Waterschapsbedrijf Limburg

One of the server-rooms at the Waterschapsbedrijf Limburg had to increase its amount of computational capacity. The existing concrete structure was not designed to carry the additional hardware. The proposed solution was to apply additional carbon-fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) laminates. Summum Engineering’s Diederik Veenendaal, while working at Witteveen+Bos, assessed the existing structure and calculated the additional amount of CFRP laminates to achieve a higher load capacity.

The Waterschapsbedrijf Limburg is a government body tasked with managing waterways, water levels, water quality and so on for the Dutch province of Limburg. This management requires a substantial amount of computing power. In 2011, the computational capacity at one of the main office buildings in Roermond needed to be increased  on the fourth floor server-room. The existing floors were not designed to carry the additional servers. The solution was to apply strips of CFRP laminates, glued to the soffit of these beams. The composite action of the concrete, its rebar and the additional CFRP laminates then allows for higher loads. Initially, the server-room was to be relocated entirely to a basement level, but upon learning of CFRP laminates, the Waterschapsbedrijf Limburg opted to reinforce the existing floor. This reduced the cost of renovation, and allowed the current servers to continue operation without interruption.

The original structure was calculated based on older code. The first step was to evaluate its capacity based on current code and modern finite element modelling. This revealed that even without CFRP laminates, the structure would still meet serviceability limits. However, additional strengthening was still required to achieve sufficient load capacity in the ultimate limit state. Structural calculations were carried out on the basis of CUR Aanbeveling 91, which required testing to verify the strength of the glued connection in order to achieve sufficient composite action.


X-ICT | Supplier servers
Balm | Contractor CFRP laminates
Diederik Veenendaal, Jaap Niemantsverdriet | Witteveen+Bos | Structural engineer

Location: Roermond, Netherlands
Time: 2011

Services: Structural engineering

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