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In Duivendrecht (NL), hard work has been underway for months on the new headquarters of De Pers Groep (DPG), which owns numerous newspapers. Led by general contractor Besix, several subcontractors are working on the Netherlands’ first hybrid-timber office building, one of the largest of its kind in the world. German timber construction specialists Baucon are responsible for the installation of this unique, sustainable construction method.
Boels keeps you going
For the construction phase, Boels has supplied generators and heating, site security, small equipment and several aerial platforms. The latter, in particular, form the backbone for Baucon’s work. Four 12-metre scissor lifts are in daily use during the structural work. A few weeks ago, Lars got a call from Matthias on Sunday evening. ‘Lars, I have a problem. Tomorrow morning we’re going to receive an element that’s crucial to further progress, but don’t think 12 metres will be high enough. I need 16 metres, and it’s got to be able to get into a tight space. Can you help?’ Lars understands the gravity of the situation and promises to have a solution by sunrise. On Monday morning he leaves home very early to drive to the branch in Duivendrecht. He knows there is still a 17-metre-high trailer-mounted articulated telescopic boom lift there. Lars, works with the Baucon team to place the trailer on site even before the working day starts. The wood element was installed on time, and the project delivery date was not jeopardised.
‘Yeah, it was great to be able to arrange that. Had I not had that articulated telescopic boom lift in Duivendrecht, I would have gone to get one from our hub myself. I wanted to keep the construction on schedule for Baucon at any cost. It’s wonderful that that worked out.’
Just in time
A fine introduction, confirmed Baucon’s young Austrian project manager, Matthias Schoder. ‘The service truly could not be better, no matter what challenge we throw at Lars. To date, he has managed to arrange everything for us super-fast. That’s exactly what we need in our business, where timing is crucial to get the 7,300 m3 of timber beams and trusses in place on schedule.’
Here, Schoder is referring to the logistics process in which – due to limited storage at the site – all the timber building components are delivered from Austria ‘just in time’, as well as to the construction method that involves gluing together various timber elements, after which they need to dry for 24 hours. To achieve this, a formwork is built around the section to be glued, which is heated with two heat sources from Boels.
‘We have a high level of trust and very direct contact with Lars. He’s very engaged and helps us find solutions, which is great! Since we started with the montage we’ve experienced a very warm and positive introduction to Boels Rental.’
One of the family
Boels Account manager Lars Lemmens has become one of the family at the DPG construction site. Lemmens is brimming with positive energy, and it shows when we arrive at Besix’s construction site. Everyone knows each other here, and on his way to the second floor several project managers and foremen stop him for a moment to have a quick word. He answers questions, apps and calls on our way to the core of the Baucon project.
All the subcontractors at the DPG construction site tag along on the agreements Boels has with Besix. That is beneficial in several ways. ‘This way we contribute to the efficiency of the construction, we can offer the same competitive price, with me there’s a single point of contact for the whole project, and we reduce transport movements on the road as well as on site. CO2 reduction is a high priority for this construction project, and with this approach we’re making a solid contribution in that regard.’