TBI in the market
|Making buildings smarter|
|Main activities||Market areas/clients||Market characteristics/ developments||Competences of TBI companies in the market|
Smart and future-proof buildings
The Non-residential cluster reported only limited growth in 2017. The volume of activity in the construction market increased but margins on work in progress remained under pressure. The number of transformation and renovation engagements again rose sharply during the year. Transformation and renovation are growth markets. Furthermore, J.P. van Eesteren worked on several distinctive newbuild projects that it had won in previous years. These large projects are remarkable for their design, complexity and sustainability and are a good match for the company’s profile. The order book for 2018 is well filled with newbuild, transformation and renovation engagements.
Smart, sustainable and future-proof construction is the ambition on virtually every project. Circularity is growing in importance. By re-using raw materials, equipment and products, we increase the value of the buildings and create a healthier living environment. We have also seen a shift towards integrated projects and complex contract forms such as design & build. We are therefore bearing more responsibility for design and the risk profile has increased accordingly. Risk management remains a concern. The company is investing a great deal in recruiting and retaining qualified people, also with a view to the tightness on the labour market.
The new offices of the European Patent Office in Rijswijk are nearing completion. J.P. van Eesteren and Croonwolter&dros are realising one of the most distinctive buildings in the Netherlands. The building’s facade is made up of two parts. The exterior is made of a special type of glass placed in front of the thermal wall. As a result, the facade is so transparent and reflective that the surrounding buildings and the sky can be seen in it. When the building is handed over in early 2018, work will commence on demolishing the old building and landscaping the site, including the creation of an enormous pond around the building.
At De Reehorst country estate in Driebergen, J.P. van Eesteren started preparations in March 2018 to construct a new energy neutral office building for Triodos Bank. The building, designed by Thomas Rau, will be built entirely from timber and glass, with a timber load-bearing structure. Bio-based materials and an exceptionally sustainable approach to the construction process have been selected in order to attain a BREEAM Outstanding sustainability certificate, the highest rating achievable for a building. To construct the building, J.P. van Eesteren will use Madaster for the first time, a digital platform to generate a material passport in the construction industry. The passport lists every piece of metal, stone and glass used in a building. If the building ever has to be demolished, it can be taken apart and the materials and components can be put to use again. The materials retain their value and waste is eliminated.
The choice of materials was decisive in the renovation and newbuild of the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden. The current museum is being transformed into a depot and offices. J.P. van Eesteren is building the adjoining new museum and laboratory. The client has opted for materials that age naturally, such as natural stone, steel and oak. The glass crown construction around the large atrium will be a real eye-catcher.
J.P. van Eesteren is convinced that buildings with a mix of functions will hold their value longer than those with just one function. A change in function, for instance from office to housing or vice versa, is simpler to realise. Furthermore, the building is more attractive to residents and users. A good example of a mixed-function building is the Amstel Tower in Amsterdam, which houses both a hotel and apartments.
On Coolhaven in Rotterdam, J.P. van Eesteren and ERA Contour are together developing and building Little C, 15 buildings in the style of traditional harbour warehouses. They will accommodate a mix of apartments, lofts, studios, roof gardens, meeting places, offices, ateliers, bars and restaurants, and boutique shops. The first 31 housing units enjoyed a great deal of interest when they went on sale.
Mixed functions are growing in importance not only for newbuilds but also for area development. J.P. van Eesteren works in this area with Synchroon. Synchroon can draw on a wealth of experience in the development of multifunctional buildings that complement their locations, while J.P. van Eesteren has a great deal of experience devising smart solutions based on a building’s functions and realising complex projects.
Together, the two companies are developing Spoorzone in Breda into a housing, business, work and recreation centre. The project’s name, 5Tracks, refers to the five functions allocated to the three buildings: offices, hotel, apartments, restaurants and retail.
Building with BIM
To realise its ambition of making buildings smarter, J.P. van Eesteren is assuming more responsibility for management throughout the entire construction process. BIM plays a key role in this process. It lets the company connect all partners in the supply chain with each other and makes information accessible to all. As BIM manager, the company oversees the straightforward and consistent compilation of individual models and coordinates them with each other. Performance models made by the various designers, such as the architect, the builder and the building systems adviser, are layered over the production models made by the fitters, suppliers and subcontractors to check that a production model meets the performance requirements. And by using the information in the performance models, it is easier for suppliers to prepare their own production models.
Creating a virtual building provides assurances that the various disciplines and components will knit together seamlessly. Clients can oversee the design and realisation process, and work packages can be prepared in the factory. Errors can also be detected at an early stage and safety issues can be identified quickly. On completion, information can be retrieved from the BIM model quickly and conveniently when needed for, for example, maintenance or renovation work.
Developments in transformation and renovation
Giving existing buildings a second life
As the economy picks up, demand for office premises and commercial space increases. Even if there is an overhang on the market, most of the buildings will not meet the new demand. J.P. van Eesteren has therefore seen a sharp jump in demand to transform and renovate existing office buildings. The company offers sustainable, smart building solutions that also allow for changes in function. High-rise solutions are also good opportunities, especially in large towns, as they can provide a mix of offices, housing and short-stay functions.
On Amsterdam’s Zuidas, for example, J.P. van Eesteren is converting a vacant office block into one of the most sustainable office buildings in the Netherlands. The future premises of the Goede Doelen Loterijen are being completely renovated and substantially enlarged. The new building will have an extra floor with a roof that transforms the former inner courtyard into an atrium. The roof, with its unique leaf-design ceiling, will be fitted with solar panels and will collect rainwater for use in the building. The renovation is aiming for BREEAM Outstanding certification, the highest possible rating awarded by this sustainability label.
At a different location on Zuidas, the vacant Olympic Plaza office complex is being transformed into high tech sustainable offices. The Boutique Office, as the new building will be known, will be enlarged on its eastern side and will have two additional office floors. Not far from this location, on the north side of Zuidas, J.P. van Eesteren has started working on 2Amsterdam. This project involves the modernisation and enhanced sustainability of two former office buildings of AkzoNobel and Stibbe. One of the towers will become a hotel and the other will retain its office function. A multi-storey underground car park will be built between the two buildings.
A similar challenge is the revitalisation of the MM25 building, the new head office of the TBI companies Croonwolter&dros, Mobilis and Servicis. Innovative structural and technological adaptations will create a modern, inspirational and open working environment and raise the building’s energy efficiency rating to an A label.
The A’DAM Tower won the Gulden Feniks award in the Transformation category in 2017. J.P. van Eesteren transformed this former Shell tower in Amsterdam North in just 18 months into an iconic multifunctional building topped by a new crown with an observation deck, a hotel, creative spaces and an underground car park.
Further growth in conversion and maintenance
J.P. van Eesteren’s dedicated Conversion, Maintenance and Renovation Division again had an excellent year. The average contract value was higher and many promising orders have already been received for 2018. The division has been serving the same loyal clients for many years. J.P. van Eesteren has been providing conversion and maintenance services to Nutricia in Zoetermeer, for example, for 75 years and to the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam for more than 40 years.
For the latter, J.P. van Eesteren has started adapting the lifts and renovating the nuclear medicine department. The company also regularly carries out renovation and maintenance work for Tata Steel in IJmuiden.
J.P. van Eesteren specialises in building at complex inner city locations. A particularly challenging project was the conversion of Dijkzigt metro station. The station is located in the centre of Rotterdam and is hemmed in by the Erasmus Medical Centre, offices and apartment blocks. A great deal of creativity was needed to overcome the limitations on the site as the work had to be carried out at a busy location where the ground was a warren of cables and pipelines. To complete the project successfully and on schedule, J.P. van Eesteren as the main contractor prepared the project in meticulous detail. In consultation with the client, RET, Rotterdam municipality and the utility companies, it carried out extensive risk analyses and drew up detailed plans. Priority was given to the safety of the surrounding area and the construction workers and to minimising inconvenience in the neighbourhood.
The Albert Heijn supermarket that J.P. van Eesteren converted and extended in Amsterdam was also in the centre of a residential area. The branch on Delflandplein remained open throughout the work for all but a few weeks. Twelve apartments for private sale are being built in the office space above the supermarket and the new extension. In The Hague, the company transformed an office in the Markthof complex into 16 apartments. And in Waddinxveen, a building previously occupied by HEMA department store and Rabobank was converted into an attractive, low energy town hall.
Smart logistics are the key to city centre construction work. The work often has to be carried out at busy locations and in cramp spaces. The process must be organised as efficiently as possible so that it inconveniences the fewest possible people. J.P. van Eesteren uses a ticket management system to plan transportation so precisely that materials are delivered just in time. By making logistics an integral part of the construction process, the work can be carried out faster and more efficiently. An external site holds stocks for longer, performs preparatory work and combines deliveries. Trucks do not move until the materials or products are actually needed. This approach cuts the number of truck movements and reduces local inconvenience and CO2 emissions.
Cooperation with logistics specialists
Construction of the European Patent Office also presents a logistics challenge. After the building was topped out, attention turned to the efficient management of logistics flows. The site is relatively small and building materials and components had to be supplied in tightly defined slots. Together with DHL, J.P. van Eesteren thought up a smart system to deliver building materials and systems to the right place in the enormous building at precisely the right time. They were often delivered at night so that the builders could get to work with them first thing in the morning.