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Green, sustainable turf walls along the A10 Zuid

On the work site in Oude Haagseweg, along the southern side of the A4, a huge metal structure around 12 m in length, 6 m deep and 6 m high will begin to appear in the coming weeks. When this framework is in place, we will fill it with BioBlocks – blocks made of compressed reeds and turf, in other words aquatic plants that have grown together. When stacked on top of each other, the BioBlocks form a wall on which plants can grow. We intend to use this type of sustainable wall between the De Nieuwe Meer interchange and the Amstel interchange, as part of the widening of the A10 Zuid. In order to find out which plants can grow effectively on the BioBlocks, we are doing a trial set-up first.

Species of climbing plants and birds

‘The BioBlocks will be placed between metal grids. The trial set-up enables us to test what size the grids need to be’, explains Leonoor van der Linden, landscape designer for Zuidasdok. ‘When the trial set-up is in place, we will add different species of climbing plants. We will then be able to see how well they attach themselves and whether they grow well on the sunny or shady sides. There will also be provisions for birds and we’ve been working with ecologists on that. The wall itself will be one big insect hotel.’ The trial will also involve testing tuff, as an alternative for the BioBlocks if the results prove disappointing. Van der Linden: ‘Tuff is a relatively porous type of stone with a natural look and feel. We intend to investigate whether the plants also grow well on that.’

Dutch product

BioBlocks is a product developed on Dutch soil. The reeds and turf originate from the ancient Weerribben-Wieden peat bog, where they actually constitute waste. The BioBlocks are made by digging up this natural waste before finely chopping and compressing it. ‘Without any intervention, the peat bog will gradually transform over time into land and woodland will eventually develop on it’, says Van der Linden. ‘So, it’s hugely sustainable. The blocks help preserve nature, are recyclable, locally sourced and actually store CO2.’

Concrete retaining wall

Our plan is to use the BioBlocks primarily in places where there is no room for a green embankment. These places often require tall, straight walls that are not appealing to the eye. By using BioBlocks in these places, the walls will be greener and more sustainable. Across the whole of the route of the A10 Zuid, they will create a natural look, ensuring that the road fits better into its environment. An example of a location where we intend to use the green walls is the area next to Piet Kranenbergpad.


Zuidasdok is one of the Netherlands’ largest infrastructure projects and aims to improve the accessibility of Zuidas and the northern part of the Randstad. We are renovating and increasing the size of Amsterdam Zuid station, diverting the A10 Zuid underground in the central area of Zuidas and widening the A10 Zuid in both directions from 4 to 6 lanes.

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