Dutch Touring Club (ANWB: Algemene Nederlandse Wielrijdersbond) to produce an environmentally friendly version of the familiar Dutch ANWB cycle-path signposts that is both better quality and more durable than the existing ones.

The new signposts are made with natural fibres instead of glass fibre. According to the Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) method, this reduces their environmental impact by 40%.Thanks to the double-mould procedure, the new signposts are significantly more attractive and stronger than their predecessors.

The production in a closed-mould system connected to active carbon filters reduces styrene emissions to a minimum. Three to four hundred bio-based signposts are produced each year and can be found throughout the Netherlands.