Grey, greener, greenest



Commissioners and designers of buildings often claim that their projects are ‘green’. How do they measure this? When is a building considered green? In a selection of Amsterdam projects taken from the Amsterdam green architecture guide 2000-2025, Arcam seeks to answer that question.

The buildings can be compared using measurable concepts such as energy performance (EPC/BENG) and circularity (MAT1 and MPG). For non-residential buildings, we have the BREEAM rating. Less quantifiable concepts, such as natural inclusivity and climate adaptivity, are still part of the points system in municipal tenders, so we have taken those into account as well. 

The minimum values the municipality of Amsterdam uses are ambitious. Clients and designers routinely bemoan the ever-increasing heap of requirements, pointing to the limits of those ambitions: in time and cost, but also liveability. Discussions arise about how or if sustainable solutions can be enacted for single plots. And whether the criteria in the tenders automatically produce the most optimal buildings. Moreover, there is no reward for innovation concerning aspects which go unscored in the points tally. Yet, if we look at these ten buildings, we see that this strict analysis does in fact lead to innovation. 

This exhibition shows how the living environment is changing, and literally and figuratively greening. The buildings are becoming (economically) costly, but deliver more in a social sense, while materials are changing and facades assume new functions. So, although green architecture sometimes appears quite grey, the city is nevertheless becoming greener, more economical, more adaptive, and smarter. 


Visitor Info

Grey, greener, greenest
Location: Arcam, Prins Hendrikkade 600
Date: 4 November 2023 – 10 March 2024

Opening hours
Tuesday – Sunday, 1-5 pm

Adults: €4.00
Students: € 2.00
Entrance 0-18 years: € 0.00
accompanying person of a visitor with a disability: € 0,00
Entrance with I Amsterdam City Card: €0,00

Arcam is wheelchair accessible. All floors are accessible via our lift and there is an adapted toilet on the ground floor. If required, we also offer assistance, please feel free to contact us at




AM, Bastiaan Jongerius Architecten, Benthem Crouwel Architects, de Architekten Cie., Korth Tielens Architecten, Marcel Lok_Architect, Mecanoo, Orange Architects, Paul de Ruiter Architects, Ronald Janssen Architecten, SeARCH, Studioninedots

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