In the spring of 2021, the Tinbergen building was closed because Legionella bacteria had been found in its water pipes. During the ensuing disinfection work, the Rotterdam-Rijnmond Regional Security Partnership examined the building and found that its fire compartmentation no longer conforms with applicable standards.

Fire compartments are necessary to keep people safe in the event of a fire. For instance, they are used to prevent the spread of smoke.


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Since proper fire compartmentation is vital, the building must remain closed until the problems have been resolved, which might take several years. The building was already closed due to the presence of Legionella bacteria.

The two lower floors, which house computer rooms and a canteen (among other things), are safe for use, university spokesperson Rateb Abawi stated. “Thankfully, everything that is currently open can remain open.”

The other floors contain nine hundred study spots, offices and some twenty lecture rooms. “They will be missed, so we’re doing our best to find alternatives on campus.” The university is for example looking for meeting rooms that can be turned into lecture rooms.

Renovation required

Thorough repair work will be required to fix the problems. The university has wanted to renovate the building for some time. In late 2018, a call for tenders proved unsuccessful, meaning the planned reconstruction work had to be postponed. The university is currently drawing up a new call for tenders.

It is not known at present when the building will be able to open its doors again. The university hopes that the first work will be able to be done in early 2023. “We’re talking about a very major renovation, so we don’t expect it to be completed within a year,” said Abawi.


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