VU Amsterdam breaks ground on new VU research building

Earlier this week, the first pile of the new VU research building was driven into the ground at De Boelelaan.

09/11/2020 | 1:47 PM

Spotlight on diseases
The building will accommodate a wide range of functions and facilities for teaching and research into socially relevant issues in the field of Human Life Sciences. The building will boast refined measuring equipment, such as electron microscopes in the VU LaserlaB. Scientists from VU Amsterdam, Amsterdam UMC and the University of Amsterdam are working to develop new medical imaging techniques to be used in healthcare for diagnostic purposes and to help improve our understanding and treatment of diseases. They will be working closely with physicists, chemists, biologists and doctors.

The joint research conducted, also in other buildings in the area such as the O|2 Lab Building, the Imaging Center, the Amsterdam Alzheimer Center, and the Amsterdam Cancer Center, places this cluster among the global leaders in medical imaging, scientific research, and the development of treatments and drugs for the disciplines of oncology and neurology.

Groundbreaking research
The Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research (CNCR) will also be moving into the new building in a few years’ time. The department’s responsibilities include exploring possibilities for detecting Alzheimer’s disease at an early stage.

Innovation District Zuidas
The new VU research building is one of the additions to Innovation District Zuidas, also known as the Knowledge District. This area brings together health, science and business. Thanks to strong combinations of both scientific and medical knowledge, this area has become one of the preeminent Life Sciences Clusters in the Amsterdam region.

The VU research building is unique because it was designed as a completely vibration-free building, even though the immediate environment produces lots of vibrations. A total of 470 grout injection piles (piles that displace soil) will be driven down to a depth of 23 metres below sea level. These piles form the foundation for a vibration-free research environment. Previously this summer, sheet-pile walls and slurry walls were installed to make foundation and other work possible.

The sustainable campus
The new research building will contribute significantly to the ambition to become a sustainable campus. The building has received the highest possible sustainability rating for the design, which includes ample natural light, solar panels, energy-efficient systems and lifts, presence detection, a thermal energy storage (TES) system, water-saving sanitary ware, efficient waste separation, bat boxes and a green roof.