An Interview with Jesse Poppema.
Green initiatives are becoming increasingly important. We spoke with Jesse Poppema, a passionate advocate of green practices who has been involved with Flight Forum as the Program Manager for Green Transition since 2017. He shared his vision for the green transition at Flight Forum, plans for the new plaza, and future developments.
Jesse works daily to create a more attractive living and working environment at Flight Forum that aligns with the needs of businesses and contributes to a pleasant workspace for employees. “Greening is now an absolute necessity. A working and living environment consisting solely of asphalt and concrete is outdated and does not contribute to an appealing living environment. By implementing green projects year after year, we make room for trees, grass, and herbs. This way, Flight Forum evolves into a pleasant, climate-resilient, and healthy place for all users,” said Jesse Poppema.
One of the ongoing projects Jesse is working on is the redesign of the central plaza. The construction work on the new plaza will begin after summer. The plaza will become the vibrant heart of Flight Forum, featuring abundant greenery, trees, and cozy seating areas. It will also accommodate events and temporary food and beverage facilities, such as food trucks. “In this design, our aim was to replace as much pavement as possible with greenery and trees. The trees provide a sense of security and their shade creates cool areas and evaporation. They also break the strong winds that often blow here. It was quite a challenge since the plaza is being built on a parking deck with limited load-bearing capacity. Additionally, it is a relatively dry location. We had to select plants that can withstand dry conditions and complement the landscape of the region. Our goal was to find a mix of as many native trees and plants as possible that are functional and aesthetically appealing. In collaboration with Studio Redd, we succeeded in developing a clever planting plan with various species that thrive in this location, remain attractive throughout the year, and attract insects and birds,” Jesse explained.
In addition to green initiatives, Flight Forum also places great importance on sustainability. Jesse explains, “Where possible, we have opted for sustainable materials. For example, the steps of the staircase surrounding the plaza are made of bio-bound, a bio-based concrete consisting of elephant grass and recycled concrete aggregate. The elephant grass grows in the vicinity of Schiphol and has a high CO2 absorption capacity. The plant converts this CO2 into fibers, which are then used as a filler in the concrete. Moreover, bio-bound concrete is about 50% lighter than regular concrete, which is crucial due to the limited load-bearing capacity of the parking deck.”
When asked about future plans, Jesse responds enthusiastically: “At the top of my list is the rainwater separation system, which will allow us to reuse water for irrigation. We also want to be prepared for heavy rainfall resulting from climate change. The current drainage and rain gutters are not equipped to handle extreme downpours. We are currently assessing how to deal with an extreme rainstorm of 80 millimeters in 1 hour to prevent future waterlogging. Additionally, we have many green initiatives in store. Over the past years, a significant amount of asphalt has already been replaced with greenery at Flight Forum. With the arrival of the new plaza this fall, we will add another approximately 1000 square meters. And we are not done yet! There are also plans to redesign the central park area and greenify the parking ring, so this number will significantly increase.”
Below a selection of projects:
Below some impressions of the central square: