As the University of Amsterdam (UvA) continues to grow, so does its need for high-quality, sustainable, healthy buildings. Real estate projects are currently in the works at Amsterdam Science Park, in the University Quarter and at the Roeterseiland Campus. However, construction costs are going through the roof. The UvA has decided to look into the cost-efficiency of future building projects, and assess how they can be simplified and executed smarter.
The UvA develops real estate for education, research and knowledge valorisation. It does not build if there is no need. Though construction activities have been scaled back in recent years, ongoing growth of university programmes and its vital contributions to advances in artificial intelligence and a range of societal challenges call for more space.
The tight housing and office market and surging construction costs have necessitated additional investments to complete existing projects. Yet, budgets can only stretch so far. In light of this, the UvA has decided it does not want to build at just any price. The university will be reviewing building projects to examine what steps can be taken to stay on budget.
The first project to be re-examined due to excessive construction costs is the flexible education building at the Roeterseiland Campus (REC), known as plot V. Plans for this building were very well received by the faculties but have proved too expensive in their current form. We will be taking another, closer look at this plan to assess if a less expensive alternative design could be realised that is within our means. We are aware that this is a disappointment for the faculties that are in real need of more space; however, it is unavoidable – better safe than sorry. Meanwhile, we will complete the permit application for the original plan as the review could still determine that the original plan has preference.
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