Project to Renovate the Quay Walls of World Heritage-listed Canals in Netherlands

Technology Development Partnership Agreement for Project to Renovate the Quay Walls of World Heritage-listed Canals in Netherlands

Image of construction using Gyropress Method™ and GRB System™

G-Kracht B.V., a joint venture company established predominantly by Giken Europe B.V., has entered into a partnership agreement with the Amsterdam City Government, which was screening for a new technology development partnership to renovate the quay walls of canals in the World Heritage-listed Canal Ring Area of Amsterdam, Netherlands. G-Kracht was selected in first place by a long margin from a field of sixteen candidates, each with technologies playing important roles around the world. Pilot work started in September 2022, with press-in operations starting in November of that year. After successful completion of this pilot phase, the project moved to the commercial phase with an exclusive contract for press-in works over an 8-year period for a section of quay walls extending at least 3.3 km. As the next step, press-in technologies are expected to become the standard method for renovating another 200 km of quay walls. As a result, use of this method is projected to rapidly spread across the Netherlands.


Over recent years, erosion and scouring of wooden piles has led to a number of quay walls collapsing across the Amsterdam canal network. However, conventional methods have made almost no progress, with the city facing a series of difficulties. They included having to use residential roads and parking lots along the coast, divert underground infrastructure, and relocate houseboats and trees, which could have a negative impact on the scenery.

As a result, the city solicited partners globally in 2018 to help develop new technologies that would accelerate the work. GIKEN Europe joined a collaboration with Dutch company Gebr. De Koning B.V., and local general contractor Van Gelder B.V., to form G-Kracht B.V. and participate in the process. The original 16 candidate groups were narrowed down to six groups after screening the applications, and those groups participated in a final screening, including interviews. The full process took more than one year and three months, after which the city selected three groups in March 2020 to partner with. Receiving the highest rating of the three (scoring 4.6 out of a possible 5.0 points, with second place on 3.8 points and third place on 2.7 points), G-Kracht was officially recognised and announced a winner on May 13, 2020.

Selection Basis

Conventional construction methods for quay wall repair require the construction of temporary work platforms and removal of existing structures prior to the construction of a new wall. The complex process of securing working space and installing large-scale temporary works is time consuming and costly, and residents had strong concerns that works would impact the appearance of the World Heritage Canal district.

Already used extensively in Japan, the Gyropress Method™ enables the installation of piles directly through the existing canal structure, eliminating the need for installation and removal of temporary works. The GRB System™ enables the construction equipment to move across the top of the installed pile wall, eliminating temporary work platforms and minimising the construction footprint. In addition to minimising the impact of construction and protecting the landscape by eliminating the waste experienced with conventional construction methods, this brand-new technology and method from GIKEN was highly rated in the screening process for its low-noise, low-vibration characteristics.

Outline of Agreement and Pilot Work

Agreement Name: Samenwerkingsovereenkomst voor de Onderzoek- en Ontwikkelfase van het Innovatiepartnerschap Kademuren (AI 2018-0423)
(Cooperation Agreement for the Research and Development Phase of the City of Amsterdam Quay Walls Innovation Partnership (AI 2018-0423))

Partner Names: City of Amsterdam (The Netherlands) and G-Kracht B.V.

G-Kracht B.V. composition
-GIKEN Europe B.V.
-Gebr. De Koning B.V.
-Van Gelder B.V.

Project Name: AI 2018-0423 Innovatiepartnerschap Kademuren Gemeente Amsterdam
(AI 2018-0423 Amsterdam Quay Walls Innovation Partnership)

Location: Singel 284, 1015BB Amsterdam
Project Owner: City of Amsterdam
Prime Contractor: G-Kracht B.V.
Contractor: G-Kracht B.V.
Specifications of Pile Materials: 271 tubular piles (508 mm in diameter, 13.75-25.73 m in length)
Pilot Phase Duration: September 2022 to July 2023 (scheduled)
Press-in Construction Period: November 2022 to March 2023

Pilot work in progress