Member portrait 1: Andy Keel from OPENLY

Mitgliederportrait OPENLY

Behind every building are people and companies with visions and innovative products and approaches. More and more of them are united in our association and growing network. Join us and take advantage of the benefits.

We are starting a new series with short portraits of our members. We thus offer a platform on which we highlight particularly climate-relevant projects and innovations and let the people behind them present their views.

Member portrait 1: Andy Keel from OPENLY

It is a pleasure to get to know Andy Keel from OPENLY in this first short portrait. We asked Andy five questions and learned a lot about him, his passions and his projects.

1 Andy, who are you and what is your passion?

Multi-entrepreneur who is fully committed to the net-zero 2050 mission. That’s pretty much my retirement age – until then I want to invest most of my energy in combating climate change. I think I owe it to my children and to Generation Y and Z. I am passionate about innovation, design and environmentally friendly travel.

2. how did you find your way to sustainable building?

With the concrete manufactory Dade Design, we have established a worldwide reputation in the architectural scene. We have been creating CO2-neutral building solutions since 2016 – 8 years ago In doing so, we calculate our footprint on Scope 3, i.e. incl. material production, delivery and our own emissions in production and sales. We have been using Carbon Capture & Storage for several years.

3. what distinguishes OPENLY in terms of climate technology, what makes it unique?

The pilot project in Widnau SG saves around 70 % of emissions compared to SIA 2040 (4 kg/m2 gross floor area). This does not include the carbon sinks; with these we even reach net-zero, which is also the big vision behind the pilot project. We have achieved this by reducing and dispensing with carbon intensive building materials and innovations. We are now making these “openly” available to the industry.

4. What is your latest innovation?

We have created half a dozen innovations in Widnau. The prefabricated and hempcrete-lined classic timber frame walls are probably the greatest innovation. On the one hand, we can build a wall at a comparable cost (200 CHF/m2) and on the other hand, the wall is ready for plastering. We have improved the “Musk Idiot Index” by 400% (price of finished product / raw material prices).

5 Why are you a member of Timber Finance and what do you want from us?

I think it’s fantastic that Timber Finance is driving forward the issue of carbon reduction for structural timber. This is pioneering work. OPENLY sees buildings as a carbon sink and, in addition to the new timber construction carbon removal credits, we will be able to provide carbon removal credits for biochar concrete and hempcrete for construction sites globally in the future. This is incredibly exciting for companies that can inset their own construction activities.

My wish for Timber Finance is to create a framework that shows carbon accounting in the right place (including SIA logics). Political lobbying is also necessary, because instead of a carbon tax, the cantons could also act as carbon removal credit buyers for the carbon sinks created on their territory.

Extra: Question from Andy to Andy.

It is more of a concern than a question: it is clear that the future construction industry will rely on structural timber. We should therefore start saving timber now and only use it where it makes the most sense. Above all, saving timber also means not burning it and not extracting alternative materials for chipboard and biochar from high-quality logs so that high-quality timber is available for load-bearing structures.


OPENLY – bionic buildings as carbon sinks

OPENLY advises property developers, architects and engineers on the realization of net-zero buildings that are PlusEnergy in maintenance. Worldwide.

OPENLY sees buildings as carbon sinks and will in future be able to certify sinks made from hemp, straw and biochar in addition to the Timber Finance certificates for timber construction.



(Interview by Samara Sicardi, Head of Marketing & Communications at Timber Finance)

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