New to Melbourne, especially erected for the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival is the latest incarnation of Greenhouse By Joost. A pop-up restaurant that combines food, art, building design and ecology. With Greenhouse, Joost Bakker endeavours to demonstrate to people how we can live a life that’s more environmentally sustainable by making simple changes and altering our perceptions.

Joost, a Dutch born florist/artist/builder/designer/environmentalist analyses the environmental impact of every element of the building, every element of the whole project. Everything is recycled or sustainable.

Some building products to be incorporated are brand new, even experimental, others are tried and trusted favourites that perform so well, their specification is almost a given. This is the case with the Ecoply® plywood that has been used extensively in the new Greenhouse for non-structural cladding, wall panels and furniture, inside and out. Joost has always been an advocate for the benefits of Ecoply – low embodied energy, economical use of a sustainable resource and local production resulting in lower carbon miles and local jobs. Another less known benefit, is the extremely low formaldehyde emissions – as tested and certified by the EWPAA. And of those almost negligible emissions, 50% is naturally emitted from the timber.

Joost has used Ecoply on a number of his projects – including his own home – not to mention, the first Melbourne Greenhouse, Hidden Pizza, Perth Greenhouse and Sydney Greenhouse, and is now also planning to use it within the permanent Greenhouse to be introduced to London later this year. Ecoply has been used for everything from cladding and flooring to furniture, artworks and even plates. “I love the appearance. It’s warm and comfortable and makes for a beautiful space. I leave it raw so you see the knots – you see it was a tree, its age, the seasons.” says Joost.

In fact, the product selected for the build is quite knotty. Designers and builders traditionally use clear face plywood (BD grade) for ‘appearance’ projects, but Joost specifically utilises lower grades including Ecoply CD and DD and even packaging grade plywood. It’s a good demonstration of ‘upcycling,’ which not only makes environmental sense - it makes economic sense. Ecoply is available in BD, CD and DD grades in a range of thicknesses and as demonstrated by Joost, can be used for just about anything.

Joost is so passionate about plywood that he’s working with Carter Holt Harvey to further enhance the Ecoply range. Together they’re striving for even more, environmentally sound plywood, manufactured using resins derived from natural renewable resources. It doesn’t get more sustainable than that.