Optoppen : collaboration is key

March 2024
Reaching near zero carbon with today’s technologies … Maximising existing under-used infrastructure … Densification and resource efficiencies. These are no-brainers, right?

Optoppen, or topping up, is one way to achieve them. It’s a process that increases the floor area in existing buildings through lightweight roof extensions, using timber and bio-materials in the process to create carbon sinks on top of cities — contributing to urban decarbonisation targets, densification strategies and more-efficient use of existing infrastructure.

Optoppen is the circular economy in action — a very low embodied carbon solution using today’s technologies.

Whitby Wood director Kelly Harrison explains the thinking behind the Optoppen project in a new video released by project funder Built by Nature. She says, “If we want to move forward as a whole industry, we have to collaborate, we have to share knowledge”.

BbN x Optoppen
from Built by Nature on Vimeo

Central to the Optoppen project is an open-source website that will enable city planners and asset owners to quickly understand the vertical extension potential of their buildings, focusing on common building types in European cities. Adding floors creates value and enables energy retrofits of existing stock.

Kelly continues, “The idea of the web platform is to showcase studies of where it’s been done before. There’s an interactive tool where you can choose what building type you’ve got … you can see how much floor area and how much carbon you can store by adding storeys on top.”

Whitby Wood is proud to lead the Built by Nature-funded consortium that is developing the Optoppen website. The diverse group of partners includes Creative City Solutions, Holland Houtland, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, Mule Studio, New Urban Networks EU and Rising Tide.

Optoppen has potential city-scale impact!

Contact us to find out more