written by
Lore De Jonge

Rail Baltica Central Station Project: design passed tests with flying colours

Global 2 min read

Complex design of the future railway station in Riga (Latvia) passed wind tunnel and wind comfort tests.

It is the largest infrastructure project in the Baltic region for 100 years. And when it comes to the design of the future Riga railway station, our engineers of the BERERIX joint venture definitely know which way the wind blows at the Rail Baltica Central Station project in Latvia.

During the summer of 2020, the design has passed the wind tunnel and wind comfort tests. The main purpose of the tests was to assess both the resistance of the structures and the comfort of the commuters waiting on the train platforms. All weather conditions typical of the Latvian capital were simulated on the highly-complex structure.

Wind tunnel tests are generally applied to large, complex or multi-storey buildings, where wind pressure is an important part of the project in structural load planning and selection of suitable building materials. To test the resistance of the main building and canopies along the platforms, the engineers created a model of a station equipped with sensors that measured the effects of wind.

Wind comfort tests were equally executed. Through them, the team investigated how comfortable people would feel on a railway platform in windy weather, in order to design comfy and safe outdoor spaces. Due to the specific shape of the future station building, i.e. large arches located in its bottom part, natural wind can flow at the platform level, hence the importance to add comfort tests to the list!

During the tests, 24 wind directions and at least 100 places on the platform were simulated to test all possible weather conditions and to obtain a sufficient amount of wind flow data.

The results will help the BERERIX teams to determine the suitability of different areas for sitting, standing and walking. Uncomfortable or unsafe places for people will also be identified in time to improve them during project planning.

Watch here how the tests were performed:

“After the master design of the Riga railway station was approved, we’re very pleased with more good news about this project. The findings of the tests are very promising and we look forward to incorporating them into the design so future users can comfortably enjoy these state-of-the-art railway building and outdoor spaces,” says Xavier Debruche, Project Manager at the Rail Baltica Central Station project.

Apart from the railway station building, the Rail Baltica Central station project includes the major railway bridge on the Daugava river and the railway embankments and track works. BESIX is tackling this major infrastructure project together with RIZZANI DE ECCHER and SIA RERE BŪVE through a design-and-build contract.

Read more on the project here.

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