As is the case with a major home renovation, Zuidasdok also needs an environmental permit in order to demolish and build in the Zuidas station zone. In the years ahead, the existing station will be transformed into the Amsterdam Zuid public transport terminal. To make this possible, we are building a second station passageway (Brittenpassage), increasing the width and height of the existing Minervapassage, moving the metro platforms to the west and creating new access routes to the platforms. The environmental permit enables these activities to go ahead and is now open for consultation until 14 January 2022. Anyone can submit an objection.
Construction work on the second station passageway actually started some years ago. In November 2019 and in August 2021, we already inserted some roof sections for the second station passageway. How is that possible, if the environmental permit has only now been granted? ‘So far, all the construction activities have been authorised by temporary permits. Whereas we were able to work outside based on a provisional design and temporary permits, further progress has now been made on the definitive design of the station which specifies the construction process in more detail. Armed with that definitive design, we were able to apply for the permit for the next few years this summer’, says Julia Suesan, permits adviser and coordinator at Zuidasdok.
Almost energy neutral
During the process of preparing the permit application and thereafter, there have been regular consultations between Zuidasdok and the Environmental Service. Suesan: ‘This included discussion about aspects that we already knew needed further work.’ One example is a statutory requirement introduced on 1 January 2021 stipulating that a building must be almost energy neutral. ‘That’s something we continued to work on even after submitting the permit application’, says Suesan. ‘As a result, the design now incorporates solar panels in the edges of the platform roofs.’ But there is plenty more to discuss. ‘We have had our structural calculations and drawings assessed by an independent party, especially for the sections of the two station passageways across which the railway and metro tracks will run.’ The Environmental Service has assessed whether it has been demonstrated that the construction is compliant with the Buildings Decree (Bouwbesluit) 2012.
Not the whole renovation
The environmental permit does not cover all parts of the station renovation project. ‘Part of that work cannot be done until the motorway tunnels have been built, in other words when the A10 has been diverted through the tunnel next to the station. We will apply for an environmental permit for that at a later stage’, says Suesan. ‘Ultimately, just outside the two station passageways, there will be a bus station, tram station, taxis and a kiss & ride zone where passengers can be collected. To the north, there will be a green zone known as the DokDakpark. In addition, because the two additional railway tracks are not part of Zuidasdok, they have not been included in this environmental permit. In other words: the Environmental Service had to assess a permit application about an important part of the station renovation, but not all of it. Obviously, that required a lot of discussion.’
The environmental permit and related documents are available for consultation via the Environmental Service. It is open for consultation until 14 January 2022.