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Seevetal Industrial Park: respecting the past whilst building the future

With the exponential rise of e-commerce, it’s becoming more and more difficult to find preloved land at prime locations so that we can avoid building on unspoiled nature. But we’ll never stop trying.

Located on the doorstep of the Port of Hamburg within a former sand mine, we believe the story of Seevetal Industrial Park embodies the unique challenge of respecting the past whilst building the future with brownfield development.

Rediscovering forgotten treasures in core locations

We are committed to developing 100% brownfield sites in the future — and for good reason. It allows us to reuse materials, preserve biodiversity, reduce emissions, and build logistics facilities closer to where people are located and goods are needed. And although well-positioned brownfields are becoming harder to come by, our years of experience have shown us that even the most forgotten or complicated sites can be given a new life. However,there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to brownfield development — or to sustainability in general, for that matter. 

Respecting a rich and varied past

Every brownfield site has a history to peel back, discover and navigate. In the case of Seevetal Industrial Park, several generations of direct and indirect contamination had to be dealt with,beginning all the way back in the war period. As required by German law, mid-century aerial photographs were first evaluated, then explosives experts were commissioned for a close inspection to search for unexploded bombs. Following this, we’re happy to announce that Seevetal Industrial Park has been removed from the register of contaminated sites and declared free from explosive ordnance — and safe to operate so close to the industrial epicentre of Hamburg.

Then came the post-war years of rapid progress and endless possibilities; another generation of Seevetal’s history that brought its own challenges to the table. As new highways, buildings and construction sites sprung up all over Western Germany, Seevetal became home to a sand mine in the 1970s that was later filled with construction and organic waste. Over the course of decades, this kind of waste breaks down and produces gases that must be handled carefully on a case-by-case basis. In the case of Seevetal Industrial Park, hundreds of thousands of cubic yards of soil and construction debris were removed, screened, replaced and compacted,before drainage systems were installed to allow the gas to be safely released moving forward.

Building towards a low-carbon future

Now that the site’s diverse history has been properly managed, the building construction has been able to commence. Once completed, Seevetal Industrial Park will provide employment within a world-class manufacturing sector just a stone’s throw from Germany’s “Gateway to the World.” As Europe’s third-busiest light industrial port, and an important hub for the processing and refining of imported raw materials, the Port of Hamburg is a crucial node in the continent’s network of construction and development.

By outfitting the site with the future-proof sustainability features of GreenSpace+ — from solar-PV panels and e-charging stations for bikes and vehicles, to biodiversity-enhancing landscaping and smart-meters controlling energy consumption — we’re proud to do our part to help transform Europe’s continued progress for the greener.