Building, infrastructure and maritime

The construction, infrastructure, maritime and 'offshore' sectors are essential to the economy and quality of life of our country. For that reason, we continue to innovate. This is how we ensure quality of living, good accessibility and future-proof urban development. In the Netherlands, TNO plays a pioneering role in this.

Continuous innovation

Especially in recent decades, the importance of innovation has increased significantly in the construction, infrastructure and maritime sectors. The focus is on sustainable economic development of the North Sea, and the effective handling of fast-growing flows of goods. Our focal points are:

  • predictable reliability of existing and future construction
  • transition to an energy-neutral and circular economy

We all want the infrastructure and the environment in the Netherlands to be reliable, predictable and also sustainable. Both on land and offshore. This is where TNO can and wants to play a key role.

Predicting reliability of structures

We perform measurements and modelling to check the condition, vulnerability and residual lifespan of structures. Questions that we answer:

  • how long does the structure of a bridge remain reliable?
  • when is maintenance required, and what type of maintenance?
  • how do we limit damage to ships in the event of collisions?
  • how do we avoid unnecessary maintenance on offshore wind turbines?

‘Innovative measuring equipment and constructive and probabilistic knowledge systems help us to guarantee safety ,and to intervene when necessary. This allows us to ensure that maintenance is carried out neither too late, nor too soon.' - Machteld de Kroon, Managing Director of Buildings, Infrastructure & Maritime

Towards a sustainable and circular economy

When it comes to residential and commercial construction, we focus on energy-neutral or even energy-producing buildings. We do not want to compromise on aspects such as comfort, safety, quality and affordability, yet we wish to contribute to a sustainable economy by innovating in the field of circular building materials. Reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions is also crucial in shipping. How, for example, do you ensure a substantial reduction in emissions from inland and maritime shipping?

Predicting behaviour

We focus on buildings, infrastructure and maritime. Whether this is a platform at sea, a bridge, a lock, a windmill or an energy-neutral house. We predict the behaviour of systems in terms of construction, energy and materials consumption. And provide innovative solutions to increase availability, usability and sustainability.

‘Digital predictive twin’

We are working on the next step in the digitalisation of construction, namely the digital predictive twin. This is a digital replica of a physical structure, such as a bridge, that allows you to make predictions about its future behaviour. The digital twin provides timely insight into when it is time for maintenance, renovation or replacement of the physical twin. It can also simulate proposed changes to a building before these changes are actually made. In our digital twins, structural models, traffic models, sensor data and 'Artificial Intelligence' come together.

Digital twin of Van Brienenoord Bridge

We have developed a digital twin ('proof of principle') of a bridge deck of the Van Brienenoord Bridge. Eventually, we will link predictive twins so that we can perform analyses at network level, as a basis for predictive and proactive management and maintenance.