An expansive rooflight refurbishment with big green goals
In the Netherlands, Almere Centrum Railway Station has undergone a roof refurbishment. Today this concourse renovation covers communal spaces in daylight.
Securing the project and going green to provide sustainability
Following a call for tenders by client ProRail, contractor Straal-en schildersbedrijf West secured the project. West specialize in maintenance and chose VELUX Commercial as a partner to replace all polycarbonate and glass rooflights. The structural glazing replacement also had to withstand high wind pressure caused by building developments surrounding Almere Centrum.
ProRail chose clear glass and polycarbonate dome rooflights to create an aesthetic of transparency. A goal was to make Almere Centrum the greenest railway station in the Netherlands. On project completion, 1,238 roof solar panels will help realize an ambitious green goal. These installations include integrated solar cells in sloping glass panel façades. Solar panels and integrated cells (BIPV Built in Photo Voltaic Cells) span the entirety of the roof. Approximately 387 kWh of energy will be generated in total.
VELUX Commercial’s Operations Manager, Luke Wijnands, has overseen this large refurbishment project, which also includes replacing 126 existing dome rooflights. A total of six roof sections equate to 126 dome rooflights.
The new glass system had to meet strict regulatory and performance requirements. Improvements now include robust 4mm glass which can absorb high wind forces. ProRail wind requirements mean clamping and fixing upgrades are also complete.
Accommodating public interest
It was important construction caused minimal disruption to public services. Local authorities were reluctant to close transport accessibility, but with communication, compromises were made, and obstacles overcome.
“You find solutions by talking and working with local authorities to find a compromise,” Luke said.
Several train free periods (TFPs) created small windows to install access equipment such as scaffolding and hydraulic lifts. A safety scaffold platform was created for out of service hours to enable rooflights to be replaced and installed by staff. 2,500 square metres of platform was erected above the train tracks for staff to work on. This task was achieved with only 52 hours of TFP time available, and complete within nine months.
Why choose VELUX Commercial?
“VELUX Commercial deliver on their promise and have company engineers who are certified and possess a Digital Safety Passport. This is a requirement to work on any ProRail site. Once one rooflight was installed, and then a second, things ran like a well-oiled machine.”
West Contractor and Project Manager Rook Treffers considers VELUX Commercial to have been part of West’s thought process as lead contractor. If the client asked for something new, team West took input from their daylighting partners.
“Buildings adjacent to the station had two additional storeys added,” Rook said, “this meant that the solar panels on the south side of Almere Centrum’s roof would produce 18 percent less energy, due to shadowing. As our rooflight partners, VELUX Commercial worked with us and were on hand to find a solution.”