The IJmuiden new sea lock will have no less than three lock control buildings. Why so many? And what work is left to be done before the lock operators can start working there? That is what we asked Planner Steven Krul of IBB Kondor.
Why does the lock have three lock control buildings?
‘There is one main building, the Lock Operation Centre (SOC), and in addition to that, we are building two local control buildings. The two local control buildings are situated on either end of the lock, next to their respective lock gates. The local buildings are intended to be used in the event of an emergency. So if, for whatever reason, operation from the main building fails, the lock operators can switch to local control and operate the lock gates from the local control buildings so that the flow of shipping traffic will not be disrupted. The local control buildings are in fact small versions of the main building. They look identical and are fitted out with the same characteristic ribbed façade panels. They are also, just like the main building, slanting forward at a 15-degree angle. We are now completing the local control buildings and benefit from our previous experience with the main building. That comes in useful, because installing the façade panels is quite a difficult job. Luckily, with a size of 5 x 5 metre, the local buildings are much smaller than the main building. The layout of the two local buildings is almost identical, only mirrored'.
What work is left to be done before the main control building - the Lock Operation Centre (SOC) - is completed?
‘We are now working hard on the finishing touches. The ceilings, walls and floors of the void space are now being painted yellow. This will give the building's interior the characteristic appearance intended by architect. The walls and ceilings of the meeting room and the control room, on the other hand, will be painted black. Black walls and ceilings will automatically draw people's eyes towards the light outside and so the lock operators’ eyes will be drawn towards the lock chamber. The floor has been given the pattern of a setting sun. Although from an architectural point of view, the main building will be completed in a few weeks, it will take some time before the technical equipment for operating the lock are ready for installation. At the moment, OpenIJ is still busy testing the control desks at an external location. They will soon be installed in the SOC control room’.
How is work progressing on the local control buildings?
‘We had started with the local control building on the east side of the lock and have now finished the installation of its façade panels. On the west side, the body of the building has now been completed and the next step is the installation of the façade panels. Then the roof will be made watertight and after that we will start with the finishing work, which includes the installations for the building itself, such as electricity and air supply. After completion of the building, OpenIJ will start with the installation of the control and operating systems for the lock and the lock gates. In principle, the local control buildings will be completed this autumn. The final step before completion will be a test phase carried out by the OpenIJ team’.