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The last few months have seen a lot of hard work to place the new foundation piles and sheet pile walls of the future University Library on the Binnengasthuis site. This involved a complex operation, requiring a significant amount of manpower, machinery and materials. This is a milestone for the project, so we have put together a few facts for you.

Did you know that...

  1. Around 650 new foundation piles were driven into the ground, to a depth of about 22 to 23 metres?
  2. These foundation piles are replacing about 1,400 existing wooden piles?
  3. The sheet pile walls go about 16 metres into the ground, are about 250 metres long and altogether weigh about 600 tonnes?
Sheet pile walls and foundation piles

4. About 15,000 m³ of soil will be removed to make room for the basement? That's about 150 days of work, with approximately 14 full lorries' worth every day.

5. Some 850 m³ of concrete will be poured over the floor of the ground floor, into which 140 tonnes of reinforcing steel have been fitted?

6. Installing the temporary trestles (steel pillars on which the entire building will temporarily stand) has to be executed with mikado-like precision? 

7. The steel for the trestles alone weighs 180 tonnes, which amounts to about 450 beams of 400 kg each?

8. In order to make the building sufficiently rigid while raising it from the old to the new foundation, we have already attached 1.3 km of steel to the walls and installed another 4 km of wooden beams in hallways and doors as support?
That is also why many outside windows and doors have been temporarily bricked up.

9. That we are working very hard to realise an amazing basement of about 3,000 m²? 

10. That we have already built two 'Eiffel towers' in the building?
(One in the location of the new transformer and one in the location of the old transformer, to ensure that the building will stay standing when the basements are being constructed.)

Structure for sheet pile walls