In the second week of the new year, IABR teamed up with the Jeux des Joules design teams of studio Chris Kabel, OFFICE Kersten Geers David Van Severen for an inspiring field trip to Amsterdam and Rotterdam, accompanied by both municipalities. This included an exploration of the city and a unique insight into different types of transformer stations. A particular highlight was the tour of Alliander in Westpoort, the open-air training ground for electricians in training.
During this exploration of energy infrastructure, the crucial goal of the grid operators became clear: to provide energy at the lowest price. Due to the increasing need for energy and power, there is a necessity to expand the power grid, involving the construction of additional transformer boxes and heat transfer stations.
The visit to Batenburg's assembly hall, guided by Stedin and Batenburg, offered thorough insights into the safety regulations and design characteristics of both accessible and compact substations. The conversation about accessible substations underscored the importance of designated safety zones and the difficulty of constructing compact stations without compromising safety.
The excursion concluded by offering insights into upcoming challenges in the energy sector, such as the increase in our energy consumption, its impact on the job market, and the need for intelligent energy systems. Balancing efficiency, safety, cost, speed, and spatial quality is a complex task. The valuable insights acquired during this field trip will form the basis for the design teams collaborating on the Jeux des Joules transition-atelier in the months to come.