+Circular Design Tool used during replacement and renovation of the Cruquius Bridge

Province of North Holland

Many bridges in the Netherlands are due for replacement soon. Most of them were built in the first half of last century, meaning that many are at the end of their lifespan, in part due to increased traffic intensity. The Cruquius Bridge in Heemstede consists of two parts. The oldest part, built in 1932, will soon be replaced. The Province of North Holland is collaborating with Witteveen+Bos’s specialists to do this.

Client enquiry/problem

In connection with climate objectives, the Province of North Holland wants to take the lead in circular building. Lofty ambitions were attached to the replacement of the Cruquius Bridge. The new bridge needed to be energy-neutral, circular and low-maintenance. It is the first bridge in the Netherlands to be replaced with these preconditions.

These ambitions were set down together with the project partners: the Municipalities of Heemstede and Haarlemmermeer, Vervoersregio Amsterdam, and the Rijnland Water Authority. During the tendering process, the question of what ambitions could be achieved was considered. Applicants were challenged to offer more in these areas than is usually the case. Witteveen+Bos’s +Circular Design Tool was used to formulate an ambition and investigate the possibilities.

Client solution

For the Cruquius Bridge, the Province of North Holland has opted for the modular construction principle (IFD: Industrial, Flexible and Demountable). This involves industrial production using elements with standard dimensions. The standardisation of building components’ joints reduces replacement costs and increases possibilities for reuse.

By using a materials passport and use the +Circular Design Tool, insight is gained at every stage of the project into the level of circularity. This makes it easier to make choices – for example, regarding whether to reuse parts or materials from the old bridge in the new construction or to reuse them in another project.   

Photo of the Cruquiusbridge


The materials passport and the +Circular Design Tool were used for the initial design of (the new part of) the Cruquius Bridge to determine whether the province’s ambitions could be translated into a call for tenders. Throughout the project, the tool will be used often to check whether new opportunities for reuse have arisen. Both the client and Witteveen+Bos view this as a growth project – a circularly driven design process.

Value for the province

The experience gained from the Cruquius Bridge project will be utilised for the new Stolperbascule Bridge in Schagen. The province, together with Witteveen+Bos, is developing a new design for the Schagen bridge in accordance with the same principles used for the Cruquius Bridge. Doing so means the requirements set down by the province will be met:

  • fewer CO2 emissions;
  • less use of primary raw materials.

Background information

Due to the replacement challenge facing the whole of the Netherlands, focus is currently on bridges. However, the +Circular Design Tool can be used for other structures, too. The Province of North Holland wants to introduce a circular method of working both for itself and other provinces.

+Circular Design Tool

The +Circular Design Tool assesses the design of a construction or installation in terms of sustainability and circularity.
A photo of a round building.

More information?

Rob provides insight into the environmental impact of designs. Together with the client, he looks for strategies and solutions to design in a socially responsible, forward-thinking, and more sustainable way. 

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Rob Dijcker Consultant & Team lead Circular Solutions