Amsterdam picks novel Japanese approach to renovate canals without making a mess

After an international call for ideas, the city of Amsterdam has picked a novel approach from Japan to renovate its canal walls without the need for demolition and temporary works.

Methodologies proposed by Giken Ltd, based in Kochi, scored highest among 16 proposals, and the city and a Giken-led consortium have signed a partnership agreement.

Amsterdam owns and manages a network of 400-year-old bridges and quays which are vulnerable due to their advanced age.

Traditional construction methodologies for quay wall repair would see temporary work platforms built and existing structures removed to build new walls, which is complex and time-consuming.

Giken’s method drives piles directly through the existing canal structure, and lets machinery "walk" along the installed pile wall, the company said in a press release today.

It added that its "Press-In" technology is vibration- and noise-free.

The consortium, called G-Kracht (G Force), involves Giken Europe, Gebr. De Koning and Van Gelder Group.

Following further detailed design work, a pilot installation starts in 2021.

If successful, the methodology is expected to be adopted as a standard approach for renovations scheduled for more than 200km quay walls in the city.

Image: Giken’s illustration of how its approach will look in Amsterdam

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  1. Can’t quite imagine pile drives with no vibration. How about a video – with sound?

  2. This looks a very interesting new method of renovating quay walls. It would appear, from the graphic representation, plus the description, that the tubular piles are “pushed” through the existing capping stones and brick/masonry work? This would require an enormous pressure, without either impact or vibration!
    I would be very interested to see a video of this system actually working, rather than just a graphic of how someone imagines it will work.

  3. Can this system be used on sheet piling as well ?

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