A new bus depot with capacity to charge around 150 electric buses supports Utrecht’s ambitions for zero emission public transport in the province by 2028 – two years ahead of the national target in the Netherlands. As well as providing parking and charging points, the depot includes facilities for cleaning, servicing and maintaining the buses. It has offices, food facilities and meeting spaces for bus operators and people working at the depot.
Sustainability runs through every aspect of the depot design and operation which is where Royal HaskoningDHV comes in. Coordinated by our Building Technology team, we were responsible for the architectural, structural and technical design of the building. In addition, we also took care of the infrastructure, permitting and ensuring the building meets the municipality’s broader ambitions on sustainability.
Energy-neutral, circular building aligns with government requirements
Circularity is a key ambition of the government. Through careful design and choice of materials, at least 80% of the building can be demounted and reused at the end of its lifespan. We also chose materials which minimised impact on people and the environment, including timber and recycled steel and concrete composites. Solar roof panels help to create an energy-neutral building in respect of building-related installations such as heating and lighting. There is no natural gas connection.
The comfort and safety of people using the depot were also important. Natural light is maximised in the buildings, and the site provides logical access routes for cars and buses to keep pedestrians safe. To encourage biodiversity and support people’s wellbeing, the building has a green roof and areas for plants and trees across the site. It features a bee hotel and elements to support the bat population.
First electric bus depot of this size in the Netherlands
This is the first major electric bus depot in the Netherlands. Inevitably therefore, requirements changed during the design as new information became available. For example, it became clear that increased fire safety requirements were necessary to safeguard against the specific hazards posed by batteries in electric vehicles.
With our in-house expertise in building physics, fire safety, sustainability and more, we can respond quickly to changing demands.
Jan van den Biggelaar
Senior Architectural Consultant at Royal HaskoningDHV
Jan continues: “When we were asked to include the new fire safety measures, our experts designed and specified the fire walls and we incorporated them into our parking area design.”
- ClientProvince Utrecht
- LocationUtrecht, the Netherlands
- Period2018 – 2021
- ChallengeDesigning a futureproof and sustainable bus depot that contributes to Utrecht’s sustainability ambitions
- SolutionA safe and sustainable bus depot that facilitates parking, cleaning and maintaining electrical buses.