What is happening in our underground environment? The answer is: a great deal. Indeed, over the next few years, it is set to become ever more crowded. The energy transition is leading to a growth in demand for underground space. How can we realise smart geothermal applications or install new underground infrastructure? And how do we take account of other underground functions? Moreover, groundwater contamination, for example with polyfluor alkylated and perfluor alkylated substances (PFAS) is threatening the quality of our drinking water. Sweco assists in managing all these developments. We advise on underground planning processes, geothermal energy, cultivation practices, data management and soil protection with the aim of ensuring optimum and sustainable use of our soil and the underground environment.
Everyone is jockeying for space in the Dutch underground environment. Sewage pipes must share the space available with foundation piles and routes for cables and pipelines. At the same time, new developments are starting to demand space, too. For example, the energy transition means that pressure on the space available belowground is growing.
Construction projects increasingly involve underground building work. For government and market parties, this means taking account of each other’s needs in obtaining space in the soil beneath our feet. But how should you go about it, and what choices should you make? Our experts in soil studies and the underground environment can help you maintain control, and keep looking forward. In consultation with our clients, they balance interests and provide an insight into opportunities and obstacles. They also help take carefully considered decisions. The overall result is optimum use of the underground environment and lower costs of failure for projects.
How should you successfully structure your underground space? It all starts with a thorough understanding and a clear overview. To make this possible, we use a variety of tools at Sweco. They enable us to examine the current and future situation in the underground environment. On the basis of a matrix system, we can demonstrate the visions, interests and parameters that apply to your situation. On that basis, you can embed the (future) functions of the underground environment in a zoning plan. This system has already been successfully employed by a number of clients.
We also make use of the Terra Tactica tool, an interactive serious game that maps all the interests in the underground environment, as well as revealing the consequences of any intervention. Terra Tactica makes it possible for all parties to identify solutions and bring about developments in the underground environment in a safe and sustainable manner. Among others we have deployed Terra Tactica on behalf of the Municipality of Eindhoven.
A third means of determining the use of the underground environment is a quick scan. The quick scan method enables you to identify the potential risks that adhere to the choices you make, and to assess their scale. For example, if you plan to build an underground carpark, it could affect a nearby cold-heat storage installation, or sewer system. The quick scan quickly gives you all the answers.
Using a route planner, we identify the best route for a new underground infrastructural element, for example a heat network. We examine how you can ensure the lowest risk of clashes, presented in the form of a 3D visualisation. It is also possible to examine the virtual environment and potential clash risks through VR goggles.
If you want to know what Sweco can do for the underground planning aspects of your project, please get in touch with us. We will be happy to talk to you.