Energy for a vertical city

​​Warmtenetwerk Magazine
Klaas de Jong
Autumn, 2015

A challenging construction project

The striking building was designed by Rem Koolhaas and the project had its fair share of setbacks. The project partners started making preparations in 1998, but the project was put on hold after the attack on the World Trade Center on 9/11 and was not restarted until 2006. Construction was finally started in 2009, despite the financial crisis that began the year before. Four years later, on 15 November 2013 at exactly 12.00 p.m., one of the Netherlands’ highest and biggest buildings was completed. The construction of 160,000 m2 of floor area on a piece of land of 5,500 m2 was a technical and logistical marvel. As many as 800 workers were active on this tiny patch of land by the water at any one time, which required very tight scheduling of all the cranes, platforms, other equipment and materials deliveries.

The property developer wanted an extremely sustainable building, which was achieved by combining various functions for more social cohesion, creating an underground bicycle storage, ensuring efficient public transport connectivity, joining the district heating system, designing a cooling system using water from the river Maas and installing a bio CHP plant.

The energy supply system is an example to other projects. The Rotterdam pilot project (called the The Vertical City) is part of the European CELSIUS Smart Cities programme.

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