In spite of heavy stormwaters, TenCate Geosynthetics’ solution reliably keeps Schiphol airport’s airfield free of excess rainwater. 

The effects of climate change are noticeable at global level. More extreme weather conditions require adaptations that issue a special challenge to high-risk constructions and critical infrastructure components. 

The global player, TenCate Geosynthetics, joined forces with the Hydraulic Engineering Company, Syntraal and other local companies to develop and provide sophisticated climate-adaptive stormwater management solutions, called “Aquabase”. In the framework of a pilot project for Amsterdam Schiphol airport, the partners installed this solution which has successfully proven its reliability and durability. 

Comprehensive requirements

Heavy stormwaters involve large amounts of rain within a short period of time. The high rain volume makes it difficult for water to infiltrate into the subsoil. Especially on hardened areas, such as airfields, the excess sewage water needs to be reliably transported away from the critical construction. 

Due to the increasing intensity of stormwaters, Amsterdam Schiphol airport required a comprehensive stormwater solution to manage water in the airfield’s taxi and roadside areas. As the airfield was built on clay, it was not possible for water to infiltrate the soil. Therefore, the airfield’s foundation had to be changed from a dense and hardened layer to a permeable but stable basis with open spaces to store and remove water.  

Work in progress at Amsterdam Schiphol airport

Challenging project, joint forces

To meet the comprehensive requirements of Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, TenCate Geosynthetics implemented a total stormwater management solution in cooperation with established partners. 

Based on TenCate Accorder®, a sophisticated solution for road stabilization, the project team installed a total Aquabase-system, ensuring the successful interplay of various products and components. 

As the soil properties did not allow for water to infiltrate the subsoil, the contractor installed water collectors in the taxi areas’ foundation and a liner construction built with TenCate Nicolon® leading to a separate sewage system. To continuously measure and track the system’s efficiency, the team placed numerous sensors in, above and below.  

We are problem solvers. We provide total systems and solutions, not just single products. This is how we think at TenCate Geosynthetics.

Marco Hazenkamp, Engineering Business Manager North Europe, TenCate Geosynthetics 

Open spaces carrying airplanes

In addition to dealing with a critical high-risk construction, this project presented the team with another special challenge: Constructing a stabilized and reinforced foundation that combines space for water storage with the capacity to carry the heavy load of airplanes. 

The project team mastered the task and turned more than 35% of the airfield foundation into open spaces for water collection while ensuring the construction is all set for long-term heavy duty operations. 

Intracompany cooperation

In a great team effort, TenCate Geosynthetics successfully met the high standards and requirements of Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport. However, the companies did not only cooperate with local suppliers but also collaborated closely with sister companies within the TenCate group. By combining various TenCate products, vast experience and broad know-how, the TenCate group provided a total tailor-made solution to their customer. 

After more than one and half years in operation, the installed total stormwater management system still reliably keeps the airport’s taxi and roadside areas free from excess water.  

A successful interplay of various products and components

Curious to find out more about TenCate Geosynthetics’ climate-adaptive solutions?

Watch out for our next blog posts. 

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Marco Hazenkamp, Engineering Business Manager North Europe, TenCate Geosynthetics