The Alexander Fleming House (AFH) had been vacant for several years. Demolition began in November 2020 and was completed in July 2022. The virgin lawn that now occupies the space gives the impression that an office tower never stood on this spot. DSM Project manager Cristel de Baas: “Everything has been demolished properly and safely. Beneath the lawn, only piles remain in the ground. They must remain there to avoid an open connection with the water-bearing layers in the subsoil. However, the building turned out to contain much more asbestos than research had previously revealed. As a result, the demolition work took a little longer than planned.”
Former Calvé site
The same applies to the removal of underground foundations from the former Calvé site. DSM bought this site in 2014 and the clean-up work started in April 2022. In addition to foundations, historical soil contamination also had to be removed. De Baas is satisfied with the progress of the work. There were, however, some surprises. De Baas: “We didn't have the historical drawings. They were offered for sale to us by a third party, but we did not make use of that offer. This was because we had no guarantee that everything was on it. We also thought it would be better to just see what we would encounter.”
And that was quite a lot: wood, concrete, tar asphalt and cables and pipes. Moreover, the removal near the historic headquarters, a national monument, had to be done carefully. “The contaminated soil has been cleaned at a specialized location,” says De Baas. “We recycle everything that is eligible for recycling. This applies, for example, to copper and clean rubble. These lumps of rubble will serve again as building material after breaking them up.” The work was completed in November 2022 with the application of a layer of covering sand. This means that the former Calvé site is also ready for the future. We thank our immediate neighbors for their patience with the occasional nuisance during the work!
During the nesting period of lapwings, from March to June, the noisy demolition work was temporarily halted. That intermission was successful. Cristel de Baas: “They are now walking around the grounds with their offspring”. In this way, we not only consider the future of our location, but also the future of the flora and fauna present.