SAWA: a circular timber residential building, that represents a unique icon for Rotterdam and a new generation of buildings. SAWA is designed with the urge and high level of ambition to develop a building that contributes to a healthy future and a better world. The realisation of SAWA marks an important step towards international sustainability goals and proofs that things can be done differently.
SAWA, also referred to as “the healthiest building” in the Netherlands, is adding value to the neighborhood and city in the broadest sense. These "shared values" relate to CO2 reduction, strengthening biodiversity and creating a circular building with affordable housing, where people care for each other and for nature.
SAWA comprises 109 homes, with spacious green terraces averaging 40 sqm per unit, of which 50 are mid-rent apartments, making it possible for people with indispensable professions (police officers, teachers, nurses, etc.) to remain in the city.. The living concept is enriched by various shared functions - such as shared mobility, tools and a vegetable garden on a public deck – therewith stimulating a lively, healthy and caring community.
Mei acknowledges the consequences of increasing urbanization of the landscape urbanization on the human ecosystem and urban biodiversity. With the design for SAWA, Mei commits to changing this evolution and contributes to a healthy living environment. In cooperation with city ecologists and biologists, SAWA is designed to be nature-inclusive. With 600 linear meters of planters, 3000 site-specific plants and 140 integrated nesting boxes, SAWA connects to the existing ecological structures in the city and increases the biodiversity of the area.
Feasible and certified timber building system: next step in sustainability.
SAWA's innovation lies in bringing together all elements that help build a 50-metre-high residential building whose main load-bearing structure consists of more than 90% wood, without concrete floor covering. Together with the finest team of international experts, existing solutions are combined and innovations are devised to optimise the use of wood; minimise the amount of concrete and steel; and solve consequent fire, noise and vibration challenges.
SAWA is a low-installation building, with a healthy indoor climate and possibilities for future adaptations. By using PV panels on the roofs in combination with "remote solar", sustainable district heating and other sustainable measures, SAWA is energy-neutral after realisation and during construction.
SAWA's structural design is based on the Open Building principle, consisting of floors, beams and columns. This creates a high degree of flexibility, future-proofing, and freedom of layout for both first-time buyers and future generations.
The concept of SAWA is based on an accumulation of ambitions, which the initiators have developed into a proven, feasible and certified timber building system that is modular, reproducible, and open source. SAWA is hence an example project for new generations, an important step in the sustainability goals and demonstrable evidence that things can be done differently.