Do you remember the Biobased Bridge? In 2017, it was constructed as a result of an ambitious grant project and installed at the Eindhoven University of Technology. Now, 6 years later, the bridge has returned to Avans Den Bosch. Jasper Sluis, involved in the project, shares the journey of this sustainable bridge, which is not only a technical marvel but also continues to play a role in education and research.
Let’s refresh your memory… the Biobased Building research group of MNEXT collaborated with more than 10 (mkb-)companies and 3 knowledge institutions in the development of the biobased bicycle-pedestrian bridge made of biobased composite. The bridge served as a prototype, built in just six weeks, with the involvement of numerous vocational and higher education students.
A Testing Period
Jasper Sluis: “What makes the biobased bridge unique is the use of biocomposites and sensor technology. Fiber optic cables with sensors were integrated to measure vibrations and deflections, enabling researchers to evaluate the behavior of the bridge in various conditions.” After construction, the bridge was placed on the Eindhoven University grounds, serving as a public experiment. This period provided researchers with insights into how the bridge behaved under diverse weather conditions and loads.
The Future of the Biobased Bridge
Now, after six years, the bridge has returned as an educational tool. Students will use the sensors in the bridge for measurements and research, making the bridge an integral part of civil engineering education.
According to Jasper, the story of the biobased bridge doesn’t end here. “Plans are in progress to deploy the bridge concept for a new project. The goal is to completely disassemble the bridge and return the materials to their original raw materials, closing the circle of sustainability.”
The biobased bridge is not just an architectural masterpiece but also a living laboratory serving as a continuous source of research and education. According to Jasper, the bridge is an absolute success story. “Its success not only highlights the possibilities of sustainable construction but also how a project can evolve and continue to contribute to education, even after completion!”