Energy-generating bus station opens in Tilburg
Cepezed create sustainable transport hub
A bus station that generates its own energy has opened in Tilburg, Netherlands. Designed by Cepezed, the station is part of the larger scale revitalization of the city’s transport hub. Cepezed were also responsible for the renovation of the nearby train station and bicycle parking zone, providing an integrated experience for travellers. As well as sustainability, the idea of traveller comfort, safety and security are central to the design.
An awning which covers the platforms and parts of the buses ensures that passengers are always sheltered from the weather. The structure consists of a steel framework covered by ETFE-foil, with lighting fitted above. During the day, the awning filters sunlight, while at night it becomes a spacious lighting element. Solar panels on top of the awning supply sufficient energy for the lighting, digital information signs, staff canteen and public transport service point. The commercial space has its own energy circuit and energy meter.
The designers aimed to conceal and combine functional elements of the design in order to create a simple, visually pleasing structure. Drainage holes in the load-bearing gutter are also used for fixation of the stretched ETFE-foil, while the digital information displays are invisibly fastened. Thin columns composed of steel plates and strips also contain water drainage and electric cabling, together with the S.O.S.-button and intercom. The folded sheet steel that acts as the central load-bearing stability beam also functions as a gutter. Movement sensors within the steel edge of the awning respond to the presence of buses and people so that the lighting is sufficient and energy use kept to a minimum.
Another key factor was inclusiveness, with the elevated terrace made accessible for wheelchair users via a ramp, while the hand rails between the terrace and the platforms contain braille signage. In preparation for future developments, the bus station is ready for the placement of extra electrical equipment for swift charging of electrical vehicles.
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