Bio-based Railway Canopy

Application of bio-based building materials in canopies of railway stations

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Background Consumption of materials is an always ongoing process. In the linear economy, or a ‘take-make-dispose’ consumption pattern there is no attention for the rest value of products. The circular economy and bio-based economy introduce that loop-back for materials at the end of their lifetime. This research is about the application of bio-based building materials in railway canopies. Problem definition Bio-based building materials are competing with the fossil- and mineral-based building materials. With the growing consumption of materials and the fact of limited availability of some materials the demand for bio-based materials is growing. But which materials (bio-based materials domain) are available and how do regulations allow the use of this materials (design domain)? Research In this research is investigated what bio-based materials are and how they could be applicated in the railway sector. In the case study is focused is on the design of a railway canopy for railway station Ede-Wageningen. The three main steps taken in the process are: (1) In the literature study the boundary conditions of the bio-based materials, bio-based economy and design rules of ProRail (Dutch railinfrastructure management organisation) are taken to define the domains. A material selection strategy is described to use these boundary condition in material selection. (2) The case is analysed and three railway canopy concepts are designed. One concept is worked out in a parametric model to make also the material selection a parameter in the design. (3) Materials are selected with the material selection strategy and the design is optimized. The consequences of the chosen materials for this design are worked out and a compared with other structural materials. Conclusions (1) Bio-based are these materials that have a renewable origin, that are not faster consumed then produced and that are taken from properly managed agriculture or forests. (2) Design rules of ProRail are currently limiting the use of bio-based materials in railway canopies. (3) The application of bio-based materials in railway canopies is possible. (4) Timber is the only bio-based materials that can be applied without strange safety factors. (5) Conservation of almost all bio-based materials is necessary but depends on climate conditions. (6) To achieve a life time of more than 20 years thorough life prolonging maintenance can be necessary. (7) Because of the CO2 consumption of crops and wood, the relative CO2 consumption of a building can be reduced by using bio-based materials. Recommendations (1) Research materials and develop design and calculation rules to make new bio-based materials competitive to other building materials. (2) Research the environmental effects of bio-based materials to make them comparable with other building materials.