Flexible & smart! Developing and building the Brighthouses

may 21, 2019

It wasn’t an easy project for the Brink Groep: constructing two buildings with an ultramodern look and plenty of flexibility, but significantly less costly than the other buildings on the Brightlands Chemelot Campus. As project manager, Erwin Verkooijen was responsible for both the development and construction phases.

WHAT WERE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE NEW BRIGHTHOUSES?

“Brightlands asked us to develop a building that would be so efficient that, compared to elsewhere on the campus, occupancy costs would be around 25% lower than usual. At the same time, it had to fit in with the concept and appearance of the campus. That was quite a challenge.”

HOW DID YOU DO IT?
“We began by identifying the type of features our future tenants would want and only included those elements that were strictly necessary. You can compare it to a car: if the customer doesn’t want parking sensors, you shouldn’t install them. That only makes the car more expensive. In this case, for instance, we provide the laboratories with only two gases, although there are usually more. The tenant can install other gases if they need them, which can be paid for separately.”

WHAT ELSE COULD YOU SAVE ON IN THIS TYPE OF BUILDING?
“We made a careful analysis of all the elements that add to the project costs and used them as little or as smartly as possible. For example, stairs are an expensive feature, but are of course essential. They also need to comply with building specifications: there mustn’t be too much space between two staircases. Because of that, when designing the buildings, we made best possible use of what the regulations permitted, without compromising on safety. If we’d made the buildings two meters longer, additional extra stairwells would have been needed which would have considerably increased the costs.”

SO THE BRIGHTHOUSES ARE A VERY CLEVER DESIGN?
“Yes, absolutely. And the spaces can easily be tailored to suit tenants’ requirements. In the development phase, We decided already to apply the concept on the campus more often because it’s such a flexible design. We are already planning a third
Brighthouse, which will be a copy of the first two. This means we can achieve economies of scale and complete the third even faster than these buildings.”

WHY IS SPEED SO IMPORTANT?
“Time is money for our customers! In this case there were several tenants who were waiting to move in. So we set ourselves an ambitious planning schedule, developed the buildings quickly, and built them in just 11.5 months. When we created the concept, we worked with a team from Huygen Installatie Adviseurs, Lievense, Tielemans and Pauwert Architectuur. During the construction tendering phase, we assessed which parties had sufficient capacity and were able to show they could deliver on schedule. That’s what led us to choose BAM. They took a very clever approach, prefabricating much of the building and assembling
it on the construction site like a sort of LEGO set. 

Cleck here to read more about the Brighthouses!

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