Discover the latest trends in biobased and circular building materials at MaterialDistrict Utrecht

From 6 to 8 March, Werkspoorkathedraal in Utrecht will be the centre of the latest developments in the field of biobased and circular building materials, when the 17th edition of MaterialDistrict Utrecht will take place. With more than 150 exhibitors, 50 lectures and a materials exhibition showcasing the latest construction and interior materials, the event is a must for architects and interior designers looking for new material solutions for their projects.

Latest trends in material design
In the rapidly changing world of architecture and construction, sustainability is becoming increasingly important. Architects are constantly looking for innovative ways to design buildings that are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also environmentally friendly. One of the most promising developments in this domain are biobased and circular building materials. These materials not only offer aesthetic benefits, but also contribute to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly construction industry.

Biobased materials
During MaterialDistrict Utrecht, visitors can discover the latest biobased materials and explore their various applications in the construction sector. Made from renewable sources such as plant fibres, wood, bamboo and even fungi, these materials are on the rise because they require less energy to produce and have a lower carbon footprint than traditional building materials.

One example of an emerging biobased material is mycelium, which is made from fungal threads and organic waste. Mycelium can be used for insulation, furniture and even structural elements in buildings. It is lightweight, strong and completely biodegradable, making it an excellent choice for circular designs.

Recycled materials
Another trend is the use of recycled materials in construction. Architects are looking for ways to breathe new life into discarded materials and integrate them into their designs. Think of recycled glass panels, bricks made from recycled concrete or furniture made from recycled plastic. Reusing materials reduces the need for new raw materials and the amount of waste sent to landfills. MaterialDistrict Utrecht will show a wide range of recycled materials and how they can be applied in contemporary architecture.

Efficiency and smart design
In addition to biobased and recycled materials, there is also a growing interest in reducing the ecological impact of the construction sector through efficiency and smart design. This includes the use of energy-saving technologies, green roofs and advanced insulation materials to improve the energy efficiency of buildings. Modular construction methods are also gaining ground, where parts are produced in the factory and assembled on site, which minimizes waste and reduces construction time. These topics will be extensively discussed during the lecture programme – which can also be followed live online.

3D printing
Another important development is the rise of 3D printing in the construction and design sector. This technology makes it possible to produce complex and personalised building parts with minimal waste of materials. The use of biobased filaments opens up new possibilities for architects to create organic forms that are functional, aesthetic and environmentally friendly. Aectual – a leading player in this field – is exhibiting their latest developments during MaterialDistrict Utrecht. Co-Founder Hedwig Heinsman will give a lecture on Wednesday 6 March, in one of the MaterialDistrict theatres.

Materials exhibition
Traditionally, visitors can look forward to a MaterialDistrict materials exhibition. With 250 material samples on display, this exhibition provides an overview of the latest sustainable materials currently available on the market. The exhibition shows a range of materials, including sheet material made from the skin of the coffee bean, charred bamboo panels suitable as facade cladding, textiles made from plant roots, and tiles made from construction rubble from the London Underground.

Lecture programme
MaterialDistrict Utrecht is known for its compelling lecture programme, in which renowned (inter)national architects, scientists, designers and other experts share the latest developments in the field of materials with the public. Once again this year there will be two simultaneous theatre programmes in which a line-up of 50 speakers will share their knowledge and experience with the visitor..

The lecture programme is made possible thanks to the collaboration with a number of leading organizations including: PEFC Netherlands, Biobased Creations, Fibershed, BNI, Biophilic Design Academy, and Matter Technologies.

The event offers visitors an excellent opportunity to find the right manufacturers for their projects, with exhibitors showcasing a range of innovative materials that have the potential to revolutionise the way we design and build. From sustainable and biodegradable materials to high-tech materials that can adapt to their environment, there is something for everyone this year.

This year, more exhibitors than ever are showing (material) innovations within the themes of Circularity, Wellbeing, and Energy Transition, a direct result of the MaterialDistrict Innovation Fund established by MaterialDistrict in 2019. Startups and designers can receive a subsidy from the fund for their trade show participation. An independent advisory committee – including Leonne Cuppen, who is associated with MaterialDistrict Utrecht as a curator – plays an important role in scouting startups and assessing subsidy applications.

Some of the exhibitors this year are Huis Veendam, Interface, Planq, Sustaign, The Good Plastic Company, Plexwood, Nature@home, Circuform, Arpa, Wasteboard and many others.

The 17th edition of MaterialDistrict Utrecht will take place from 6 to 8 March 2024 in Werkspoorkathedraal in Utrecht, the Netherlands. With 5,000 expected visitors, 150 exhibitors and 5,800 m2 of exhibition space, the materials event for (interior) architects and R&D professionals is entirely dedicated to material innovations for the spatial domain: Architecture, Interior, Garden & Landscape Architecture, Leisure, Exhibition & Stand Construction, and Furniture & Interior construction.

For more information about MaterialDistrict Utrecht and tickets, visit