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Foto: Sara Kerklaan

UvA to replace chimneys on Roeterseiland

Henk Strikkers,
17 januari 2020 - 14:16

The UvA will replace the five stone chimneys contained inside the sixty meter high concrete shaft on Roeterseiland after the partial collapse of one of them.

‘We found the breakage when one of the plants on Roeterseiland that provides central heating and electricity could no longer be started,’ says Zef Pattinaja. As a technical project manager at Facility Services, Pattinaja is responsible for the optimisation of the central energy supply of which the lifting activities on the Nieuwe Achtergracht are a part. ‘When we went to look what was wrong, we found one of the chimneys partially collapsed, blocking the discharge of flue gas.’ Since the chimneys are about 55 years old and each in a similar state, they will all be replaced.

Foto: Zef Pattinaja
The shaft with only four chimneys

Block by block

The Nieuwe Achtergracht will likely be closed until March during the reparation. Pattinaja: ‘It is not possible to remove the chimneys from below, so we lift the chimneys block by block. Two men will be lowered into the chimney to attach straps around each block so a second crane can lift the blocks out.’


Originally the plan was to make the energy supply for Roeterseiland more sustainable. ‘The UvA wants to move away from gas, so the gas boilers will be phased out in the coming years.’ However this doesn’t mean the new steel chimneys will be quickly defunct as ‘the UvA also has three combined heat and power plants with sixteen-cylinder gas engines that generate heat and electricity simultaneously.’

Foto: Zef Pattinaja
The inside of one of the four chimneys

Heat pumps

Pattinaja will continue to make Roeterseiland more sustainable. ‘The UvA is doing well in this regard. For example, we store heat generated by the heat pumps during summer to heat the buildings in the winter. Likewise during winter we store cold to use as coolant in the summer.’ But Pattinaja says there is still a lot of work to be done. ‘REC-A, B, C and D have been sustainably re-built, but the other buildings on REC are not that efficient yet. For these, we will first focus on better insulation.’