The renewal of Breda station in the Netherlands incorporates a vision to create a public transport terminal with space for buses, bicycles and cars, as well as homes, offices and retail facilities. Smart integrated design and carefully-planned implementation has delivered a hub with daily capacity for 57,000 train passengers and 38,000 bus passengers and includes storage for 4,200 bicycles.

Royal HaskoningDHV was responsible for integrated project management and engineering services for a third platform, passenger tunnel and the public transport complex. We also advised on areas including construction, fire safety engineering and pedestrian flows.

Clearly-defined responsibilities assist implementation

Breda is a busy station, situated on the high-speed intercity route into Amsterdam. Only limited disruption to the timetable was permitted during the work, creating an additional challenge for planning and implementation. The design plans therefore included reference to how construction integrated with timetables, passenger safety, the use of cranes and more. To aid cooperation, particularly in the event of any changes, processes and responsibilities were clearly defined between client and contractors in the specification.

Interactive design room helps achieve consensus

One of the biggest challenges of this complex project was to translate the various wishes of all parties into an agreed design. To overcome this, the programmes of requirements were combined into a single integral design for the complex. Then stakeholders worked together to develop the design in an interactive design room (i-room) with a 3D virtual model. This highlighted to clients and designers the impact of changes, making it easier to reach consensus and compromise.

Tunnel designed for reduced maintenance costs and passenger comfort

The 36m-wide tunnel, which can accommodate more than 14,000 travellers daily, increases capacity and comfort for passengers. It was constructed next to the existing tunnel and bridge decks installed first so trains could travel over the top while walls and floors of the tunnel were added. Support columns of just 65cm diameter create a more open feel in the tunnel and enable a better flow of passengers, particularly at the entrance gates. The construction method, which avoided joint profiles and support blocks, results in lower on-going maintenance and therefore reduces operational costs.

Capital expenditure savings achieved through smart design

A canopy over the rail platforms doubles as a parking area for 720 vehicles. It is supported by steel trusses on prefabricated concrete columns. The steel truss is lighter than concrete girders and avoids the need for costly specialist cranes during installation. A natural fire concept avoided the need for fireproof covering in the parking deck, saving around €1 million in specialist coating. Other savings were achieved through smart techniques used in vibration damping for the apartments. These were fitted at foundation level, allowing the rest of the building to be constructed in the traditional way.

Flexibility of use built into the office construction

The office space above the bus station extends for 270m and includes light courts allowing natural light to flood not only into the offices but into the bus station as well. The building’s framework uses steel columns and beams to provide stability and avoids the need for internal stability walls. It therefore allows free arrangement of the internal space so the building can change function and layout as necessary.