The Foundation of an All Glass Arch Bridge for the Green Village on the Delft University Campus

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The construction has started of an entrance bridge, spanning 14 m, to the Green Village; a sustainable development for the Delft University of Technology (DUT). This bridge will be constructed with massive glass blocks, in a shallow arch, with no adhesives: just interlocking blocks under pressure. The massive glass blocks method of building was already tested in a shop for Chanel in Amsterdam.

The glass arch gives considerable horizontal forces on the foundations. Taking just the characteristic dead load of 300 kN of glass blocks leads to a horizontal force of 480 kN on the abutments of this bridge. If we add to this the loads resulting from live load; a maximum vertical load of 443 kN and a maximum horizontal load of 718 kN results.

The glass arch bridge is designed and engineered by the DUT: the two abutments by the engineering firm RHDHV. The DUT was also involved in the execution of the abutments. The following structure was worked out for each abutment: two vertical concrete piles at the support side and behind it six inclined concrete piles, inclination 1:5. All concrete piles; 400 × 400 mm, length 24 m, were driven into the ground. On top of all piles a reinforced concrete plate was cast of 5650 × 3300 × 800 mm.

During execution all dimensions were monitored and measured: loading tests will be executed on the completed bridge and control of deformation: also in the long run, will take place. It is important to know the state of deformation of this highly experimental bridge to assure its safety, or to be able to take preventive measures when deformations become too large.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHigh Tech Concrete: Where Technology and Engineering Meet
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 2017 fib Symposium, held in Maastricht, The Netherlands, June 12–14, 2017
EditorsD. Hordijk, M. Lukovic
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-59471-2
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-59470-5
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Eventfib Symposium 2017: High tech concrete: Where technology and engineering meet! - Maastricht, Netherlands
Duration: 12 Jun 201714 Jun 2017


Conferencefib Symposium 2017
Internet address


  • Foundations
  • Lateral thrust
  • Arch
  • Piles
  • Glass


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