Geo consulting in sustainability

Geo consulting in sustainability

Creating a safe and liveable world

The world is changing – faster than ever before. Transformation is being driven by multiple factors; rising population levels, the move of people to urban areas, increasing demands on natural resources, technology and digitalisation and the effects of climate change.

Fugro: at the forefront of sustainability

Leading Geo-data specialist Fugro is familiar with this situation; which it experiences in its work around the world. Even within the Netherlands where the company is based, there are challenges posed by housing shortages, aging infrastructure, a changing climate and ever-growing calls for increased sustainability.

In geo consulting the company has a crucial role to play in finding the answers to such things. The key to these challenges lies in understanding them. Here, the skills for geo consulting are at the forefront of providing solutions.

Fugro is committed to sustainability. In line with its strategic objectives, Fugro unlocks insights from geo data, a critical element for the sustainable development of infrastructure, plants, buildings and natural resources. With its products, services and innovative solutions, Fugro directly contributes to the realisation of modern infrastructure and climate monitoring projects, including flood and coastal protection and safer, more efficient power grids.

The company plays an important role in the energy transition with the development of renewable energy assets such as offshore wind farms. Fugro, together with its clients and other stakeholders, plays a fundamental role in creating a safe and liveable world.

There are numerous examples of the company’s work contributing, at a crucial level, to the realisation of this goal. This article considers two projects as demonstrations of this.

Case Study 1: Hollandse Kust West Offshore Wind Farm

Just over 50 kilometres from the Dutch west coast, the Hollandse Kust West Offshore Wind Farm will eventually cover some 176 km2. Its contribution to sustainable energy production will be significant with its 1,400 MW capacity.

Fugro has played a pivotal role from the opening stages of the project. The company’s primary objective was to provide a clear geotechnical understanding of the site so as to inform the design and installation requirements. With this, realisation can be speeded up and the risk to tenderers preparing their bids can be minimised.

Fugro Marine Geo consulting developed the site investigation plan, prepared the laboratory test strategy and carried out a scope of geotechnical engineering works including development of the ground model, provision of geotechnical parameters and synthetic cone penetration tests (CPTs), and assessment of seismic hazard.

Geotechnical Consultant Kostas Kaltekis: ‘Fugro produced a state-of-the-art 3D ground model and geotechnical interpretive report by integrating geophysical data, age dating analyses, in situ geotechnical data and results of a comprehensive laboratory test programme. The ground model defines soil provinces for spatial zonation of the site and efficient conceptual design of monopiles and jacket piles. Fugro provided also characteristic values of geotechnical parameters for use in foundation design.’

The work that Fugro has performed has literally provided a solid foundation for getting this project off the ground.

Photo: HKW 3D Ground Model

Case study 2: HAUT iconic building

HAUT is a construction project currently underway in Amsterdam. The development of this 22 storey building featuring a two storey underground parking area will be built close to the River Amstel, near dikes, railway lines, cables, pipes and telephone lines. The residential project has ambitious sustainability goals. Its primary construction material is wood – making it, at 73 metres, the highest wooden building in the country. Resulting from this, the building is able to absorb CO2. The theme of sustainability in this iconic project goes further; wherever possible it is utilising recycled materials. HAUT has achieved the highest sustainability accreditation – a feat unique in the Netherlands. The project developer is Lingotto, who works together with Team V and Arup.


Fugro’s scope is a broad one. The company has been involved from an early stage, carrying out a range of ground analysis activities. This has involved, for example drilling activities; creating bore holes to assess the groundwater situation and conducting CPTs to determine the land site characterisation.

With the investigations that Fugro has undertaken, it has been able to give advice on the foundation of the building – taking into account the high pile loads of the construction and the presence of dikes. Fugro has also been able to give drainage advice and deliver a monitoring plan and vibration risk analysis.

Team Manager Maarten Profittlich: ‘Fugro continues to be involved in the project, supporting by monitoring the vibration and noise impact during construction. The work carried out by our company’s geo consulting team plays an important role in making this iconic and sustainable project possible.

Photo: Haut – the highest wooden building in the Netherlands (source: Zwartlicht)

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