How do you build a circular bridge?
A bridge that has been designed from the beginning to be reused later or that consists of bio-based material
The circular economy is a growing trend, but a catalysator is required to accelerate the development. With the “circular bridges” project at Bridge campus Flevoland-Floriade, we are exploring the possibilities to design and build bridges in a circular fashion.
Rondje Weerwater is a bicycle-footbridge. The bridge is constructed of cement-free concrete (also called geopolymer concrete), in which urban waste flows originating from the recycle platforms, city cleaning and the public area of Almere are processed. For this reason, the bridge was given the appropriate nickname ‘Puin’ [rubble]. By using this concrete instead of normal concrete, the CO2 emissions were reduced by 65%. The cement-free concrete was made by the Theo Pouw group in collaboration with the recycling company Cirwinn in Almere. This means that the bridge is created from Almere rubble by an Almere contractor and an Almere architect on Almere land.
Beverbrug is a road bridge for the heaviest vehicles, with a curve built in because of the beaver in its beaver’s lodge in the water of the Floriade terrain. The bridge is fully reusable and made from maintenance-free and cement-free concrete. It is also called the ‘Sponge’ because it absorbs water, CO2 and particulate matter. This is accomplished by placing a large plant-filled strip around it. The plant containers absorb CO2 and particulate matter, and the water is collected.
Almere waste flows
Both bridges were designed by René van Zuuk architecten and constructed by Reimert Bouw en Infrastructuur. Material derived from raw materials produced from Almere waste flows was used for their construction. The waste flows are given a second life, thus contributing to CO2 reduction and the circular economy. An additional benefit of using “own” materials and raw materials in this age is that we are not hampered by any delay in the import of raw materials and other materials.
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