We are closed from Monday 26 December 2022, we will be back in the office on Thursday 5 January 2023.
We wish everyone merry Christmas and a happy new year!
Wij zijn gesloten vanaf maandag 26 december 2022, donderdag 5 januari 2023 zijn wij weer aanwezig.
We wensen iedereen fijne feestdagen!
Wir sind ab Montag, dem 26. Dezember 2022, geschlossen und werden am Donnerstag, dem 5. Januar 2023, wieder geöffnet sein.
Wir wünschen allen frohe Festtage und ein guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr!
On May 24, 2022 the Elizabeth Line in London has been opened, at 06:30 BST , the first train left Abbey Wood, destined for Paddington. Stations were built new and other were refurbished.
Sorba has worked on several of them: Bond Street Station, Farringdon Station, Woolwich Station, Whitechapel. We are proud to have been a part of this historical project.
In the new edition of Premier Rail Construction News you find a feature on the Elizabeth Line and also the contribution of Sorba.
You can read the article of the opening Elizabeth Line London here: Premier Rail Construction news
More information of the several projects Sorba worked on you can find here:
Opening hours Easter
We wish everyone a happy and sunny Easter Weekend
|15-04-2022||Good Friday||Opened||8.00-16.30 uur|
We are pleased to announce that Sorba has achieved full CAS (Common Assessment Standard ) accreditation!
The common assessment scheme was completed and excepted through our CHAS affiliation a well-recognized SSIP within the construction sector.
Thames Tideway | London
Update Thames Tideway
The first column is in place!
As you can read here, this is part of the new sewer system in London.
And apart from its practical function as a ventilation shaft, it is also a work of art.
The use of bronze made it a special job for the engineers and Sorba to place this object.
The photos of the production and the placement show the path from design to final product.
On to the next column!
If you would like to read more about the Thames Tideway project now, you can do so here: www.tideway.london
Safety ladder certification
UPDATE SAFETY CULTURE LADDER
We are proud to announce that we have reached step 2 of the safety ladder!
As you can read below, from 1 January 2022 ViA (Safety in tenders) will be an obligation in the construction industry. We have chosen the Safety Culture Ladder tool to achieve this objective. The certification audit took place at the beginning of September. Various colleagues were asked to fill in a list of questions about safety, and the ISO/VCA/KAM committee showed what is already happening in the field of safety and safety awareness. All this together has led to our being awarded Step 2.
And we are happy with that!
What is the Safety Culture Ladder?
Safety and awareness remain a hot item in the construction industry in the Netherlands. In order to promote awareness and raise the safety culture to a higher level, joint agreements have been made within the construction industry, laid down in a Governance Code for Safety in Construction.
From 1 January 2022, contractors who have signed this GCVB will include safety awareness as an obligation in tenders and contracts, the so-called Safety in Tendering.
This awareness is expressed in the Safety Culture Ladder. This Safety Culture Ladder is a tool to measure safety awareness, attitude and behaviour in companies. The emphasis here is on the safety culture. It is intended to stimulate companies and their suppliers to consciously work safely.
To increase participation and awareness in companies, a certificate with accompanying audit for certification has been instituted. This certification will be compulsory for contractors and principals. The safety ladder works in steps; the higher the safety awareness in an organisation, the higher the awarded ladder step. The ladder can be used in all sectors without making a distinction between clients, contractors or suppliers.
The aim is to reduce the number of unsafe situations, and therefore fewer incidents resulting in absence and/or damage.
At Sorba, we are busy preparing for the certification audit to be carried out this autumn, with the aim of being certified by 1 January 2022.
Depot Boijmans van Beuningen winner of Glasaward 2021
On 16 September, the time had come to present the Glas Award 2021……
During an online live event, all nominees were extensively introduced.
After the presentation of the innovation award and the talent award, the announcement of the Glaw Award 2021 was finally made.
Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen has won!
For this Depot, Sorba performed the project management, engineering (technical facade development), assembly and installation of the complete mirror facade and unique “bus doors”.
You can read more about these developments in these articles:
In total there were 24 submissions in which glass played a central role : Submissions Glass Award
This project is one of the 5 nominees from which the Members of Bouwend Nederland Vakgroep Glas will choose a winner. Thursday, September 16, the winner will be announced and the award will be presented by Niels Schreuder, chairman of the Glass Department.
This is custom heading element
Sorba Projects has build a part of the new façade of Ahoy Rotterdam, the venue for the Eurovision Song Contest from 18 May onwards. Our expertise in the field of façade engineering made us the obvious party to carry out this project. By using 7-metre long black panels, the façade has become a striking appearance and it gets, we think, a well deserved “douze points!.
Jack of all trades
Ahoy Rotterdam is a well-known venue for concerts and other events. Since its construction in 1968, the complex has been regularly updated, renovated and expanded. It is now not only an events hall but also has an office complex, catering facilities and conference and meeting rooms.
When Duncan Laurence won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2019, the Netherlands was allowed to host one of the biggest events in the world. The question was where it would take place. In the end, Ahoy Rotterdam won the bid and the organisation of this massive event could begin.
Delayed, not cancelled
In the meantime, the renovation of the complex was already in full swing; the entire façade had been renewed and the necessary adjustments were made inside as well. Everything was ready in time for Eurovision.
And then there was Covid … Like many events and organisations, the Eurovision Song Contest was postponed. Ahoy Rotterdam was turned into an emergency hospital instead, a task it had never performed before. But in this case, the delay was not a cancellation….In 2021, the Song Contest will definitely take place.
Sorba loves a challenge
And that is why the façade Sorba produced for Ahoy is now in full view, enough reason to highlight this bespoke project!
The special feature of this project is the size of the panels: 7 metres long and over a metre high. Because of this exceptional size, there were only a limited number of parties who could carry out this project.
The project manager : “These are enormous panels that are difficult to handle. This made assembly a challenge, and we ultimately carried it out using a small crane.”
Striking façade in black
The chosen colour black is known to be difficult to use, as black panels can expand, deform or fade. By using Alpolic, a UV-resistant, aluminium composite, these problems are avoided. Sorba is the exclusive dealer of this product.
A remarkable part of the façade are the white strips. They seem to be part of the panels, but as soon as it gets dark, you see that they are actually light bars, which give the façade also at night a contemporary look.
A performance worthy of the Grand final
With the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 in sight, it was important that the project would not be delayed. Thanks to the good cooperation of all parties, the deadline was met on time. Sorba is proud of the contribution it has been able to make to the international image of Ahoy, the Netherlands, and with it Sorba. In short, Ahoy’s new façade is a worthy finalist!
The Eurovision Song Contest 2021 will be held in Ahoy, Rotterdam from 18 May onwards. The Grand Final is on Saturday 22 May 2021.
Update refurbishment Luton
Following the fire in a residential tower block a few years ago, fire safety regulations in the UK have been significantly changed and tightened. As you will have read in the January 2021 newsletter, Sorba UK has been commissioned to renovate three towers on the University of Bedfordshire campus in Luton.
Extensive research was carried out into how to improve fire safety in these residential towers. In the end, it was necessary to completely remove the existing cladding because it did not meet the new requirements. For Sorba, this meant that an entirely new facade construction had to be made, from the inside to the outside. And, of course, entirely according to the new fire safety requirements.
In the past few months, a lot of hard work has gone into equipping all the towers with the new materials. Many square metres of new cladding on the inside, insulation and barriers and finally a finish with Rockwool’s non-combustible facade cladding. And now it’s almost time for delivery. All the experience and knowledge we have gained over the years in bringing this project to a successful conclusion gives us the confidence that we are ready for the next renovation projects.
Farringdon Station Redevelopment
This month Rail construction News has a nice feature on Farringdon Station, part of the Elizabeth Line . In the attached link below you will find a 4 page article on this project.
More information on the projects of the Elizabeth Line projects you can find here.
Interview with Architect Winy Maas about spherical mirror façade
In this interview Winy Maas, architect of the Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen, talks about his vision for the spherical mirror façade and the way Sorba has implemented his idea. Maas speaks about the cooperation between Sorba and MVRDV architects, which has resulted in the magnificent façade we see today.
A beautiful visual
“The depot will be in a park in the middle of the city. The question then is, how do you make a building that loves the park. You do that in a few ways; 1. you make a round building so that you have no corners. So that you always see people and you can easily get around them Secondly by making the smallest possible footprint and that means not making it too high, so that a roof can be made on which a forest can be planted. Then it is covered with a mirror, which actually makes nature visually larger and allows you to see around the corner. You get more air and you also get more contact with the community. I think that results in an enormous reconciliation with the environment. .
In the first instance the building was designed to make it in stainless steel, but that causes 2 problems, firstly it is very expensive and secondly you cannot make windows in it, no transparency. So then we came up with the request to make it out of large mirror plates. In collaboration with Sorba, this has led to a number of questions. What is the maximum size that we can make, how are we going to make that bend and how are we going to make that transition from transparent to reflective.
We then also did this together with the maker, the mirror bender, in China. And that was also beautiful to see. Sorba guided that, how can you also make that with a maker. Also because it is so innovative, you have to do this in dialogue with the makers. I really liked that in the process and it works as you can see now. “
“My dream has now become a reality and that is more than we could ever have imagined”
Want to see and read more about this project. Take a look at the project Depot Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen – Rotterdam in our portfolio.
Silver Opening Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen
The new icon of the Rotterdam skyline through its unique mirror façade engineered and executed by Sorba
The silver opening of Art Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen adds a new icon to the city of Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The unique design by architect Winy Maas, MVRDV, included the spherical mirror façade. A unique challenge and great addition to the portfolio of Sorba.
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s new art depot is unique in the world, because of its function but also in design. This is the first art depot that will be accessible to the public, but its design is also unique. The depot is built in the public Museumpark and therefore architect Winy Maas, MVRDV, wanted to compensate for the space the building would use. He has done this by making a spherical and reflective building, through which the park and the building can strengthen each other. Main contractor BAM asked Sorba for the development, production, and installation of the spherical mirror façade.
Engineering double curved mirror panels
The scheme for the mirror façade of the Depot was so innovative and challenging that only a few other companies dared to take on the project. “At Sorba we want these complicated projects to keep innovating.” tells Jan Maarten Lieverdink, Sorba Sales Manager in The Netherlands. “We showed this in complicated schemes like Public Transit Terminal Arnhem and London Crossrail Projects.” The biggest challenge for the project was the combination of a completely spherical façade and the use of glass for the mirror effect.
The spherical shape of the building made it hard to develop a 3D model, since you don’t have any reference points to work from. Hereafter the façade was divided in individual panels with the maximum size to minimize the effect of the junctures in the mirror. Eventually a division was made into 26 rows with 64 panels each. In total 1664 panels had to be produced, of which each of the 26 rows has a difference in curvature.
The production of the glass panels was a challenge, because the panels had to be curved horizontally as well as vertically and the mirror coating had to be added. The requirements that Sorba had put on the production of these panels could only be met in China. “Our project manager has visited China regularly for quality checks and an onsite external quality officer was appointed. This way we made sure we could guarantee our quality standard.”
South of the Depot is a Medical Centre, therefore the southside of the façade is covered with a matte foil. This matte cloud is installed to prevent reflection and brightness towards the hospital.
Construction of the façade
Sorba started on the structural concrete base of the building. At first anchors were installed in the concrete, the measurements had to be based from the 3D model, because you cannot measure accurately on a spherical shape. After placing stainless steel consoles on the anchors, the façade was insulated. The lower sections had to be filled out with a mineral wool to be able to follow the round shape of the building. After the insulation, the hooks are installed on which the glass panels will be installed. These consist of a plate with 4 adjustable hooks, that can be adjusted horizontally and vertically to perfectly align all the panels and junctures.
On the back of the glass panels Sorba installed black aluminium frames. These frames are glued to the glass under specialized conditions. With this frame the glass mirror panels are installed to the façade. “Because the city of Rotterdam requires a safety measure for glued panels, little black hands are installed. These keep the panel in place in case the glue wouldn’t hold on the panels.
Insulated Glass and Doors
The windows and doors of the Depot are unique as well. These follow the same spherical shape as the rest of the façade. The windows are fitted with special 3D curved insulated glass panels. In total there are 186 of these insulated glass panels. On the lower levels the resistance of this glass is WK4, and on the higher levels we used WK3 glass. Part of these window panels are transparent instead of reflective. The transition between the reflective and transparent parts is made gradual.
In the façade there is a total of 8 doors: 3 double doors and 5 singular doors. These doors are made to disappear when closed. To make this possible the team developed, together with Walasco, special steel frames for these doors. The doors will be recessed into the façade when closed and open like bus doors, first outside and then to the sides. This way there are no visible hinges, so it seems like the façade is continuous.
Grand silver opening of Art Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen
The Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is ready for the silver opening, on the 25th of September 2020,. In the weekend following the opening the public can admire the empty depot inside and out. After this weekend, the Depot will close its doors for a year, before opening again in the Fall of 2021. Until then, we will have to make do with the mirror façade of this new icon.
The interview with architect Winy Maas about the development of the spherical mirror facade, you can find here
Measures Corona Virus
The coronavirus and the measures of the government to fight it, continue to have an impact on society. At Sorba we also put the necessary measurements in place and we want to keep our stakeholders informed about the potential consequences for our projects.
We keep a close look on the developments regarding the coronavirus and put the health and safety of our employees, clients, suppliers and partners first. Therefore, we follow the regulations of the governments and health organizations to limit the further spread of the coronavirus. At the same time, we want to keep the company and projects running as good as possible.
At Sorba we work together to keep our projects running as smooth as possible in these times. It is inevitable that the coronavirus affects Sorba and its activities, but the question remains how big the impact of the virus will be and how long this situation will last. The (future) regulations that are put in place by the government are leading in our measures. When our projects are affected either by planning or supply issues, our project managers will contact you as soon as possible. Through cooperation with you and our partners we will try to minimize the consequences.
We hope we informed you on our stance during these uncertain times. If you have any questions regarding your project please feel free to contact us at any time.
Unique doors for the spherical mirror façade
The façade of the Art Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen is almost finished. Most of the insulation glass for the windows has been installed and it is now time to install the doors. The doors are cladded with the same reflective glass panels and will disappear in the façade when closed. At Sorba we develop specialized doors to make this happen. The first door was placed on the 19th of march.
The doors that are specially developed by Sorba consist of big steel frames and the insulation glass panels. First the steel frames have been insulated and the necessary covers were installed. Subsequently the steel frames have been lifted on top of the glass panels and glued to each other. How the building is shaped makes it that the bottom panels have the biggest curvature. This gives the doors an unusual shape.
On site the doors are placed into place. This is challenging because of the unusual shape and size of the doors. The doors are approximately 4 metres high and 2,3 metres wide. They weigh about 1000 kg, which makes it even harder to find the right equipment. Aside from the size are these doors also very fragile, because of the glass panels. The first door is installed on March 19th and we are very pleased with the results. When closed, the door really disappears in the façade and make it look like the façade continuous uninterrupted.
The largest doors in the depot are from the truck lock on the north side of the building. This truck lock consists of two larger doors. These function just like bus doors. When opening they first slide to the front and subsequently to the side. Most doors consist of 2 glass panels, but the truck lock doors consist of 3 panels. This makes them 5,6 metres high and weigh over 1500 kg.
Spherical Mirror Façade in Rotterdam
The façade of the new Art Depot of museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam should blend in with its surroundings. That is the initial vision of architect Winy Maas of MVRDV. This spherical mirror façade will reflect the buildings surrounding the Art Depot. Sorba has the envelope package for the engineering, production and installation of this unique façade. The façade is almost finished and will be completed in 2020.
The design of MVRDV included the completely reflecting spherical façade. In this scheme Sorba develops the façade for main contractor BAM Grote Projecten. To build this façade Sorba uses double curved mirror glasspanels. Through the use of glass, the mirror effect will be crystal clear. The radius of the art depot differs on ground level and on the roof. At ground level the radius is only 40 metres, and on the roof this extends to 60 metres. The façade counts 26 rows of panels with 64 glass panels per row. This leads to a total of 1664 3D curved panels. The glass panels are produced in China and every row has a different curvature in the glass.
Curious as to how we give shape to the new spherical mirror façade of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam? From the structural drawings up until the installation in Rotterdam. Follow the assembly process of these unique panels in our new video! In this video we show you how we develop, assemble and install these panels!
Sorba UK Limited gains CHAS Health & Safety Standard
As of May 22nd, Sorba UK Limited is compliant with the Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme (CHAS). CHAS was created to ensure health and safety standards across the United Kingdom.
With the CHAS Certificate Sorba UK is now a SSIP registered (Safety Scheme in Procurement) company. The SSIP forum is committed to the reduction of assessment costs by making cross recognition between member schemes possible. With Sorba being SSIP registerd we can now work with less bureaucracy and therefore more cost effective.
Elizabeth line stations Central London
Sorba is in the final stage of completing many of the stations fit-out contracts awarded to them by the client “CRL” and its contractual partners. It has been a privilege to work on so many schemes at once and using many different types of bespoke materials, all designed and supplied by Sorba. In these projects our in-house design teams have faced many challenges, especially with the development of the innovations. Our engineers however have used their experience throughout the whole process with excellent results.
Sorba then engineered, tested, manufactured and finally installed various components on site. During this process Sorba’s different project teams were always thinking of new ways to help take these prestigious stations schemes through to reality.
We used a wide variety of cladding materials; Glass Fibre Reinforced Concrete (GFRC), Bronze, Brass, Copper, Glass, Aluminium and Steel.
We also developed several bespoke systems for the new stations; Glazing, Louvres, security doors and gates, specialist GFRC cladding, and sand cast bronze cladding
Want to see more of Sorba’s Elizabeth Line projects?
Sorba installs 800 extra solar panels on warehouse
Sustainability and renewable energy are a hot topic in the construction industry. Sorba is looking at new ways to make our projects more sustainable, but also looks at ways to decrease the environmental impact of our own office and production facility in Winterswijk. Last year we took a big step with solar panels on our new warehouse. This year we added more panels and now have a total of 1426 solar panels.
Many of the new projects we acquire at Sorba have strict requirements on sustainability, reusable materials and power preserving or even power generating solutions. In 2018 Sorba partnered with Studio Solarix for a Solar Design Façade project, in which we developed a power generating façade. Since our projects are getting more and more sustainable, we, as Sorba, also want to contribute to a more sustainable society. The big step we took last year was the installation of 626 solar panels on the roof of our new warehouse.
The results of this first installation were terrific and therefore we decided that we would look into the possibility of more solar panels on the roofs of our other buildings. The roof of our main production warehouse turned out to be suitable for 800 solar panels. With the new solar installation Sorba turns into one of the leaders in solar energy in the area. With a total of 1426 solar panels, we now estimated to have a total generating power of 350.000 KwH per year. In comparison, 70 households use this amount of power in a year and this is more than our own electricity consumption of 325.000 KwH per year. With the surplus in electricity we are looking at other chances to make Sorba even more sustainable. Soon the first electric cars will be leased and charging stations will be installed in our parking lots. This way Sorba wants to contribute to a more sustainable society.
Sorba has a new company video!
In the past few years Sorba has grown and worked on magnificent projects. Therefore we thought a new company video was well deserved!
With this video we want to give you a quick overview of what we do and how we do it. You also see the renowned Dutch projects Sorba has completed in recent years. For instance the film museum EYE in Amsterdam, the public transport terminal in Arnhem and the office towers Mahler and 400 Beethovenstraat at the financial mile in Amsterdam.
Of course we have numerous other beautiful projects. Take a look at our portfolio to see more of our work!
International open BIM Award 2018 for Pontsteiger Amsterdam
The Pontsteiger Project in Amsterdam has won the building Smart International Award in the category Construction. This award was given to the Pontsteiger project because all the partners involved have developed the building completely according to BIM-standards. Sorba has partaken in the Pontsteiger project with the development of the 70 metre high outdoor ceiling of this unique residential complex.
With BIM different co-operating parties can work together with 3D-models to align the different components. This way the different partners can take into account the work of others to prevent any problems and additional costs. The Pontsteiger project proves that working with the open BIM-standards works and pays off in the long term. That’s why the main contractors Dura Vermeer and De Nijs nominated the Pontsteiger project for the building Smart International Awards. For the 2018 awards 80 projects from all over the world were nominated. The Pontsteiger was awarded with the prize in the category Construction.
Take a look at our portfolio to see more of this unique new landmark in Amsterdam!
New Trade Fair Hall Messe Frankfurt
After two years of construction the new trade fair hall 12 of the Messe Frankfurt is completed. The new hall is 248 metres long, 118 metres wide and 30 metres high, which gives it a gigantic façade. The design from Kadawittfeldarchitektur asked for a complex diamond pattern. Sorba has found the solution for this because our engineers have the know how to develop special parts and techiniques. The solution; crossing special aluminium profiles to shape the diamond pattern.
A lot of drawing and calculations had to be done to get the façade ready. Due to crossing of the aluminium profiles a lot of forces are putting a strain on the construction. These forces were calculated according to 3D statics and according to the FEA model. To make sure the structure can withstand the forces on the material. The façade had to be put up a mere skeleton of concrete and steel, therefore we used heavy stainless steel consoles to hold the weight of the façade. Thereafter trapezoidal sheeting was used as a background for the blank anodized aluminium profiles. The aluminium profiles had to be specially developed and made for this project because of the integrated slide nut system to be able to install the profiles with absolute precision. In this façade over 50 kilometres of aluminium profiles were used. One third of these profiles was unique and had to be produced piece by piece. The façade was finished with black cassette sheeting with integrated grills at ground level.
Aside this extensive façade, Sorba also worked on the cladding for the parking garage, elevated walkway and canopy. For the garage white Alpolic was used. The elevated walkway and canopy were cladded with 3000 square metres black and white flat sheets. The canopy and elevated walkway overlap and are designed with smooth curves. To precisely measure and produce the double curves in this cladding the design was drawn entirely in 3D. Thereafter the sheets had to be bent. Part of the sheets was bent cold on site and the double curved sheets had to be rolled in to shape in the factory.
In short, this project had a complex design and a huge amount of material, which all was perfectly managed by our project managers and engineers. The anodized aluminium in diamond pattern give the façade sharp edges and lines, or as the mayor of Frankfurt put it at the opening ceremony of the hall; “A building with a spectacular appearance and power”
Innovative solar design Solarix launched at Kuijpers building
Beauty and brains combined in world premiere of Dutch solar design façade
Today the innovative, energy-producing design façade of Dutch team Studio Solarix has been launched at the Kuijpers building in the Eindhoven region. The sustainable design demonstrates a seamless blend of solar energy, interactivity and design. This accomplishment is the result of an intense cooperation between Studio Solarix, Kuijpers, Kameleon Solar and Sorba. This project was made possible thanks to support from SPARK Campus and the city of Helmond.
Helmond marks the first application of the start-up’s integrated concept on this scale. Studio Solarix is a collaboration of artist and designer Reinier Bosch and architect Marloes van Heteren, whose ambition is to upscale the principle of ‘solar design’ worldwide. Both founders received a Dutch Design Award for the Solarix design to make buildings more sustainable, connective and appealing.
Aukje Kuijpers, CEO of Kuijpers and 2018 Dutch Businesswoman of the Year, immediately saw the potential of Solarix and adopted their concept as launching customer. Kuijpers is a national service partner, engineer and designer of technical solutions for buildings. Sorba’s knowledge and experience in façade construction is what Sorba connected to this project. After engineering and production of the cladding and construction Sorba installed the façade on the office building in Helmond.
The Solarix concept, a high-design solar tile, enables energy production on the façade whilst also enhancing the identity and appearance of the building as a whole. This combination answers the challenges of the energy transition with a practical, yet smart and beautiful approach and won Studio Solarix the 2016 Solar Challenge during the Dutch Design Week. Solarix’s practical and elegant essence is precisely what makes Dutch design unique in the world.
Photo: Marielle van Uitert