NETHERLANDS: Sustainability is central to the design of the Beverwaard tram depot which Rotterdam operator RET inaugurated with an open day for local residents on August 15.

Solar panels contribute to the depot's electrical power needs, while low-energy lighting and glass walls make the maximum use of natural light. Heat pumps take energy from the ground, and rainwater is collected and used to wash the trams. The roof of the depot building provides parking spaces for 500 cars as part of a park-and-ride site with direct access to a tram stop.

Beverwaard is the first of four tram depots being developed through Tramstore21, an EU-backed project to ensure construction is economically, socially and environmentally sustainable. The participants are Rotterdam's RET, Brussels operator STIB, Blackpool council, Dijon council and the Fraunhofer-Institute for Material Flow & Logistics in Dortmund.