In the Netherlands, building a home from straw or fungi could earn you a cheaper mortgage. Introduced by Triodos, a bank headquartered in Zeist, the “bio-based mortgage” provides a lower interest rate to homes bought or built using materials such as wood, flax, or fungi.
The bank estimates just 1-2% of buildings in the country are made with biobased materials but expects this to grow with government incentives.
Alba Concepts, a real estate consultancy, will verify a building’s environmental rating and the carbon-storage capability of a building’s materials. According to Time magazine, buildings rated A++++ qualify for a rate 0.15% lower than buildings rated B. Buildings rated A++++ that also use plant-based materials qualify for a further 0.15% rate discount. Triodos offered the country’s first energy efficiency mortgage in 2012 and in 2020 ceased offering full mortgages on buildings with poor energy ratings.