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BAM builds a unique noise barrier with integrated solar cells

Along the N470 road in the Dutch town of Pijnacker-Nootdorp (between Rotterdam and The Hague), BAM Infra is preparing to build a noise barrier with integrated solar cells that will generate 30 megawatt hours of electricity a year. The barrier, designed and built by BAM Infra, is the first to be built.

After the summer, Pijnacker-Nootdorp will see the completion of final houses in the newly developed Keijzershof area, adjacent to the N470 road. In order to create the best possible living conditions for the area's residents, the municipality has ordered a 480-metre-long and 2.5-metre-high noise barrier. spliterIn a public tender on the basis of Best Value Procurement, Pijnacker-Nootdorp has challenged the market to present an innovative and sustainable solution that would not only reduce traffic noise, but also offer a smart method of generating power.

Win-win
'With this combination of noise barrier and solar cells we are making very efficient use of scarce space', says Jaap van Staalduine, Alderman of Spatial Planning. 'This is a win-win situation. Pijnacker-Nootdorp aims to be climate neutral and wants to safeguard future availability and affordability of energy. This ambition fits seamlessly into that of the province of South Holland, which is fully engaged in organising the energy transition through initiatives such as jointly owned heat installations and the switch to biogas.'

Unique construction
BAM Infra was awarded the design-and-construct contract on the basis of solidly substantiated energy performance and optimal risk mitigation. Tender Manager Richard Veenstra says the barrier is unique in the market. 'Noise barriers have been fitted with solar panels before, but we will integrate the solar cells into the glass. This is a technology that we're seeing applied in roofs and façades in building construction. In noise barriers, this is a first in the Netherlands.'

Durable and attractive
The noise barrier is easy to maintain, weather proof and fully vandalism resistant. To protect the solar cells from the impact of loose road chippings, BAM Infra's design places the cells between two extra thick layers of glass (8 millimetres each). The visual quality of the barrier was assured in consultation with the municipality and an urban planning specialist of the South Holland province. While the solar cells are not transparent, BAM Infra has still been able to come up with a solution that allows a view through the barrier to the surrounding landscape. Electrical wiring, inverters and other components are elegantly integrated into the barrier.

Sustainable energy
After completion of the noise barrier, BAM Infra will have the responsibility to generate an average of 30 megawatt hours a year – enough to power ten households – for a period of ten years. Grid operator will channel the generated energy into the public grid. Completion has been scheduled for mid-November 2017.



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