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Innovative basement solutions

Building underground is essential for optimal and multiple use of space. Building underground in an inner-city environment is often a complex process. ABT are specialists in innovative basement and building pit solutions for existing and new buildings. We aim for minimal impact in terms of footprint, cost and risk. Smart, integral and manufacturable designs to realize our clients’ wishes and build a sustainable future.

Future-proof expansion of listed buildings and monuments

The expansion possibilities of existing, listed buildings and certainly (national) monuments are often limited. Underground expansion will create more functional area and flexibility. It is a way to make the building future-proof.

The monumental Mauritshuis in The Hague was extended underground and connected to the building opposite. In view of the complexity and due diligence required, we had to provide customized solutions. This involved the use of construction techniques such as cutter soil mix (CSM) walls, jet grout columns, softgel massifs and steel fibre reinforced underwater concrete.

The monumental Roman city wall and other archaeological excavations at De Bastei in Nijmegen were integrated into a 6-meter basement. ABT advised on the construction and on the foundation and earth retaining wall. The project was awarded the 2019 Schreuders Prize.

Less material, lower cost

For each new basement project, ABT will integrally consider the optimal depth and construction method in relation to the environment, sustainability, costs and risks. For the consideration of environmental impact, we apply internally developed tools. Through clever design optimization(s), we can achieve substantial material savings.

One way of saving material is to integrate structural and temporary underwater concrete floors by applying steel fibre concrete. This will provide thinner floors as well as reducing the chance of any leakage. All this saves materials and costs. Basement floors that we have designed and successfully integrated include floors for the Royal Van Lent Shipyard dry dock and the Albert Cuyp parking garage in Amsterdam.

There are frequently situations when it actually pays to make the basement deeper and reduce the impact in terms of cost and environment per m2 of basement area. We used pile plate foundations in the new construction and renovation of Rabobank Utrecht, WTC Utrecht and the new university building of the VU Amsterdam. These projects could be completed with significantly fewer foundation piles and at lower construction costs.

Whatever your problem or question, our geotechnical and structural engineers will be happy to devise an appropriate, integrated solution. Feel free to contact one of our experts.


Image parking garage Forum Groningen: © Marcel van der Burg