Buildings & Infrastructures: Enabling sustainable construction with a future

Homes, offices, hospitals, bridges, motorways: everything needs to become more sustainable. Helping to build that sustainable world is Peter Paul van ’t Veen’s priority: ‘We want to see the entire construction sector building sustainably in future, with guaranteed quality. And the user has to come first. Because people need to be able to live in a healthy, clean environment that they feel comfortable in.’

Our focus with regard to construction and infrastructure is on:

  • more efficient maintenance, making infrastructure and buildings more durable,
  • reducing energy use and closing material cycles.

Smart bridge

Accessibility is an aspect of comfort. Take the 250,000 vehicles crossing the Van Brienenoord Bridge in Rotterdam every day, making it one of the busiest bridges in the Netherlands. How long will the structure last? What type of maintenance does it require and when is this needed? To find out, TNO and the Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management (Rijkswaterstaat) have equipped the bridge with sensors and monitoring equipment. This allows us to see when and where hairline cracks appear in the steel structure. Rijkswaterstaat can use this knowledge to plan maintenance accordingly. This leads to cost reduction and less traffic disruption due to bridge maintenance.

Low-temperature brick-firing

One of our projects for reducing energy use is a new firing method for bricks. Until now an extreme amount of heat was needed to fire clay bricks. However, innovative material development allows bricks to be fired at 20-50° Celsius, instead of the usual 1200°C. This could lead to massive energy savings in the future for brick manufacturers, and to substantially reduced CO2 emissions.

Peter Paul van ’t Veen, director of Buildings & Infrastructures, is working with his team on innovative solutions to make the construction and infrastructure sector more sustainable and future-ready. ‘Innovation is needed to renew the construction and infrastructure sector and meet the ambitious sustainability goals, as well as to be able to guarantee the quality of buildings and infrastructure.’

If you would like to know more about what we do, continue reading or get in touch with us.


Future proof infrastructure by knowledge exchange

01 June 2015
International knowledge exchange on infrastructure: challenges and new approaches. Leading experts from Australia, United States, Germany, and The Netherlands exchanged May 21st views on how the challenge... Read more


Drs. Peter Paul van 't Veen

  • building
  • construction
  • infrastructure

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