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A unique collaboration was started in June 2020 between Dutch building and development company Ballast Nedam and Boels Rental. Since then, the imposing Feringa Building has been steadily taking shape on the University of Groningen campus. That’s where Ballast-Nedam is building one of the biggest and most impressive laboratory buildings in the Netherlands and the university world. Account manager Frederik van der Vinne has been one of Ballast Nedam’s contact persons at Boels since June 2020. The client wanted as little traffic as possible on the building site and, logically, chose Boels as its total supplier. Feringa is a prime example of successful cooperation between the account manager, area account manager and the Boels branch in Groningen.
About the project
The Feringa Building is the largest construction project on the Zernike Campus of the University of Groningen (RUG). The imposing building stands on a surface area of no less than 64,000m2 and, according to the schedule, will be ready in 2023 and will be home to more than 1,400 university students. Once completed, it will be the nerve centre of important international research study.
The enormous size of the building makes this a unique project. Other special aspects are sustainability and the need for an earthquake-proof construction. Because the Feringa Building is being built between other buildings and the ring road, there isn’t much space available. But the impact still needs to be limited as much as possible to prevent inconvenience for the surrounding area. This requires tight planning and good coordination to ensure that traffic on the building site is kept to a minimum.
The biggest challenges we’re up against are the special structure and the complexity of supply and logistics, also because of the many students who pass by this location.” – Rick van der Stel, Logistics Manager at Ballast Nedam for the Feringa Building project in Groningen
About the collaboration
Boels supplies a wide range of materials and equipment to the main contractor Ballast Nedam. This basically means that Ballast Nedam opts for sustainability because they can rely on all the equipment, machines and material without having to buy them. Thanks to the short lines of communication and large fleet of Boels, they can respond quickly to changing needs. One fixed Boels contact person ensures there is smooth communication, so Ballast Nedam always has the required machines and equipment at their disposal. The need for equipment changes and shifts during the construction phases. Right now, for instance, there are various cherry pickers and passenger lifts. Forklift trucks and all manner of small equipment are also in use.
“We rent a lot of scissor lifts, telescopic boom lifts and spider boom lifts, but also a lot of other equipment including pumps and ventilators”, Rick van der Stel explains.
About the process
The cooperation between Ballast Nedam and Boels on this project is very close. Coordination and switching gear quickly are essential in guaranteeing the progress. Frederik, account manager at Boels: “As a generalist, Boels – with all its divisions – can supply a total package to Ballast Nedam. Because we have the largest fleet in the Netherlands, we can meet the demand for almost all equipment, which is incredibly important on projects of this scope.”
Rick van der Stel adds: “Boels helps us by thinking alongside us in practical terms about deploying machines to meet specific requirements or challenges. For us, Boels is the right partner because we have one point of contact with whom we can exchange ideas on all matters that come up. Boels always finds a solution and if there is an emergency, they are extremely quick to follow up on it.”