Hugo de Jonge, Dutch Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport, marked the official start of construction on the new accommodations for RIVM and for the Medicines Evaluation Board (CBG). Accompanied by André van der Zande (RIVM), Ton de Boer (CBG), Roger Mol (Central Government Real Estate Agency) and Gerard Sanderink (Strukton), he oversaw insertion of one of the first pilings to be bored for the tower. The 73 bored pilings under the tower are 1.85 metres in diameter and nearly 58 metres long. The size of the pilings is just one of the technological solutions that ensure the building will meet the vibration resistance requirements for the laboratories. The new building will rise from the ground on the Helsinkilaan in the Utrecht Science Park (USP) and is expected to become available in autumn 2021.
“We are exceptionally delighted to be establishing a presence at the USP . It will allow us to connect even more effectively with society and with other knowledge partners in the field of public health and the environment. Considering the urban dynamics and high profile, the Utrecht Science Park is a very interesting spot for pursuing both goals,” said André van der Zande, RIVM Director-General. The new building will offer flexible, sustainable, energy-efficient accommodations for both knowledge institutes. The gross floor area totals nearly 80,000 m2, not including facilities for parking motor vehicles and bicycles. One of the exceptional features of these accommodations is that the project will be the Netherlands’ first public-private partnership for a government building containing laboratories.
RIVM uses high-end lab equipment in the course of its work. These devices are highly sensitive to vibrations, making it imperative for the new building to be constructed in such a way that vibrations cannot interfere with equipment operations. For instance, the foundation pilings are larger and longer, and ventilated cavities are being added in the ground around the building. In addition, the glass tower with its 18 floors and the wing housing specific laboratories have been shifted 20 metres to the south.”
RIVM and CBG in the same building
Both institutes are part of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS). Both RIVM and CBG promote human and animal health and safeguard a healthy environment. Knowledge exchange with national and international knowledge partners is important here, as well as sharing this knowledge with society. The design of the new building will encourage and facilitate knowledge exchange. Its central location in the country, at the edge of Utrecht Science Park to the east of Utrecht, will help both organisations present a more visible profile in society.