Universiteit Leiden

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Electric boats will make University construction projects cleaner

No more smelly lorries disposing of building waste or delivering building materials to the centre of Leiden. That’s Leiden University’s ambition for its future renovation or construction projects in the city centre. Electric boats should make the process cleaner and less inconvenient for the people of Leiden.

The plans, which are part of the Metropolitan Hub Systems Zuid-Holland project, are a collaboration between the University and, among others, the Province of Zuid-Holland and the Municipality of Leiden. The latter has already decided to make all city logistics emission free by 2025.

During the renovation of Cluster Zuid on Witte Singel, construction waste is already being disposed of by electric boats. This is done within a ‘living lab’, a collaboration between various companies and organisations.

Three themes are central to the living lab: storage and transhipment at hubs on the outskirts of the city, transport by water from the hub to the construction site and emissions at the construction site itself. One of the main results is that waste containers at the construction site are lifted with an electric crane over the road and into the bucket of an electric boat. Outside the centre, the waste containers are loaded onto a truck and the debris is removed by road.

Over 14,000 vans

Leiden University thinks it is important to gain experience with electric transport by water as soon as possible, not only because of municipal requirements but also to reduce its environmental footprint and the inconvenience to the city’s residents. It has been calculated that the project will save 14,000 van trips in the city centre. Alongside a lot of noise and parking nuisance, this will prevent the emission of over 11,000 kilos of CO2, almost 50 kilos of nitrogen and 1.44 kilos of particulates.

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