Deerns Case Study: Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

Deerns Nederland B.V.

Deerns Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

At Airport Amsterdam Schiphol approximately 50 million passengers per annum are served. The airport is within the top three of the world's best airports according to Skytrax. Schiphol aims to implement an expansion of the tri-generation plant. The projects is very complex as the plant is located on the roof of Terminal 2. To that end the placement meant lifting a 14 ton plant over various others parts of the airport facilities. Any mistake in this critical operation would have severe consequences. We are proud to have been responsible of the planning and design of the operation and project: Schiphol is able to continue its long legacy of superior service and performance.

Client Architect Type and Function Costs Project Phases

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

Benthem Crouwel Naco, (BCN), The Hague Tri-generation renovation and placement Architectural costs

Building services costs

Start of design 2010

Start of construction 2012

Completion 2012


Tri-generation or combined cooling, heat and power (CCHP) refers to the simultaneous generation of electricity and useful heating and cooling from the combustion of a fuel. The objective is to utilize the fuel to the maximum extent possible. Thereby gaining an optimum of the a scarce resource like natural gas.
Schiphol Airports has a long track record of conscious implementation of systems. As their long term engineering consultant Deerns has been involved in many such projects.


Located on the roof of terminal 2 the tri-generation plant is of major importance to the airport and its operations.
This project is very technical by nature. As a result the Airport had requested a big responsibility from its consultants. Various requirements are to be addressed, among others:

  • Increase the capacity on the CCHP
  • Redundant hydraulic cooling water system
  • Implement an energy monitoring system
  • Increase reliability and uptime


Deerns was responsible for the design and engineering of the tri-generation plant. Complicating factor was the fact that the implementation had to take place in an operational environment.
Because many airport operations rely on the power, heat and cooling from this plant it was necessary to manage this project in close collaboration with the client. During the design we continuously to showed what implications of design decisions had on the actual implementation operation.

As such Deerns in collaboration with the partners in the Design team updated the airport on a weekly basis.
The only way to successfully complete this project was complete openness and transparency within the project teams.


The system has gone to Austria to receive a full renovation. Replacing the 14 ton machine required a crane with an horizontal range of 75 meters. One of Europe's largest cranes (650 tonnes) was used to perform the task.

This is not a simple removal and placement. Months of preparation and complex logistical measures were taken. This included the clearance of any building parts which could suffer damages should de crane of machine collapse during the lift. In the night of 30 May 2012 the revised machine was lifted into place without any complications.

The airport is happy to be able to generate power for at least the coming 5 years.


page up