Page 1

DURF 1 Culture and behaviour 2 Building for consumers 3 Collaboration and integration of the chain 4 Tendering procedures and benchmarking 5 ICT and construction 6 Knowledge and education 7 Practical projects 8 Outlook for the construction sector 9 The PSIBouw programme


The last four years PSIBouw has been the driving programme for the innovation of the construction sector in the Netherlands. This publication provides an overview for an international audience of the most important experiences and lessons of the programme.

The title alone is bold:

DURF (‘Daring’)

Because that’s what innovation’s all about. This publication is also bold. It has been collected into nine parts for ease of use. It is one whole, but each part is self-contained. Parts 1 to 6 describe innovation themes that PSIBouw has worked on. Part 7 discusses the programme’s innovative practical projects, part 8 discusses the future of construction and part 9 gives a review of the PSIBouw phenomenon itself. Each part has the same structure: theme introduction, experiences, practical lessons, a reflection and a review of publications, instruments, practical projects, websites and people. All source material will remain available, first at and later at and other successors of PSIBouw, so that it is available for current and future innovators. We wish you inspiration, courage and daring. March 2009 PSIBouw programme team



1 Culture and behaviour


2 Building for consumers


3 Collaboration and integration of the chain


4 Tendering procedures and benchmarking


5 ICT and construction


6 Knowledge and education


7 Practical projects


8 Outlook for the construction sector


9 The PSIBouw programme



DURF 1 Culture and behaviour

DURF 2 Building for consumers

DURF 3 Collaboration and integration of the chain

DURF 4 Tendering procedures and benchmarking

DURF 5 ICT and construction

DURF 6 Knowledge and education

DURF 7 Practical projects

DURF 8 Outlook for the construction sector

DURF 9 The PSIBouw programme


Culture and behaviour Effecting cultural change Integrated neighbourhood development in Hellevoetsluis

‘What the Cabinet wants to achieve, we’ve already done’ Communicative Risk Management during reconstruction of A2

‘Everyone was eager to break the deadlock’ Lessons

Do or don’t Sandra Schruijer, professor of organisational psychology at Utrecht University

‘Culture is learnt behaviour’


DURF 1-1

Introduction to the theme

Effecting cultural change Over the past few years, an ever clearer picture has developed about the direction the construction sector should be taking. More


Culture is the product of behaviour. It is some-

value provision, better collaboration, greater professionalism,

thing we acquire. It develops in a specific environ-

more attention to consumers and clients, service provision and

ment; within a company, team or department.

consequently a more enjoyable working environment. There are

Or within a group of organisations that have to

countless tools - in varying degrees of suitability - to help achieve

work together. Because behavioural change trig-

these goals. Enthusiasm and ambition also exist, though not across

gers cultural change, we need to focus on how

the board. This is because word and deed are separated by the

new behaviour develops. This happens when the

persistent ‘old culture,’ which cannot be changed at a whim.

environment changes, when you place people in

DURF 1 Culture and behaviour

surroundings that are new to them or when they decide of their own free will to display a different

exists because of the fact that the new behaviour

kind of behaviour.

clashes with the relative comfort of the prevalent


culture and the convenience of what already exDon’t be fooled into thinking that

ists. The sector is not known for its strong market

this happens automatically. If you have to learn

dynamics, where technological changes and alter-

something new, it usually also means you have

nating preferences of purchasers ensure dramatic

to unlearn something else. Add to that the fact

changes1. But some changes are taking place.

that this new element is - though available -

Mutual trust, which is crucial for collaboration

still unfamiliar and therefore often rather risky,

and the exploration of new terrains2, is making a

and you have a recipe for stagnation. Take the

comeback: commissioning parties come up with

introduction of the Building Information Model

new forms of tendering procedures, which create

(BIM), for example. Or the Tendering Guidelines,

room for innovative solutions. Stichting Bouwre-

the construction game ‘Link,’ the Project Startup

flectie is starting to gain momentum in its role as

(PSU) manual, the ‘Communicating about Risks’

mediator in imminent conflict between commis-

tool and the Tendering Procedure Consultations.

sioning parties and contractors. Integrity is also

PSIBouwnetwerk developed these and everyone

being taken more seriously as a fully-fledged part

supports their potential but who truly implements

of the operations. The key players have adopted a

or enforces them?

code of conduct that will play a significant role in improving the relations between commissioning

Breaking through the persistent lethargy in the

parties and contractors. And if trust is generated

construction sector requires patience. Resistance

through ethical behaviour, then that also creates

room for learning new things. The focus then

The lessons learnt (chapter 3) show that those

shifts gradually from the development of knowl-

who take the step need support and encourage-

edge to the active implementation of it.

ment from all sides. The heads of organisations


in particular can be expected to put their money It all boils down to the fact that behav-

where there mouth is and constantly reaffirm to

ioural change can take place at any time. It is a

all echelons of the organisation the wisdom of the

choice; often a personal one. You can choose to

decision, even when things fail to go according

embrace it at any time and if at first you don’t

to plan. And things often fail to go according to

succeed, you can simply try again tomorrow.

plan: behavioural change means you no longer do

Take for example what happened in terms of risk

what others would expect from you. This creates

management in the A2 project in Hellevoetsluis

uncertainty (‘Will I be able to do what is expected

(chapter 2). It is often a case of two steps forward,

of me?’) which results in a social inaptitude of

one step back. It is with good reason that we

sorts. This also happens on the smallest scale:

call one of our most popular publications ‘Lef’

between people, at their department, within their

(grit). Because that is what it is really all about.

construction team, project team, management

team. Precision, attention, not shying away from

cliché. For that reason, we should stop using big

confrontation, in order to gain clarity. That is what

words to describe ‘the’ cultural change and ‘the’

it is all about then.

behaviour of ‘the’ construction sector. Because


it makes the issue so abstract and disconnected A lot of aspects have gained momentum

that it turns into a gaping void into which many an

over the past four years, mainly on the project

innovative ambition has fallen. It seems that it is

and organisational level, but also to an increasing

only through immense dedication and attention

extent between organisations. Albeit in a limited

that successful practical projects of PSIBouw can

number of places, in ‘niches,’ as they are called in

deliver what has now been realised. After all, one

marketing jargon. PSIBouw has personally intro-

swallow does not makes a summer. Old habits tend

duced or supported these niches in the past four

to rear their heads again as soon as the novelty of

years. Based on insights gained from research,

the new has worn off. As far as behaviour is con-

help was offered in order to establish collaboration

cerned, you actually only achieve long-term change

processes from a new viewpoint (with new contract

when there are indications of strong personal will

forms and new communication tools). In order to

and perseverance among those people involved.

set to work actively on integrity policy. To practise

Vision, passion, discipline and conscience. Easy to

the compilation of a team of which the members

encourage and observe through an innovation pro-

show confidence in one another’s undertakings and

gramme. Easy to demonstrate to others the lessons

are able to call one another to account on undesir-

learnt. Who subsequently have their own process

able behaviour. To use game simulations to demon-

to experience, namely that change, the learning of

strate, in a safe environment, the qualms and their

new things, can definitely start off with ‘ow!’ but

consequences. Those who want to can also set to

can also lead to ‘wow.’

work on the issue. But not everyone is ready for this … something more is needed. Pressure


Looking at the PSIBouw situation

again, we see that it’s actually a lot more about Firstly, the pressure from outside can

tracking down and supporting niches on the

increase. For example if politicians start fuss-

project, company and sector level - experimental

ing over the sector, or when the economy takes a

and otherwise. And at the same time, upgrading

turn for the worse. Or when consumers and users

what people have learnt to a place where others

stop supporting businesses that perform poorly

can reap the benefits as well. Another important

or disinterested service providers, as a means of

new insight (gained both within and outside PSI-

expressing their dissatisfaction. Energy prices can

Bouw) is that every generation is a new generation3.

also serve as a catalyst for new behaviour. Nor is

A new generation is constantly entering the work

it inconceivable that suppliers, who are naturally

floor, which causes all other generations to shift up

more sensitive to clients’ feelings than construc-

a level. And each generation, including those that

tion firms are, forge alliances that more or less

have shifted up, wants to improve the new situa-

force the executing part of the construction sector

tion in which they find themselves. And hey presto:

to become more attuned to their customers. But it

a positive and practical common denominator for

is better not to sit and wait for this to happen.

cultural renewal in the building sector. <


The second line is that of personal will. A


U. Glunk, R. Olie: ‘Cultuur, samenwerking en innovatie in

motto often heard in recent years is: ‘Cultural

de bouw’, Gouda 2008

change? Go for it.’ Nothing wrong with that, except


F. Pries: ‘Jong geleerd, oud gedaan?!’, Utrecht 2008

that the motto could easily turn into a meaningless


A.C. Bontekoning, ‘Generaties in organisaties’, Amsterdam 2008

DURF 1-2


‘What the Cabinet wants Integrated neighbourhood development in Hellevoetsluis

to achieve, we’ve already done’ Local residents who share the responsibility with the contractor for the redevelopment and the management of public spaces, while the

Vogelbuurt experiment from day one. ‘Everything

local council limits itself to the role of coordinator. Such a role division

came together in Hellevoetsluis. The local council

requires a dramatic cultural switch from all parties involved.

wanted to experiment with an integrated approach

The local council of Hellevoetsluis accepted the challenge and

to public spaces and concentrate on a new role as

launched a pilot project in collaboration with contractors and

coordinator. The aim was to create value: using

residents in Vogelwijk, a traditional neighbourhood established in

fewer resources to achieve more, by tapping the

the 1960s. The project has since developed into one of the showpieces

expertise of market parties and taking the wishes

of the PSIBouw programme.

of residents as the basis.’ An important consideration in that regard was cost control. Different phases and disciplines usually required their

Some five years after the launch, project leader

own tendering procedures. But now it involved a

Hans Lievense of the Netherlands Organization

tendering procedure that would span 20 years and

for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) looks back

include both the redevelopment and the manage-

with satisfaction on the most intensive project of

ment of the public spaces. Based on the cost sav-

his career. Charged with the day-to-day coordina-

ing forecast, the estimated sum could be reduced

tion of the process, he was closely involved in the

by 15 percent. A building consortium interested in long-term involvement in such a project was found in BTL-Vibor. As a knowledge institute, TNO is of course always interested in new developments. PSIBouw was also eager to support the experiment. To steer the cultural change in the desired direction, the organisers enlisted the help of Niels Noorderhaven, Behavioural Scientist at the University of Tilburg and a member of the Core Scientific Team at PSIBouw. Vogelbuurt

Local councils, market parties and

experts found each other and, after an exploratory phase, decided to set to work together. Next in turn were the residents. It was agreed that the experiment would be conducted on Vogel-


buurt, a redevelopment neighbourhood that was established in the 1960s and home to at least 14 different cultures. Hans Lievense still recalls 12

Hans Lievense:

‘Residents can do more than you think.’

vividly the first meeting with a consultative group

DURF 1 Culture and behaviour

of some 40 critical local residents. ‘The residents arrived with a huge dose of deep-seated mis-

Vogelaar, what you want to achieve, we have al-

trust. And when they learnt that they were also

ready done.’ Residents can do more than you think

expected to contribute to the management, they

and the success of the experiment is largely owed

were convinced they were being roped in as cheap

to them, concludes Hans Lievense. Without selling

labour.’ But their initial scepticism quickly turned

the other parties short, of course. ‘The local coun-

to enthusiasm when the project development took

cil showed mettle and enthusiasm in attempting

off and they realised that their input was being

such an experiment. Two similar projects have

taken seriously.

since been launched in other neighbourhoods.

Cultural turnaround

The knowledge and expertise – and the motiva‘The new approach meant a

tion of the market parties, in particular – are also

dramatic role change for all parties involved. The

important factors for success.’ The objectives con-

residents however were the ones who under-

cerning value creation were also achieved. ‘People

went the greatest change,’ according to Hans

are happier with their neighbourhood. And traffic

Lievense. ‘You could truly see them grow during

safety has improved.

the process. And the best part is that the sense of

Problems are reported sooner because people are

community has been restored. Residents are once

now confident that these will actually be resolved.

again proud of their neighbourhood. There is more

The residents are their own driving force. After

contact between the various cultures. A major

four intensive years, I’m noticing that my role as

catalyst in that regard was the intercultural neigh-

process supervisor is increasingly changing to

bourhood festival that the residents had organised

that of follower, which of course is exactly what is

themselves. When I saw that, I thought: Minister

supposed to happen.’

Serious talks

‘The process of learning a different

the residents: members of the consultative group

way of interacting with one another went in fits

sometimes still tend to shift the responsibility onto

and starts,’ Niels Noorderhaven concludes in turn.

the shoulders of the local council or the building

‘This is true for the relations between the local

consortium. If you take a decision together, you

council and the building consortium, for exam-

also need to give it your full support. This is dif-

ple. It took a few serious talks to get everyone’s

ficult at times, because things never go exactly the

expectations in line again. The same holds true for

way you and your neighbours would have liked.’ <

‘Everyone was eager Communicative Risk Management during A2 reconstruction

to break the deadlock’ There is literally no way around it for motorists between Amsterdam and Utrecht: the broadening of this section of the motorway into two sets of five lanes, and the construction of a tunnel are in full swing. This is the Netherlands’ largest road construction project to date

one hand, all parties are well aware that things

and the often complicated activities are carried out according to a

need to be done differently, but on the other hand

strict schedule. This can only be achieved through close collaboration

there is still a lack of openness, which makes

between commissioning party and contractor. To support the

people reluctant to share risks.’

collaboration process, the Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management has decided to apply Communicative Risk


‘Initially, the reconstruction of the

Management. The project formed part of the A2 Covenant, which

A2 was only scheduled for completion in 2012.

was also signed by the Association of Consulting Engineers of

But that was too late for other activities to be

the Netherlands, Bouwend Nederland and PSIBouw.

launched, for example, on the A1. By coming to clear agreements with the contracting parties, it was possible to reduce the timeframe by two

Communicative Risk Management (CRM) was

years,’ explains Marco Heres. This acceleration

developed by the Dutch Network and Knowledge

was also desirable because it meant that the

Organisation on Risk Management (Risnet). Risnet

problem of road congestion on that trajectory

supports the construction sector through its

could be tackled three years sooner. However,

development trajectory entitled IRIS (Integration

both parties believed that the collaboration was

of Risk Management in Collaboration Processes)

slow to get off the ground. The contractors felt

in order to arrive at an improved building process

that there was too much emphasis on follow-

through a joint approach to risks. Such a joint

ing the agreed procedures and too little on the

approach is not yet visible in everyday building

challenges that emerged in the course of the

practice, according to Risnet. Marco Heres, Risk

project. The commissioning party felt that the

Manager at the Directorate-General’s Construc-

contractors were too quick to resort to solutions

tion Service, agrees: ‘The parliamentary inquiry

that went against the contract. But the parties did

has led to artificial working relations between

agree on one thing: everyone was eager to break

commissioning parties and contractors. On the

the deadlock. This resulted in the introduction of


CRM within the A2 Amsterdam-Utrecht project

Everyone within the A2 covenant team is con-

team. Around the summer of 2007, the first steps

vinced of the value and necessity of CRM. This

were taken towards implementing CRM within a

also emerged during the assessment. It is, how-

‘traditional’ RAW plan and a Design & Construct

ever, important to continue practising the skills

contract for the construction of the Leidsche Rijn

acquired, says Marco Heres. ‘One of the pitfalls

tunnel. ‘In the case of the latter type of contract,

is that we might become overwhelmed by the

we as commissioning party only assess the criti-

Technological Age, and then people tend to revert

cal processes. At first, it took a lot of effort from

to automatic pilot again. Persistent implementa-

people to get used to this new approach,’ Heres

tion of the new working method turned out to be


harder than I expected, but I still support it one

Working method

hundred percent.’ < It was decided to start with

the managers, since they would be the ones spearheading this new working method. Heres:

What is CRM?

‘Preliminary talks were first held with the project

Communicative Risk Management is an addition to all kinds of risk

manager and contract manager of the Directo-

management. It makes the risks explicit and exposes the actions

rate-General and then with the director/project

necessary to decrease the risks. All parties concerned will become

manager and the project leader of the building

‘owner’ of the risks, after which clear settlements can be made

consortium. Following that, a clear-cut action

about the responsibilities.

list was drafted on the basis of the outcomes of a joint meeting.’ External consultant Christiaan de 14

Vries facilitated the meetings between the various

DURF 1 Culture and behaviour

joint venture partners. ‘An independent party is an absolute must in the application of CRM,’ according to Marco Heres. ‘Because this party has no interest in the outcome, people are more willing to raise and discuss issues. Christiaan’s questioning technique managed to create an environment in which even the most inflexible of persons became willing to venture a risk.’ This was also reflected in practical terms in the realisation of the aboveground tunnel, the partial roofing of the A2 with the intention of linking the centre of Utrecht with the new Leidsche Rijn district. The project was not without risk, given the many technical structures required for the tunnel. ‘The preliminary design included about 20 crucial decisions at various stages. We are currently tackling a number of issues through close collaboration with all of the relevant specialists.’

Future of the A2 near Breukelen

DURF 1-3


Do or don’t Hundreds of people were involved in the practical projects of PSIBouw. We asked a number of these people about their most important lessons: what they have learnt and what advice they would like to give to others who want to get started too. We made a selection from the dozens of examples heard at the various meetings.


You can change because you have to or because you want to. But ‘want to’ has proven to be better than ‘have to.’ This desire is born of passion and vision. And it is sustained by perseverance, discipline and communication. A keen ear is the most important instrument in this sense, in other


Wherever new - and therefore unfamiliar - behaviour is first put into practice, it is vital that the leaders of the organisation or project endorse this. In other words: provide support where you

words: listen, summarise and keep asking ques-

3 tions.

If the substantive progress falters, ask yourself the following: why is it faltering, who contributes to this and to which degree, what is the effect of

see impasse (allow to fall and help to get up), of-

one person’s behaviour on another person’s be-

fer encouragement where you see hesitation and

haviour, and the key question: what does it mean

constantly reaffirm the wisdom of the decision to

for the manner in which we aim to achieve our

attempt new behaviour.

goal together?


‘You need exceptions


When a substantive or other problem arises, we have a strong tendency to turn it into a totem pole. Everyone is fixated on the problem (or hides be-



to achieve change.’

If all our collaborative and other efforts are fur-

thermore given the label of ‘we are learning’ then a new - joint - interest develops. This increases

hind it to avoid having to get into action or so they

the level of commitment and results in greater

can remain invisible). If a problem has this effect,

work enjoyment and higher quality in terms of the

DURF 1 Culture and behaviour


external interventions are usually highly effective.

New behaviour means that you create time and space to study the interplay between the different interests. That requires: clarifying which interests are relevant and how they relate to each other and


then giving your full cooperation.

8 9

working procedures, products and service.

Major milestones are important, but so are seemingly small, personal achievements; a compliment for a step taken or results achieved inspires the person who experiments and searches.

Stop talking about culture in the general sense.

Trying out new behaviour also means: everyone pledging to learn and take stock at regular inter-

There is always a ‘carrier’ underneath that encourages this alternative behaviour or makes it

vals (what went well, what have we left behind us,

essential, resulting in a different culture. Such a

of what do we still need to let go?).

carrier can take the form of a covenant (A2), or a new building concept (LBC), or even a certain expectation from the top level of the organisation (accelerated construction stage). <

‘Personal contact works and a network works. But a network can also exclude.’

DURF 1-4


‘Culture is Sandra Schruijer, professor of organisational psychology at Utrecht University

learnt behaviour’ ‘The human side is often neglected during processes of change. And if people fail to see the purpose of the change or start feeling uncertain because they cannot see exactly what the consequences will be for their job, then you are clearly on the wrong track. Of course they’ll

approach to the tendering process or the way we

dig in their heels then,’ says Professor Sandra Schruijer, who also

collaborate with one another. Such a behavioural

lectures at the Utrecht School of Governance at Utrecht University.

change will only become embedded the moment repetition proves it to be successful.’

Schruijer starts the conversation by remarking


Schruijer admits that she identifies with

that we owe the popularity of the concept of

the lessons described in chapter 3. ‘The terms

organisational culture since the 1970s to Japan.

culture, behaviour and collaboration seem to be

Anthropologists elaborated on the phenomenon on

an issue in the construction sector at present.

behalf of organisational scientists and managers.

The need to collaborate is possibly the sector’s

The culture of an organisation is actually no more

greatest challenge at the moment. And of course,

and no less than ‘learnt’ behaviour, according to

some parties find collaboration daunting. You

Schruijer. ‘If something is successful, it will be

suddenly have another party to consider and that

replicated again and again. You can see it as never

can be perceived as threatening. That’s natural,

change a winning team,’ she explains, adding that ‘behaviour that is punished will simply disappear from the repertoire.’ Change, she says, will only become truly necessary if the outside pressure to do so increases. ‘And that’s what we see happening in the construction sector. The innovations that are set in motion require a different way of working and a different

‘People aren’t as much opposed to change as the alleged consequences of change,’ according to Sandra Schruijer.


because the profits have to be shared and own

Schruijer does however point out the importance

interests play a role, too.’

of the development of insight into the social and

A smile appears of the professor’s face as she

psychological dynamics of the collaboration.

continues: ‘Looking after your own interests is hu-

Schruijer: ‘You can use simulations, for example,

man. If one of us had to fall into the lake I would

to illustrate the complexity of collaborating and to

genuinely prefer it happen to you rather than me.’

make the participants aware of their own role in

According to her, this illustrates the essence of

it. I make use of the simulation game called ‘The

collaboration, which often goes in fits and starts.

Yacht Club.’ A case where the dockyard finds itself

‘With the direct result,’ she continues in the same

in trouble. Each of the participants represents

breath, ‘that the participants revert back to their

a different party, seven in total. You always see

old behaviour. Behaviour that they acquired on the

stereotypical opinions of the other parties develop

basis of the fact that the old approach passed on

in no time. About who they are and what it is they

to them had always been effective.’

truly want.’ The simulation takes two days, with


the second day devoted to discussing the actions ‘So the bottom line is to work hard at

of the parties. ‘It provides insight into how group

creating conditions that make for successful col-

processes can develop and how these can have a

laboration. Create conditions that will generate

positive or negative impact on the team efforts.’

trust, for instance. You often see people approaching teambuilding with the idea that everyone


A new way of working means

has to become friends. And to become friends, you

that employees in particular are drawn into the

also need to get to know each other on a private

processes of change. Unfortunately, Schruijer has

18 DURF 1 Culture and behaviour

Sandra Schruijer:

‘The terms culture, behaviour and collaboration seem to be an issue

in the construction sector at present.’

level. I’m against that kind of nonsense. You truly

seen it go wrong on this level especially. ‘Not only

don’t need to share your private lives to be able

in the construction sector, but also in other indus-

to trust each other. Just like trust cannot simply

tries you often see the human side being unde-

materialise out of the blue. You cannot expect the

restimated. A change was thought up in the upper

parties in a joint venture to fully speak their minds

echelons of the company and then introduced as

on the very first day. Nor would any participant

new policy regardless. But it is important to start

in the collaboration do so. Trust and especially

by creating motivation for change. Without that,

mutual trust has to develop and that takes time.

resistance can quickly set in. Understandably so,

But every time one party meets the expectations

because if someone tells me that I have to change,

of the other, this trust is confirmed and further

then I’d want to know why. People aren’t as much


opposed to change as the alleged consequences of change. In brief: help people understand why the change is necessary and make it possible for them grasp and discuss the consequences.’ <

DURF 1 Culture and behaviour

DURF 2 Building for consumers

DURF 3 Collaboration and integration of the chain

DURF 4 Tendering procedures and benchmarking

DURF 5 ICT and construction

DURF 6 Knowledge and education

DURF 7 Practical projects

DURF 8 Outlook for the construction sector

DURF 9 The PSIBouw programme


Building for consumers Consumer is stakeholder, client becomes king Frank Bijdendijk, Director of Stadgenoot and the brain behind Solids

‘Inverting the relationship of control leads to better products’ Living Building Concept in Veenendaal

‘There has to be a normal way!’ versus Lessons

Do or don’t Ko Blok, Chairman of the Board at ERA Bouw

‘Development with a vision’


DURF 2-1

Introduction to the theme

Consumer is stakeholder, client becomes king When mobile telephony was still in its infancy, telephone companies were mainly suppliers of components, of goods. The profits came from the sale of telephones. But it soon dawned on the sector that the

20 DURF 2 Building for consumers

Companies usually have a clear picture of their

sale of goods alone will not be sufficient for a strong position in the

end users when developing their own products

market. This created a fundamental renewal among these businesses:

and services. However, this is rarely the case

they started offering systems and services. The client would in the

in the construction sector. The main focus is on

future be accessible at all times and have access to information no

the supply of capacity and hardware, full stop.

matter where they were. The mobile phone of course was the key.

The user is neither client nor king, and the same

The goods dispatcher became a service provider and saw his cash

usually holds true for the commissioning party.

flow shift from hardware to software. And the user received service,

Service contracts, for example, which the local

with the mobile phone becoming a matter of secondary importance.

councils conclude with construction companies

Everyone happy.

for the management of the public spaces and where the residents play a key role, are usually the exception rather than the rule. But we do see

project, the neighbourhood improvement project

a gradual increase in these types of service con-

in Hellevoetsluis, which we discussed in Durf

cepts. Is this a sign of a trend reversal?

1, involving the local residents led to a form of


self-management and encouraged them to take In the construction sector, the commission-

direct responsibility for their own residential

ing party is rarely also the end user. Instead, the

environment. And that in turn led to appreciation

resident, worker, road user or traveller experi-

of its quality, with the relevant contractor having

ences first-hand and day after day the effects of

assumed the position of service provider.

building decisions that were taken about him but without him. This leads to many missed oppor-

Open playing field

The playing field in the con-

tunities, as described elsewhere in this edi-

struction sector can therefore have a far more

tion. In the words of Stadgenoot Director, Frank

open character than is currently the case. The

Bijdendijk: â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Inverting the relationship of control

system however is still unable to support this.

leads to better products.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; In other words: if you

Businesses, civil servants, administrators and

involve the user as stakeholder in the decision-

citizens all tend to slip back into their familiar

making and implementation process, you improve

roles when it comes to the crunch. However, the

the quality of the built products and the built-up

ramifications of the declining population growth

environment. This also emerged during PSIBouw-

and the credit crisis in particular could in fact

serve as a catalyst for such an open playing field:

ess, PSIBouw focused on two aspects in the past

growth has stagnated, sales are no longer guaran-

four years. Firstly, on that of practical experience.

teed, the user is able to choose. Moreover, the

The main experiences with the PSIBouw practi-

emphasis will shift from new stock to the renewal

cal projects were discussed in Durf P. The second

of existing stock. In other words: sustainable de-

aspect concerns a conceptual approach based

velopment and management, with more room for

on the question: How can you get the construc-

private commissioning practice and tailor-made

tion market to operate like a regular consumer

construction with carefully planned product-

market? The Living Building Concept (LBC) takes

service combinations. But the pressure, it seems,

this question as the starting point and turns the

is still not intense enough: in times of shortage,

commissioning party into a client once again.

clients pay even if they are dissatisfied.

A client that doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to be a construction

Consumer market

specialist or a building project manager to house When it comes to the end

userâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s position and role in the construction proc-

all his activities, whether it concerns a hospital, stadium or secondary road. The LBC operates on

the principle of inversion, which Era Chairman Ko


In neighbourhoods or larger areas, users

Blok refers to elsewhere in this Durf edition: the

will notice that they are becoming increasingly

client outlines his requirements and the providing

involved in the reflections on the quality of their

party offers creative yet effective and sustainable

environment. Administrators will explain what has


already been decided and what is still open for

Asset management

discussion, after which users will be given the opThese solutions were not de-

tion of becoming serious partners in the develop-

vised on the project level, but are instead derived

ment, design, implementation and management

from a series of basic concepts. Similar, in fact, to

process. This will require patience: the playing

the way you can add optional extras when buying

field is rather crowded and the players donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t play

a new car. But the LBC goes a step further: The

by a prearranged set of rules. Innovations from

provider of an LBC construction provides not only

within the sector can only have significance if the

the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;hardware,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; but also the follow-up services in

administrative sector also participates.

the operating stage. Knowing that the operating phase carries three times more weight than the

Other interests

Users play a different role when

launching costs, it holds significant benefits for

it comes to the road and rail infrastructure. This

consumers and suppliers. When builders become

area concerns public facilities where motorists,

service providers, asset management becomes

cyclists and train passengers have different in-

their key business.

terests, such as good flow, no obstacles, on-time

Hundreds of companies

arrivals and departures and safety. The construcHow will consumers

tion sector can make a significant contribution

benefit from all of this? They will gradually start

in this regard, by reducing construction times

noticing that construction companies are paying

and working hours, building without causing a

more and more attention to them. The options will

nuisance, limiting needless relocations, ensur-

continue to increase, based on the preferences

ing good, long-term logistics on and around the

and requirements of consumers. The providers

construction site and by participating in initia-

will have organised their enterprises and the

tives to encourage travel outside peak hours, for

construction process in such a manner that fric-

example. Those who realise that 30% of all CO2

tion and costs as a result of design, construction

emissions and 40% of the traffic are linked to the

and connection errors can be kept to a minimum,

construction sector also know that there is a lot

which will have a positive effect on the prices. In

of ground to be gained on this subject for future

the knowledge that their constructions are flexible

generations. <

and readily adaptable to future users or changing requirements. Several hundreds of companies have already started to embrace this philosophy of conceptual building.

DURF 2-2


‘Inverting the relationship of Frank Bijdendijk, Director of Stadgenoot and the brain behind Solids

control leads to better products’ ‘If you follow the principle of ‘what the customer wants’ you basically go against all existing systems and customs. And I can assure that this stirs up a great deal of resistance in practice.’ Frank Bijdendijk, Director of the Amsterdam-based housing corporation Stadgenoot, has for a number of years already been working on his Solids project,

Bijdendijk is the spiritual father of the Solids

which allows tenants complete freedom. ‘You have to stick to your guns

concept, where tenants themselves decide how

and get into a temper now and again, but you get there in the end.’

their part of the building will be utilised. ‘They can use it as a home, a company or an artist’s studio, for example. The building is designed to cope with these constantly changing functions.’ In essence, it means that a framework is designed and built, after which the user fits out his part of the building as he sees fit. Bijdendijk: ‘It’s important that the framework provides an emotional connection. We build sustainable constructions, but this is only possible if users appreciate the quality.’ He explains with great enthusiasm how Solids is fundamentally a win-win situation for everyone. ‘I always say: Solid gives citizens the freedom to choose, relieves the local council from the burden of the regulatory framework and gives investors the peace of mind that the properties will never be vacant.’ The first Solid project was recently launched in the Amsterdam district of IJburg. The building is scheduled for completion in mid-2010. This will mark a first victory for the project, as Bijdendijk has since discovered that not everyone shares his enthusiasm for the concept. ‘With Solids, we are turning the current system on its head. A system that has always been steered by a central power that applies rules and regulations




DURF 2 Building for consumers

to basically prescribe what is good for citizens.

system of rules.’ Despite the resistance, Bijdend-

And such a system has its share of minor and

ijk refuses to abandon his brainchild. ‘Not in a

major headaches. Take the planning rules, for

million years. I’m not the type to give up, anyway.

example. Usually, you deal with a land-use plan

You can achieve a lot by sticking to your guns and

that allows you to construct either a business or a

getting into a temper when the situation calls

residential property. But we now need a land-use

for it. Besides,’ Bijdendijk continues in the same

plan that permits both. You come up against all

breath, ‘I firmly believe in this concept.’ Because

sorts of obstacles.’

inverting the relationship of control leads to better


products. Because we need to produce products Stadgenoot is also involved in a Solid

with qualities that potential users will recognise

project in the Oud-West district of Amsterdam.

and, again, appreciate. And that should be the es-

Bijdendijk sighs. ‘We’ve been negotiating on plan-

sence of the built-up environment.’ <

ning permission with a succession of civil servants for two years now. That makes you realise just how rigid the current construction system is. You can actually see these people tense up at the thought of your wanting something so completely different. Perhaps understandably so, because civil servants owe much of their position to the system. So it is in their interest to preserve that

Frank Bijdendijk:

‘You come up against all sorts of obstacles.’

Living Building Concept in Veenendaal

‘There has to be a normal way!’ For Veenendaal students, the start of the 2010-2011 academic year will be not much different from any other. But for Dick Looyé, Director of the ROC regional training college, it will mark the end of a

Even if the outcome was slightly disappointing,’

particularly eventful period, which will culminate in the completion of

says Harry Vedder, Director of m3v consultancy,

his new school premises, built on LBC principles. If everything goes

who oversaw the project.

according to plan.

Construction team

‘We decided to go this route

because I believed there had to be a normal way of The secondary school students should actu-

realising new developments! Why do things have

ally have been able to enjoy their new premises

to be so complicated? I’m no expert when it comes

in Veenendaal already, as the original aim was

to construction and I’d like to keep it that way,’

to have the school complex of the Christelijke

comments Looyé. But things did not go exactly as

Scholengroep Veenendaal, constructed in accord-

planned. Vedder: ‘The first provider went bankrupt

ance with LBC principles, ready for the beginning

so we had to redo the entire tendering proce-

of the 2008- 2009 academic year. ‘The experiment

dure. The new offers looked wonderful. Everyone

to apply LBC principles in the realisation of the

was extremely enthusiastic. One of the bidders

new premises of the Christelijke Scholengroep

wanted to create a new design based on their

and the ROC A12 regional training college has

own method. The brief was of course for a school

proven to be a success. We have truly learnt a lot.

building that could be adapted to keep up with changing requirements. But according to this bid-

Harry Vedder:

‘The experiment was successful.’

der, the chosen design was not good enough for that.’ After it emerged that the costs will be many times higher than anticipated, Looyé decided to collaborate with Matrix Bouw and to enlist a construction team to realise the new development. On condition that LBC elements such as adaptability, flexibility and maintenance are preserved. Different ideas

‘We were ready to create some-

thing extraordinary,’ says Looyé. ‘Naturally, the idea that LBC makes for faster, cheaper and more flexible construction appealed to me and I felt confident to attempt the experiment. In hindsight, I realise that everyone actually had a different idea of what the LBC concept entails. Anything that seemed slightly innovative, like 3D images for The school in 2010


example, was immediately labelled as LBC. That

Total honesty

Vedder: ‘Perhaps the greatest les-

is, in fact, what LBC is not about. We discovered

son learnt is that the construction industry is far

that LBC was well ahead of its time in theory. But

from ready for this. The essence of LBC is that the

has never been implemented like this in practice.

commissioning party communicates his require-

This is often the case with innovations.’

ments to the market and then allows himself to be surprised. It’s obvious that the construction

In Vedder’s eyes, the construction sector showed

industry has difficulty coming up with a product

its usual colours. ‘Saying nothing about the tight

proactively. So it turns out that the commission-

budget at first, creating the impression that you

ing party has to formulate his question compre-

can do it at that price and only revealing months

hensively and in fact already indicate what his

later the project cannot possible be realised for

expectations are.’ Looyé has now become positive

such a small sum. The construction budget was

about the flexibility of the building currently under

tight, and the commissioning party can indeed be

development. ‘That part has come into its own and

blamed for that. But by saying nothing, both par-

we should be proud of that.’

ties fell back into the old patterns.’ Worlds apart

Looyé: ‘I also get the impression

that the builder wanted to be too involved in the

Dick Looyé:

‘It first takes a momentous conflict.’

project. They had a different idea of the kind of functions that are possible for a school building.

26 DURF 2 Building for consumers

Of course there are financial advantages to keep-

Another important aspect of LBC is transpar-

ing a building open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. But you

ency and trust. ‘It is based on total frankness

have to consider the fact that the building will also

between commissioning party and contractor.

cater for young children. So that option is ruled

This requires collaboration built on trust. We saw

out. Efficiency is not the only thing that counts,

in the Veenendaal case that this trust does not

in my opinion. We discovered that our reasoning

appear out of the blue. Instead it requires a lot of

and that of the builders were worlds apart. When

trust engineering.’ Looyé agrees: ‘Everyone will

applying LBC principles, it is crucial that the pro-

first and foremost try to hedge their own risk, by

viding party understands what the core business

which you actually imply that you don’t trust the

of the commissioning party is.’

other party. And that while I want nothing different from what you get from a car salesman: someone

For some time, Looyé and the builders battled to

you trust without having to put it all in stacks of

get through to the core of various issues. Their re-


lationship became entangled in assumptions and ideas about each other, and only in truly stressful

Pushed back

Both are nonetheless convinced

times would these force the parties to confront

that concepts like LBC are the way of the future.

each other and resolve the problem. Looyé: ‘Look,

Although the advisor foresees parties other than

if you were to tell me outright that the budget is

builders devising the solutions and developing the

too small, we can come up with a solution. But it

concepts. ‘And I think that this will cause most

first takes a momentous conflict for us to make

construction firms to be pushed to the back of the

any progress.’

chain and only being called on when the actual building begins.’ Looyé: ‘Why has no market party said: ‘I offer school buildings as a concept’. I truly believe that this is the way forward.’ <

DURF 2-3


Do or don’t Hundreds of people were involved in the practical projects of PSIBouw. We asked a number of these people about their most important lessons: what they have learnt and what advice they would like to give to others who want to get started too. We made a selection from the dozens of examples heard at the various meetings.


If you want to create supply aimed at the user, you should first determine your target group. This


requires extensive knowledge of their attitudes, demands, working methods and - certainly in the case of area and neighbourhood development

If you focus on the user, it also means that you are

- their relations with other players. There are

investing in the mutual relationship. This will hap-

countless instruments available, such as market

pen in a different way on the project level - namely

and lifestyle research, neighbourhood surveys,

in a more direct and personal manner - than on

user panels and customer satisfaction surveys, to

the building concept or neighbourhood develop-

name a few. What does this mean for the possible

ment level, for example.


‘Don’t let the end user decide on sustainability.’


‘Environment must be devised


by expert.’

With which other parties in the chain would you

cessful concepts are generally higher than those

like to make an offer for the end users? A fixed

of separate unique projects. So it is important to

group of implementing parties makes it easier to come to clear long-term agreements. See also


DURF 2 Building for consumers


Durf 3: From collaboration to chain integration.

The end users - such as residents, students, pa-


draw up a business case.

Clear agreements help boost the mutual trust and quality of the work between partners. And these in turn have a positive impact on the image that

tients or office workers - often also include par-

users have of the providers. Clear agreements

ties, like housing associations or boards, that rep-

are even a precondition for eventually delivering

resent these users in one way or another. These

products that will lead to sales and satisfaction

parties play a dual role: that of representative of the end user and that of their original capacity (as


commissioning party, for example).

Involving users or potential commissioning parties


among users.

Users are not always able to formulate their demand in such a manner that providers can set to work on meeting these immediately. A miscom-

in various stages of the concept development will

municated demand will at any rate result in the

improve the chances of appreciation and support

wrong supply. The aim is to direct the demand

of the concept. Try to persuade one or more commissioning parties to carry out a practical project. The development of building, infrastructure and other concepts entails a company risk: the

‘There’s more to requirement

project, contract and end user have not yet been

assessment than market

determined. Will the anticipated users buy and appreciate the offer? The profit margins of suc-

research alone.’

‘A more flexible supply reduces the development risk.’ only to crucial requirements and wishes, so that suppliers can respond in a creative manner. For that reason, investing in user relations mainly


When users are involved in the development of their neighbourhoods or environments, other parties sometimes tend to keep their distance, while

consist of dialogue aimed at clarifying the wishes

their voice also counts in the decision-making

and demands of users. Trust and openness

process. That is why it is so important to analyse

between all parties is vital to eventually deliver a

the forces at play beforehand: is there perhaps a


product that matches the exact wishes of the user.

party that can still veto a decision afterwards or obstruct the procedures of neighbourhood devel-


opment followed by the relevant parties?

Many parties and their expectations enter the playing field in neighbourhood or area development or even infrastructure projects. The boundaries of the playing field and the rules of the game have to be clear from the start. The rules also

The involvement of users in neighbourhood and area development is not automatically expressed in private or collective patronage. Users might

include the scope of decisions: what has already

have unusually high levels of appreciation for in-

been decided and to which decisions can users

volvement in the design or decision-making proc-

still contribute? In other words, make it clear

ess, only to assume a passive role when it comes

what it is about or demand this clarity: participa-

to the implementation of the project. The main

tion or active involvement in the decision-making

indicator for the question of whether users feel

process. Keep a keen eye on the objectives when

part of the chosen solution is their appreciation of

making the decision.

the process and results, regardless of a potential role as commissioning or coordinating party. <

‘A building has no soul if it fails to meet the end user’s needs.’


DURF 2-4


Ko Blok, Chairman of the Board at ERA Bouw

‘Development with a vision’ The realisation of housing-related products that match the wishes of the target group you are aiming to reach. And where attracting these target groups results in added value for the street, neighbourhood,

around them that you can then develop further on

community or city. That is what building for consumers should revolve

the individual level. That’s an altogether different

around, in the eyes of Ko Blok. ‘In fact,’ emphasises the Chairman of

approach than you demand and we provide.’

ERA Bouw, ‘everything starts with a vision about how you would like to

Ko Blok is passionate about the city. While his col-

see the city and even the country in about 30 years’ time.’

leagues are overindulging in covering every inch of meadow with buildings, ERA Bouw, a subsidiary of TBI Holdings, is working on the transformation

30 DURF 2 Building for consumers

Ko Blok realises that he is venturing onto thin

of areas like the Rotterdam district of Crooswijk.

ice. His call for a long-term vision has often led

‘I love working on the city,’ he admits. According

colleagues around the country to respond with:

to Blok, the secret is to ensure that the develop-

‘Rubbish! You can’t live in visions.’ ‘And still,’ Blok

ments make the city as attractive as possible. His

points out, ‘I stand by my conviction that you have

motto is that you should look at the identity of the

to consider the position of the Netherlands thirty

neighbourhoods. And use what is available: the

years from now if you talk about spatial planning.

advantages in terms of location, buildings and

By then our economy will be even more inter-

cultural features. Blok has frequently imple-

nationally oriented. People in the international

mented this approach within ERA Bouw in recent

service centres could be based anywhere. High

years. ‘A good example of our approach is a hous-

professionals are footloose. This begs the ques-

ing development plan in the Mariahoeve district of

tion of how we as the Netherlands will be able to

The Hague. We approached this neighbourhood on

realise first-rate housing and living environments

the outskirts of the city from different levels, both

that will appeal to these groups.’

regional and urban. What is the current position

And that, he feels, is an entirely different ap-

of Mariahoeve and what would be desirable for

proach to the issues of building for consumers.

the future of the district? We came to the conclu-

‘Of course the projects you realise must match the

sion that we would appeal to families who want

wishes of individual users, but I find something

to make use of amenities. We even knew exactly

like the Living Building Concept rather naïve. It

where they would come from. What you then also

assumes that users know exactly what they want

know is the added value that such a project will

and are able to articulate this wish properly. I beg

have for not only the neighbourhood, but the also

to differ. I am a much greater advocate of identify-

the city and even the region. This is still the main

ing the target groups and developing concepts

starting point.’

that the product not only suits him but has been specially realised for him. ‘‘Our collaboration with Jan des Bouvrie in the district of Literatuurwijk in Almere is of course an example of that. This entails focusing on a specific group that adores the fact that the interior was designed by this renowned Dutch architect. Specially for them.’ This way of working also requires a different mentality and attitude but should not be seen as a gimmick, warns Blok. ‘It takes a lot of skill. Americans, for Ko Blok:

‘I love working on the city’ ‘In 15 years’ time, we will

example, are experts in the field. They determine

have gone through a serious

their target group for whom they then realise en-

economic slump, but at

tire communities, complete with all the mod cons.

least it will have separated

We can certainly take a leaf out of their book when

the wheat from the chaff,’

it comes to being dedicated to your clients.’ After that it is all about realising the concepts in

predicts Ko Blok.

an efficient and quality-oriented manner, according to the Chairman. ‘Invention and implementation as integrated process through the application And if the developments also serve to reinforce

of smart support constructions, for example.

the city, then something sustainable has been

That’s where our future profits lie. We also involve

created. ‘This sustainability component can also

our own suppliers and subcontractors in that

be found in the Solids of Frank Bijdendijk. These

process. They are our brothers in implementation,

buildings will last a long time, of course. I find the

who support us in doing things even better.’

concept highly appealing. But at the same time its applicability is limited to good locations in highly urbanised areas.’ A different way

Greater professionalism

Blok foresees the

property sector becoming more professional in the next 10 to 15 years. ‘In 15 years’ time, we will

Such an approach does however

have gone through a serious economic slump,

require something from the enterprise, in his

but at least it will have separated the wheat

eyes. ‘Of course, it’s a different way of working.

from the chaff. Cities will offer developers a far

You don’t design a house and then go in search

greater challenge in using attractive concepts

of the users. Instead, you first find the users and

that will not only bind groups to the city but also

then set out to create a product for this group. In

result in tangible reinforcement of the city. What’s

that sense, I foresee a transition for our organisa-

more,’ he continues without pausing, ‘consumer-

tion, from a builder who also develops to a devel-

orientation will be a very usual thing by then. I am

oper who also builds.’ And that, according to Blok,

very optimistic about these developments in our

will involve an approach that lets the user believe

sector.’ <



DURF 1 Culture and behaviour

DURF 2 Building for consumers

DURF 3 Collaboration and integration of the chain

DURF 4 Tendering procedures and benchmarking

DURF 5 ICT and construction

DURF 6 Knowledge and education

DURF 7 Practical projects

DURF 8 Outlook for the construction sector

DURF 9 The PSIBouw programme


Collaboration and integration of the chain Effective cooperation: a condition for supply chain management Advent of system integrators in the construction sector

‘Quantum Housing combines idealistic and commercial interests’ Andreas Heutink, Project Manager for Professionalization of Steel Preservation

‘Everyone has to pull together’ Lessons

Do or don’t Elco Brinkman talks about cooperation and supply chain management

‘It’s simply a matter of getting on with it’


DURF 3-1

Introduction to the theme

Effective cooperation: a condition for supply chain management Strategic alliances, joint ventures, partnerships: many forms of cooperation have come into being in the construction sector. Most of


Although there is no lack of interest in coopera-

these are associated with projects and cease to exist once the project

tion in the building sector, converting dreams into

has been completed. However, strategic joint ventures are gaining

reality is obstructed by usage and practical objec-

ground, although their number is still small. They are not bound to

tions. For example, when we asked Theo Opdam

particular projects and mainly comprise permanent contacts. In such

- director of the Plegt-Vos construction company

cases we are referring to supply chain management: permanent

– about his ambition, he said he feels that supply

partners enable companies to develop better products, thus improving

chain management is the most important factor

their competitive position. An added advantage is that failure costs

in making construction efficient and reducing

can be substantially reduced in this way.

DURF 3 Collaboration and integration of the chain

failure costs2. He added that there are tremendous opportunities here: this is confirmed by four years’ experience with PSIBouw. Nevertheless, it

oriented construction sector. Look at how project

is becoming increasingly popular: in the rail sec-

or construction teams work together, for instance:

tor, for instance, companies have started working

a ‘project team start-up’ (PSU) has been devised

together because the client, ProRail, has insisted

for the Leren van de A2 project (about the A2

that work on the railway line must cause as little

motorway). This not only focuses on the results of

disruption as possible to train traffic. In such

the project, but the members of the team also ex-

cases, cooperating with permanent partners and

amine the risks and one another’s interests, and

making clear agreements with these partners on

conclude agreements on the way in which they

working hours and delivery times makes it easier

want to communicate with one another. Moreover,

to deal with factors such as time and hindrance.

participants can make use of the simulations and

Getting to know one another

games devised by PSIBouw in order to reconnoitre Effective coop-

eration is one of the conditions for supply chain management. Something has to happen in rela-

this field, which is often unfamiliar to them. Thriller

The individual members of the project

tions between people within and among organisa-

team bring their organisations’ underlying

tions. We have to really get to know one another

interests along to the cooperative table as well.

first: only then will we be able to say whether we

Economic interests in particular play a major

ought to work together or not. This psychological

role here. The envisaged project results can only

significance of effective cooperation often results

be achieved if all parties have the opportunity to

in a certain degree of discomfort in the results-

deploy their profession in the right way and at the

right time. This can cause considerable friction,

spontaneously generate cooperation; regarding

which is generally due to the way in which com-

cooperation as a clever way of solving a puzzle;

munication progresses, and not to the intrinsic or

signing bilateral deals that were agreed on a long

technical input.

time ago; and displaying politically correct behav-

Psychological processes come into existence here

iour that serves their own interests.

and play a crucial role; they can literally turn

Carefully considering the approach adopted by

cooperation into a thriller. Attitudes that at first

the parties in the team, e.g. by making a team

seemed to be soft turn out to be as hard as nails.

analysis and by taking time on the agreements on

We have observed that people pretend to cooper-

behaviour and attitude that subsequently have to

ate while actually doing something completely dif-

be made, can work wonders.

ferent. Some examples of this include apparently cooperating by not impeding one another; keeping


Effective cooperation is enhanced by

tabs on one another; working-apart-together; sit-

diversity within the teams. Diversity is a fact of

ting next to one another in the hope that this will

life rather than a choice. Each party brings his


â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Companies that decide in favour of strategic joint ventures do better in terms of turnover and results!â&#x20AC;&#x2122;

or her own interests, problems and solutions to


With their eyes on the clock and a tight

these problems along to the cooperative table,

hand on their purses, many entrepreneurs could

and the trick is to find a joint solution in which

argue that investing in cooperation and supply

all parties can identify their own interests. This

chain management requires time and money, and

process invariably arouses friction, and the trick

that this time would be better spent on operat-

is to turn this friction into something productive.

ing processes. And it is true that the results of

Nevertheless, there is still very little genuine in-

investing in effective cooperation are not always

terest in this within the sector, which is not really

immediately perceptible. However, research at

surprising: it requires tremendous frankness and

the universities of Maastricht and Rotterdam

the courage to be vulnerable in an environment

has shown that companies that decide in favour

that often does not acknowledge or recognise this

of strategic joint ventures do better in terms of

and therefore does not accept it. In this respect,

turnover and results! A great deal of new business

the example of the new premises for a Regional

can be generated, and new services, for exam-

Training Centre in Veenendaal (see Durf 2) speaks

ple, are created in this way, which also involves

for itself.

partners outside the sector in the cooperation:


this is already happening in the operation of Permanent cooperation has already re-

multi-storey car parks and in the health care sec-

sulted in supply chain management in the world of

tor. To accelerate this, commissioning authorities

steel preservation (see Chapter 2) and in concep-

should focus more on deploying resources for

tual construction (see also Durf 2 and the example

effective cooperation such as BIM (see Durf 5), as

of Q Housing in Chapter 2). An intensive dialogue

well as taking past cooperative achievements into

has arisen between people who have got to know

consideration and keeping purchase costs for sup-

each other from the scaffolding to the negotiating

pliers low by selecting the candidates for projects

table. In the case of conceptual construction, the

more quickly. This last point still constitutes far

main type of cooperation at issue is that which will

too great an obstacle, especially in public-private

lead to a large degree of integration among con-

partnerships. <

struction firms, manufacturers and contractors.

DURF 3-2


‘Quantum Housing Advent of system integrators in the construction sector

combines idealistic and commercial interests’ ‘There are some very interesting examples of innovation resulting from supply chain management in the construction sector,’ says Maarten Rutten, PhD student at the University of Twente. He will graduate in two years’ time with his research on the way in which companies in the construction sector work together to devise new

theless, this joint quest for new techniques or

systems. Quantum (or Q) Housing is one example of how all parties

systems is the way for system integrators to gen-

in the construction chain have joined forces to develop a reasonably-

erate new business. The term ‘system integrator’

priced and sustainable house. ‘Using open-source systematics is quite

originates from industries that produce relatively

unique for the construction sector,’ says Edwin Smit of MIII Architects

complex systems. ‘They do this for each project

in Rijswijk, the brains behind Q Housing.

separately,’ Rutten explains. ‘Examples of systems made by system integrators include military arms systems, spacecraft and ships.’

Rutten says this is one of the most remarkable aspects he has come across during the two years


In connection with his research on how

he has been studying the subject. ‘I’m sure there

companies in the construction sector devise new

are more companies working together to develop

systems, Rutten has examined various enterprises

something new than we are aware of,’ he says.

and initiatives in this field. One of these is the

‘The fact is, they don’t always broadcast their

initiative for Q Housing. A number of companies

activities on a large scale, and they aren’t always

in the construction sector have united to form

mentioned in the trade journals either.’ Never-

the Q Cooperative Association in order to enable development and subsequent construction of the

Maarten Rutten:

‘Participating parties have to formulate realistic expectations for cooperation.’

sustainable, healthy and reasonably-priced Q Housing to be carried out in a responsible manner and on a large scale. Edwin Smit of MIII Architects is the president of this association, and has been involved in the basic development of these houses since 2003. ‘The Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment wanted to make the


concept of sustainable building more accessible to consumers,’ he says. ‘Up till then, they had invested a small fortune in all kinds of sustainable model projects, although these were still stigmatised as being expensive.’ Together with other parties, Smit came to the conclusion that there was a particular lack of open source systems in the construction sector even with regard to sharing information, let alone knowledge. ‘And the conceptual construction systems are often related to one sole producer. However, we could envisage opportunities for achieving more inexpensive products in the long run by involving a number of producers.’ Commercial interest

‘The interesting thing about

this innovation project is that it combines two interests,’ says Maarten Rutten. ‘We can clearly discern an idealistic interest, since after all,

Edwin Smit:

‘Quantum Housing is a fast and relatively inexpensive way to achieve sustainable construction.’

these homes are sustainable and environmentally friendly as well as being affordable. And we can 38 DURF 3 Collaboration and integration of the chain

see a strong driving force and ambition to create

Smit. ‘We’ve carried out a number of projects and

a sustainable environment with Q Housing. At the

developed the concept further as a result of this.

same time, there’s also an obvious commercial

Since we’re now ready for scaling-up, we’ve noti-

interest, since most of the participating parties

fied the housing corporations. The homes fulfil all

want to make money with this system in the end.

the requirements, a Groenverklaring certificate

But we can see from the way that the parties

has been issued for the environmentally friendly

work together that both these interests are equal,

building materials used, and a Woningborg hous-

which in my opinion increases the chances of

ing guarantee certificate will be issued for the


homes as well. To sum up, Q Housing is a fast and

Smit agrees with this. ‘If you respect the planet

relatively inexpensive way to achieve sustainable

and the balance of nature, you have to respect

construction. And we’re lucky that this is hap-

commercial interests as well,’ he says. ‘In ad-

pening now, because sustainable construction is

dition, you can see that something is actually

really the in thing.’

achieved as soon as there is any question of a commercial interest. Look at what’s going on in

A growing type of enterprise

Maarten Rutten an-

cradle-to-cradle design. Of course, this principle

ticipates that system integrators in the construc-

has been around for a very long time, but now

tion sector, in for example the way Q Housing has

we’ve found that it actually gets results in an eco-

evolved, will become a growing type of enter-

nomic sense, this has removed any associations

prise. This is mainly due to the implementation

of woolly headed environmentalism and it’s even

of design, building & maintenance and turn-key

being discussed at boardroom meetings.’

contracts. ‘After all, there’s always one party that

Q Housing has meanwhile outgrown its infancy.

assumes responsibility for design as well as

‘The actual start-up phase is now behind us,’ says

execution in these forms of contract,’ he says.

He is silent for a moment when asked whether

to materialise. Incidentally, this can be avoided

there are any pitfalls attached to joint efforts, but

if the participating parties formulate realistic

then he says: ‘Definitely. Everyone is enthusiastic

expectations regarding their cooperation. It has to

at the start, but things can go wrong if results fail

have a good chance of succeeding.’ <

Andreas Heutink, Project Manager for Professionalization of Steel Preservation

‘Everyone has to pull together’ ‘In the past, the world of steel and steel preservation mainly consisted of a number of small islands. Each discipline in the chain focused absolutely on its own interests. I’m not saying that

a certain point in time, we got the idea of seek-

the Professionalization of Steel Preservation project has changed

ing ways in which to prevent this happening. The

this world completely, but we’re making progress. A unique form

important principle here was substantiating the

of cooperation has resulted in more sympathy for one another’s

cornerstones of the Regieraad Bouw: transpar-

situations. Everyone in the chain wants to improve the quality of the

ency, innovation and the price-quality ratio.’

product, and that’s a good thing for all parties concerned.’


Heutink has been project manager of

the PSIBouw Professionalization of Steel PreserAndreas Heutink (Directorate-General for Public

vation project ever since. ‘So where do you start?’

Works and Water Management, RWS) was one of

Heutink asks. ‘Well, first of all you talk to all the

those who initiated the idea of working together

parties concerned, and I literally mean all the

with all parties to professionalize steel preserva-

parties: from the laboratory assistant responsible

tion. ‘I was often involved in projects where the

for the composition of the coating right up to the

commissioning authority and the contractor held

person who assembles the steel construction.

diametrically opposing views,’ Heutink says. ‘At

During these talks, we learned that everyone had experience of a project that didn’t go off well. To put it briefly, there’s plenty of room for improvement. Our first task was to organise a dialogue with the entire chain in which everyone had the opportunity to air their views. After that you find that everyone shares the opinion that the end result should be improved. And that’s when we all start pulling together.’ Making the game

The commissioning authorities

in the chain have formed the Steel Reinforcement Commissioning Authorities Committee. RWS, the Ministry of Defence/Royal Netherlands Navy, NAM BV, Nederlandse Gasunie, ProRail, the Province of Zuid-Holland and Rotterdam Municipal Works


have all joined the PSIBouw project. Contractors, suppliers, consulting engineers and members of the scientific community are also closely involved in the project and have a seat on the ‘knowledge platform’. Or as Heutink puts it: ‘This means that the spectators in the front row are not the only ones in position, but also the footballers, coaches and technical staff responsible for making the game.’ One thing he has noticed during the past years is that everyone is willing to change. ‘And, of course,’ he adds, ‘there are occasionally some who go a bit faster than others, but the vanguard was well represented in the project.’ Model contracts

One of the first challenges was

drawing up a new model contract that was able to express a better price-quality ratio and permanent contacts. ‘And that wasn’t an easy job at all. In

the construction is more economical in the long

fact, angry words were even exchanged at times.

run as a result of lower maintenance costs, even if

That’s logical really, since it concerns matters

it’s slightly more expensive to build.’

such as liability and responsibilities, which affect 40

entrepreneurs’ economic interests. But we finally

Change of attitude

The project steering group

DURF 3 Collaboration and integration of the chain

succeeded in drafting these model contracts by

is of the opinion that other production chains in

communicating in an open and transparent man-

the construction sector can benefit from les-

ner with one another and showing what we’d done

sons learnt and experience gained. ‘Such as the

with comments on the texts.’

asphalt and concrete chains, for instance, where a number of parties in the chain work with one

Heutink feels that the main thing now is to gain

another too. Of course, in the process of renewal,

experience with even more pilot projects, which

it’s a pity that PSIBouw is now stopping after four

will enable the new working method to be devel-

years. It’s important to keep boosting the change

oped further. ‘Above all, we have to learn, and we

of attitude in the construction sector now that the

must apply the knowledge we acquire and make

flywheel of change has started turning.’ <

sure it spreads like an ink stain by way of the knowledge platform. This is important, because we’re talking about constructions such as bridges and we have to be able to set the highest possible requirements for these constructions with respect to sustainability. If we contract out on a price-quality basis, this will give our contracting partners more financial scope to build a more sustainable steel construction with lower lifecycle costs. After all, it’s in everyone’s interests if

Andreas Heutink:

‘We talked to all the parties concerned, from the laboratory assistant responsible for the coating, right up to the person who assembles the steel construction.’

DURF 3-3


Do or donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Hundreds of people were involved in the practical projects of PSIBouw. We asked a number of these people about their most important lessons: what they have learnt and what advice they would like to give to others who want to get started too. We made a selection from the dozens of examples heard at the various meetings.


Supply chain management requires extensive cooperation among the parties: it means that you have to choose between the parties, which makes you strongly dependent on one another and assign


Supply chain management is a good idea if it is deployed in a project-unrelated manner, otherwise the efforts and investments involved (in the shape of time and energy) cannot generally be made cost-effective.

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;A sense of belonging to a club improves cooperation.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;


exclusivity to one another.

Only those parties that make an actual contribution to the intended result should be allowed to join and participate. The number and nature of the parties should be critically examined in relation to


the objective.

We can learn a great deal from other sectors in which supply chain management is a normal phenomenon.


‘Supply chain management is a good idea if it is deployed in a project-unrelated manner.’


Old sores should be got rid of before cooperation starts. Parties can only trust one another if they know each other’s background. Get to know each


other’s interests and motives, respect one an-

DURF 3 Collaboration and integration of the chain

other, generate enthusiasm and allow each other

6 7

benefits. Invest in personal contacts too.

Decisions on cooperation must be made by people who are authorised to do so.

Make your intentions clear: why you are in favour


Cooperation can only be effective and provide the basis for supply chain management if parties’ interests are explicit, appropriate and complementary. In particular, look for each other’s strong


points, encourage them and unite them.

Ultimately, supply chain management is always aimed at generating (new) business. And you have to be able to admit here that there is always one party at the forefront within a cooperative entity. Other partners can be won over by practical projects or involving clients in the process.

of supply chain management or cooperation. And how do you do this? Well, it’s like cooking: although everyone can make a different course, they

‘Have the courage to think (together)

can work together as one culinary team whose sole aim is to prepare a dinner.


outside existing frameworks.’

Cooperation among existing parties in the chain results in a better (and innovative) process, and in better (but not necessarily innovative) solutions. <

DURF 3-4


‘It’s simply a matter Elco Brinkman talks about cooperation and supply chain management

of getting on with it’ ‘As far as cooperation and supply chain management are concerned, it’s simply a matter of getting on with it. After that, you learn from any mistakes you might make, so that you don’t make them again in the future,’ says Elco Brinkman, president of the Bouwend Nederland

forced to work together. And finally, commission-

trade association. At the same time, he admits that cooperation and

ing authorities will encourage cooperation to a

supply chain management are still not generally accepted in the

greater extent too. After all, they want a way of

sector, despite numerous examples of success. ‘Ultimately, people

measuring performance and choose a triple A

are still far too apt to decide in favour of their own profits, and this

combination which means quality will count. Be-

culture has to change.’

sides this, commissioning authorities would like to be relieved of their cares, and concept solutions fit in very well with this.’ Brinkman goes on to say: ‘The remarkable thing is that all parties in the sector are aware of the

Too easy

According to Brinkman, successful

importance and added value of cooperation and

supply chain management starts when companies

supply chain management. And if we look around

have the courage to make strategic choices. ‘What

us, we see that a number of successful projects

role does the company intend to play vis-à-vis

have been carried out. Nevertheless,’ he adds,

the client and/or end user? What partnerships

‘implementing this on a larger scale seems to be

would be relevant here? In practice, we see that

a lot more difficult.’

companies often find it difficult to make choices

At the same time, Brinkman is convinced that we

of this kind because they think that specialisation

are nearing the turning-point. He is expecting

involves continuity risks.’ In his opinion, this is the

cooperation and supply chain management to be

reason why the process will take place gradu-

much more widely accepted in the construction

ally: an important factor here is the deployment

sector in about five years’ time. ‘Firstly, because

of regular vocational training and in-company

of pricing. Cost prices will keep increasing, and

training courses. ‘People have to learn about

closer cooperation among constructors, produc-

supply chain management and the advantages of

ers and suppliers will be a logical result. And

a different approach,’ he says. ‘This can be done

also because the possibility of using second-hand

at school, although knowledge centres can also

materials will be examined in much more depth

play a major part here. In addition, it’s important

from a societal point of view. Secondly, construc-

that we bring about a change in culture too. At the

tion projects will become more and more complex,

present moment, everyone is still far too inclined

which means that the parties will be more or less

to look at the product from their own point of


view. A project is finally secured after a laborious tendering procedure, but people are mainly concerned with safeguarding their own turnover afterwards. What’s wrong with a joint profit and loss account? There’s no reason why this has to be in equal shares, but parties should still have the courage to abandon their prejudices. And personally, I feel that the argument that commissioning authorities’ bottom-price mentality obstructs this type of approach is a bit too easy.’ Penalty

He finds it extremely surprising that par-

ties seldom evaluate projects. ‘If you don’t do that, you won’t be able to learn anything from them,’ he says. ‘Other sectors such as health care and the chemical industry make a full analysis, especially in the case of accidents. They investigate what steps have been taken and what has been omitted. It’s completely logical to do this. Although we now draw up reports in the sector more often than we did in the past, we still have a certain fear 44

Elco Brinkman:

‘Involving various parties at an early stage can result in lower costs and higher quality.’

of being penalised if a mistake is discovered on

DURF 3 Collaboration and integration of the chain

closer investigation. This is strange, because we should learn from our mistakes and pass this on


He glances out of the window and indicates

to others in a structured manner.’ Brinkman cites

the white façade of Bouwend Nederland’s office

the two model projects (Steel Preservation and Q

in Zoetermeer, known as the Bouwhuis. ‘The pro-

Housing) described elsewhere in this edition of

ducer was involved in the design of this building

DURF as good examples of supply chain manage-

at an early stage. The architect wanted to put tiles

ment. ‘Satisfactory results can be obtained by

on the façade, so in order to avoid too many tiles

focusing on a concept in a project-unrelated man-

having to be cut, the tile manufacturer advised

ner and by agreeing together on added value for

the architect to adjust the measurements so that

the client. This has already been demonstrated:

whole tiles could be used for the entire façade.’

we should think before we act. Although a school

According to Brinkman, people are not yet aware

in Doetinchem may look quite different on the out-

that involving various parties at an early stage,

side to one in Appingendam, the requirements set

such as the tile manufacturer in the above case,

are still exactly the same for both schools. There-

can result in lower costs and higher quality. It is

fore, the chain can devise a concept for this. And

important to circulate success stories and best

I’m opposed to the argument that we would then

practices in order to focus more attention on

be creating uniformity, because as I’ve said, the

this fact. Brinkman nods emphatically: ‘Yes, it’s

architecture may be quite different. But a modular

extremely important, and Bouwend Nederland

system does happen to provide advantages with

facilitates this wherever possible. After all, we can

regard to efficiency, and it’s interesting from the

all learn a great deal from other people’s experi-

point of view of the costs as well.’

ences, and it gets all of us thinking too.’ <

DURF 1 Culture and behaviour

DURF 2 Building for consumers

DURF 3 Collaboration and integration of the chain

DURF 4 Tendering procedures and benchmarking

DURF 5 ICT and construction

DURF 6 Knowledge and education

DURF 7 Practical projects

DURF 8 Outlook for the construction sector

DURF 9 The PSIBouw programme


Tendering procedures and benchmarking Trend reversal a fact

Observe, compare and purchase Wolter Seinen, Project Manager at the Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management

‘Sector experiencing immense boost in professionalism’ Ger van der Wal about performance measurements at ProRail

‘Safety has increased’ Port of Rotterdam Authority

Innovative quay walls owed to new tendering procedures Lessons

Do or don’t Bert Klerk, Chairman of the Board of ProRail

‘Commissioning parties can learn a whole lot more from one another’


DURF 4-1

Introduction to the theme

Trend reversal a fact

Observe, compare and purchase Penny wise and pound foolish. The construction sector often acts as if it has never even heard of this adage. Automatically awarding a We speak of a breakthrough, because both parties

construction contract to the bidder with the lowest price inevitably

keep each other trapped in a vicious circle: when

leads to a decline in quality and a rise in operating costs. The situation

a client persists in awarding the contract to the

is changing, but it will nonetheless take a significant breakthrough

bidder who offers the lowest price, the latter is

in the approach to the tendering process for it to become widely

left with no room to come up with creative solu-

accepted. The necessary resources are already in place.

tions. And a construction firm that fails to offer

Now the sector must do its part.

creative solutions simply confirms what many 46

clients suspect: that builders lack innovative ca-

DURF 4 Tendering procedures and benchmarking

pacity and are insensitive to the client’s needs. An

is determining which bidding party has the best

indicator to predict whether such a breakthrough

solution for your needs. Commissioning parties

can be expected is the level of trust between the

often lack the knowledge needed to make the

relevant parties.Recent years have indeed seen

right choice.

significant improvements in this regard. Even more promising is the trend towards focusing on


To lend a helping hand, PSIBouw and

the quality of an offer and innovation, especially

Regieraad Bouw have developed a set of Tender-

among public commissioning authorities and the

ing Guidelines, containing a type of ‘voting aid’,

larger commissioning businesses. Commission-

where every answer given by the commissioning

ing parties are increasingly demanding innovative

party brings him closer to the most suitable kind

applications and lifespan costs.

of ‘questionnaire’ and type of contract (including

The right answer

new ones). This decision support system has been And that is the key: The manner

available as part of the Tendering Guidelines from

in which commissioning parties formulate their

the beginning of 2009. The Tendering Guidelines

demand. Which criteria do they use for the selec-

comprises sample models of the most common

tion of bidding parties? And which for the ultimate

forms of collaboration. They also allow com-

awarding of the contract? Changing demand is the

missioning parties the opportunity to determine

starting point for a new approach to the tendering

beforehand which criteria to use for making a

process. No longer prescribing every specifica-

selection from the bidding parties.

tion to the last detail, but rather defining what you need. That, of course, is easier said than done. Formulating the right question is no picnic, nor


In practice, there is often a shift towards

integrated contracts. These are applied with

increasing regularity in the field of groundwork,

timately be selected to carry out the project. This

road and hydraulic engineering. The popularity

causes a decline in the number of bidding parties,

of public-private partnerships is likewise on the

and a subsequent lack of competition.

rise. All of these types of contracts provide more

Commissioning parties, in turn, discover that

guarantees that a construction firm will actually

some market parties are unsure how to respond

deliver on its promises. They offer more room for

to an open request and therefore long for a return

creativity for the bidding parties in the chain. The

of the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;oldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; way of inviting tenders. The lack

lowest price is no longer the key determining fac-

of knowledge on both sides certainly forms an

tor. Instead, the focus is on the most advantageous

obstacle, as does the attitude of many public com-

offer, where price always corresponds with quality.

missioning parties. Politicians demand the lowest

A serious drawback of integrated and especially

cost in the construction phase, whereas the offer

private-public partnership constructions is that

that is most advantageous for the entire lifespan

bidding parties incur high costs during the tender-

of the construction will ultimately be the cheaper

ing stage, without knowing whether they would ul-

and higher quality option.


‘Innovations in the tendering process are irreversible.’


The quality of the offer goes hand in hand

the issue of whether this information should be

with the quality of the provider. In the autumn of

made public, similar to the Handover of New

2008, the Directorate-General for Public Works

Developments Benchmark, which was developed

and Water Management announced that it will

on the instruction of PSIBouw and is now being

start taking the so-called ‘Past Performance’ of

implemented by the Association of (Prospective)

construction companies into account when select-

Homeowners. In neighbouring countries, where

ing bidders. Past Performance was developed on

benchmark information is public, it has emerged

the instruction of PSIBouw. Various criteria can be

that the quality of businesses has improved by

used to assess the quality of individual compa-

leaps and bounds.

nies. The result is a list of companies in order of priority, enabling the commissioning party to


Innovations in the tendering process

select a company on the basis of factors such as

and benchmarks are irreversible, especially now

time, lifespan, budget, speed of operations,

that leading commissioning parties have com-

financial strength, the environment, information

pelled a new trend. The trend towards innova-

& communication and client orientation.

tion in the collaboration between commissioning


parties and construction firms will ultimately seep The first Past Performance sheep is over

into the language as well. The focus will be on

the ditch. This is nothing short of a breakthrough,

professional patronage and enterprise, expressed

as this form of benchmarking works both ways:

in strategic purchasing, partnering and transpar-

it helps commissioning parties to determine who

ent transactions. As is happening in the regular

offers superior quality, and construction firms

world as well. The terms ‘tendering’ and ‘award-

can use it to improve their own performance.

ing a tender’ can then definitely be confined to the

Benchmarking shows exactly where the company

annals of history. <

performs better or worse than its direct competitors. It makes it clear where the company ranks on the list and shows where it needs to improve in order to rank higher on the list. Discussions are currently underway in the Netherlands on


EIB- monitor data 2006-2008

DURF 4-2


‘Sector experiencing Wolter Seinen, Project Manager at the Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management

immense boost

in professionalism’ The brief of the Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management: Come up with a plan to keep the locks’ risk of failure

While formulating the request, the Directorate-

and maintenance as low as possible. Wolter Seinen, Project Manager

General discovered that the market parties still

at the Directorate-General, was closely involved in the call for tenders

had very little experience in such analyses. ‘Some

to overhaul the electrical systems of the Haringvliet and Volkerak

knowledge could be found here and there among


the smaller consultancies, but it was still very sparse. This is what prompted our decision to educate the market ourselves.’ To this end, the After almost 40 years, most of the electrical sys-

Directorate-General devised a five-day training

tems of the Haringvliet lock complex have reached

programme. The course was preceded by a kick-

the end of their useful life. The consequences:

off meeting for anyone interested in the project

an increased risk of malfunction and a reduction

in which it was made clear to all participants

in the reliability of the dike, resulting in reduced

that this working method will not be a one-off

safety for the hinterland. Signals: ‘We decided to

exercise. ‘We stressed the fact that although this

concentrate on replacing the electrical and oper-

was a pilot project, we as the Directorate-General

ating systems to correspond with a new approach

for Public Works and Water Management will be

of specifying according to function. We now asked

applying this approach more often when inviting

the market for a safe dike that would meet tomor-

tenders. In other words, if you as a party want

row’s requirements.’

to participate, you have to participate whole-

Wolter Seinen:

‘The implementing party has made rapid advances in terms of professionalism.’


heartedly.’ In the end, a total of 50 participants attended the course. It was concluded with a final assignment, which participants had to complete to a sufficient quality standard to be invited to bid on the project. Remuneration

In the end, five consortiums were

invited to bid on the project, which included not only the Haringvliet complex but also similar activities for the Volkerak lock complex. During the tendering procedure, the Directorate-General was engaged in competition-oriented dialogue. A total of 24 interviews were held. ‘A rather intensive process, but also highly informative. We learned, for example, that we knew all the participants very well, and not only in the official capacity. The consultations also made it clear, for example, that the expense allowance that the parties would receive for their efforts would be too low. So we raised it accordingly.’ Contact 50

‘All participating parties agree that we have set the trend with this interactive method of working.

In the end, three parties submitted a for-

In my opinion, the success is mainly owed to the

DURF 4 Tendering procedures and benchmarking

mal offer. ‘Though we had incorporated fictional

contact established with the bidding teams. Our

bonuses on the process quality based on the prin-

aim is to maintain these open lines of communica-

ciple of the most advantageous offer (economisch

tion with the party ultimate accepting the assign-

meest voordelige inschrijving or EMVI, see insert),

ment. After all, it is still all about people.’ <

the price of the lowest offer was what ultimately clinched it for us. It taught us that we should pay even more attention to distinguishing tendering

What is an EMVI?

criteria according to quality. At the same time, it has become clear that the implementing party

A most advantageous offer (Economisch Meest Voordelige Inschrijving or

that will now be doing the work has made rapid

EMVI) helps parties inviting tenders for infrastructural and other works,

advancement in terms of professionalism.’

supplies and services to attract offers with the best possible price-value ratio. Not only the tendering price but also other criteria are used to determine the winning bid. The total EMVI value of an offer is expressed through a fictional tendering price. The EMVI value of each criterion is ultimately expressed in euros. The EMVI model has three different types of tendering criteria: price, performance and quality. A performance criterion is expressed in performance units, for example: ready 4 weeks sooner at EUR 10,000/week represents an EMVI value of EUR 40,000. A quality criterion is assessed by first assigning it a rating. Then the EMVI value is calculated by multiplying the number of additional ratings with a percentage of the tendering price.

Ger van der Wal about performance measurements at ProRail

‘Safety has improved’ Five years ago, ProRail started to develop a system that would make it possible to measure the performance of contractors. The system has been in use for some time and all the parties are happy with it.

they simply asked one another. Nowadays the

What was needed to achieve this?

results are public.’ Objective

To measure their performance, ProRail

Ger van der Wal, Tendering and Purchase Manag-

draws on the experiences of its own project lead-

er at ProRail: ‘At the time, it became increasingly

ers: ‘We take measurements over a period of five

important to us to have a clear understanding of

consecutive quarters. This takes place on the

what we could expect from a rail contractor or

basis of interviews among dozens of our project

engineering firm. Every extension of the activities

leaders. The rating is done on various indicators

instantly led to delays in train traffic. So it was

on a scale of excellent to poor. Following this, they

crucial to know how each of our contractors had

have to make a choice. Though you could call it

been performing to date and it is good to know on

subjective, it is also representative of the actual

which points the work could be improved in terms

situation. And thanks to the period of measure-

of organisation or implementation. It facilitates

ment and the large number of project leaders, you

sustainable relations between us and our contrac-

could call the end results sufficiently objective.

tors, on the one hand, but also makes it easier to

We furthermore carry out quantitative measure-

sever relations if things don’t go well.’

ments, for example on the extension of the so-


called mothballing of services and on the levels of Transparency is key in the performance


measurement system, which ProRail developed in collaboration with the contractors. ‘Initially we

‘We have a report on every company for every

still practised restraint when it came to publishing

quarter. We then apply the results in the tender-

the results. At first, we kept the info within Pro-

ing process. This is done on three levels: we set a

Rail. The contractor or engineering firm received

lower limit. Companies ‘in the red’ get the mes-

the results of their own measurements, but those

sage that we are no longer that interested in col-

of their colleagues were not revealed. This only

laborating with them. Those on the orange list are

worked for a brief period: It didn’t take them long

invited for consultations: How did matters come to

to figure out who the competitors were, because

this? What are we going to do about it? Those on the green list qualify for participation in the bidding. Then it is all right to be more expensive than

Ger van der Wal:

if you were on the orange list.’

‘It is crucial to know how a contractor performs.’

Small scale

This method only works if your

organisation’s data management is in order. Van der Wal: ‘Don’t attempt it if you do not systemati-


cally obtain information on the quality of the work.

rate with other commissioning parties, like the

Not that it has to be done on a large scale from day

Directorate-General for Public Works and Water

one. We also started on a small scale and gradu-

Management, in these sectors, so that we can

ally added more indicators. We always did so in

accumulate sufficient critical mass for a reliable

consultation with the contractors and engineering


firms. The advantage is that businesses nowadays attach so much importance to the results that they

So does Van der Wal truly see the effects reflected

are starting to approach us for the outcomes to

in the quality of the completed work? ‘Of course.

apply these in their own organisation. For example,

We are seeing a significant decline in the number

boosting the morale among employees or using

of safety-related incidents. Though partly the

the data in their own marketing efforts.’

result of other efforts, we can also attribute this


to past performance.’ < ProRail did not have great difficulty

developing this system. ‘However, we did have problems with measuring in sectors where the number of suppliers was low and where we did not have many assignments. Look, if the number of contracts declines too severely, can you then still consider the measurements of, say, two years ago relevant? That is why we decided to collabo-

Ger van der Wal:

‘There’s a significant decline in the number of safety-related incidents.’

52 DURF 4 Tendering procedures and benchmarking

Innovative quay walls owed to new tendering procedures ‘Strolling through the Rotterdam port area you see a lot of the same. A lot of steel, so a lot of corrosion. So we were more than ready for a

to go for the lowest price.’ In this contract, the

new design,’ comments Teun Tuijtel. Tuijtel is Head of Development,

Port Authority describes impractical terms what

Infrastructure and the Environment at the Port of Rotterdam Authority

a construction company should be building at

and initiator of a new type of quay wall for the brand new Euromax

its own discretion. This allows the construction

Container Terminal in Rotterdam. Traditional steel is not only high

firm more freedom to use its own approach and

maintenance, but its price has also escalated to the extent that the

materials to build in the most efficient manner

Port of Rotterdam Authority went in search of an alternative. An


example of granting based on value.

Benefits of scale

Various designs were submit-

ted. It was clear that this large-scale project Tuijtel: ‘We wanted a design & construct contract,

would be a first for the Netherlands in the sense

with the option of including the maintenance as

that the quay wall will no longer take the shape of

well. The aim was to give the market room to

a steel dam wall. Every design entry received was

come up with a new design. We didn’t simply want

assessed on quality, maintenance aspects and

potential projects in the future. In other words: there were benefits of scale to be had in the future, certainly with a view to the imminent Second Maasvlakte, so we actually became a launching customer.’ Adjusting ‘After the granting was done, we could concentrate on the question of how best to gain control over the construction process. That took some getting used to. After all, we had no reference design to go on. So the contractor bore the responsibility and we as commissioning party had to keep our distance. It was no easy process. The maintenance part of the contract did not go through. It turned out that it was still too complicated to come to agreements on a maintenance risk profile. But because of the possibility of also

period of 30 years: How do you approach some-

awarding the winning contractor the maintenance

thing like that? Generally speaking however we

contract for the first 15 years, a sound and risk-

are highly impressed with the both the tendering

free construction process was in everyone’s inter-

procedure and the manner in which the work

est. Though not the cheapest option, the concrete

was carried out. It proves to us that non-detailed

deep-wall construction was innovative, of high

specifications and value criteria can be used to

quality, durable and low risk.

distil true innovation from the market for the

So what was the appeal for the construction firms

benefit of both parties. We have since repeated

to be approached in this manner? Tuijtel: ‘Major

the process, though I would not recommend it for

contractors saw it as an opportunity for this

minor projects. There has to be a clear economy

project to function as a type of pilot project for

of scale attached.’ <

Teun Tuijtel:

‘Value-based criteria let you distil true innovation from the market.’ BAM Civiel completed construction of the almost 2,000-metre long quay wall for the Euromax Container Terminal towards the end of 2007. The wall

This makes the terminal suitable for handling

took shape in the form of an innovative deep-wall construction. The design

the future generation of container vessels as well.

& construct contract was worth well over EUR 60 million.

What makes the project unique is the fact that the quay wall was built as a concrete deep-wall

The terminal is used for the transshipment of

construction - a first for any seawall in the

containers. The quay wall stretches to a depth

Netherlands. The deep-wall stretches to a depth

of -16.65 metres, with the option of a possible

of -34 metres and is 1.2 metres wide. The quay

deepening to -19.65 metres in the future.

wall was built in the dry and then dredged free.


Present performance also plays a part

54 DURF 4 Tendering procedures and benchmarking

Experiments with past performance are

has nonetheless learnt valuable lessons

taking place in various fields. Jaap Kooiman

from the experience, according to Kooiman.

was closely involved in a pilot project as Head

‘Firstly, that we should ask participants for

of Purchasing and on behalf of the Eastern

more completed projects and that we should

division of the Directorate-General for Public

perhaps refrain from such detailed mea-

Works and Water Management. ‘It involved a

suring. Because, let’s be honest, it makes

hydraulic construction of five or six million

precious little difference whether the final

euros. First, an open meeting was organised

score is 7.5 or 7.6.’

where the executive parties were informed

Another form of considering past perfor-

of the procedure. There was a lot of interest.

mance is, Kooiman says, present perfor-

People were very curious to see how it would

mance. ‘It means that the parties come to

all pan out,’ Kooiman recalls. Those interested

an agreement that the contractor will be

in participating in the procedure had to submit

monitored on certain issues while the pro-

a recently completed project. ‘An independent

ject is underway. You can embed this entirely

agency then set to work interviewing both the

in your monitoring system and even attach a

commissioning party and the contractor. Their

bonus/malus to it for when the builder keeps

responses were rated and these were used to

to/violates the agreements. This is conclu-

make up the final scores.’

ded with a score that can be included as past

The pilot went well, according to Kooiman. It

performance in the next selection process.

had been agreed in advance that the three best

The point of both past and present perfor-

parties would be selected to present their bid

mance is not only that the quality improves,

proposals. ‘Three of the contractors ended

but they can also help prevent us from

up scoring full marks, which meant that the

awarding the contract to the worst contender

past performance made little difference to the

simply because his offer happened to be the

scores in this case.’ The Directorate-General

cheapest.’ <

Jaap Kooiman:

‘The point is that the quality improves.’

DURF 4-3


Do or donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t


Hundreds of people were involved in the practical projects of PSIBouw. We asked a number of these people about their most important lessons: what they have learnt and what advice they would

tives of the project (such as lifespan, maintenance

like to give to others who want to get started too. We made a selection

costs, availability, construction speed, reduced

from the dozens of examples heard at the various meetings.

hindrance). Also see to it that quality is reflected in the EMVI criteria (60% - 70% quality, 30 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 40% price).

A market survey


is an ideal tool to encour-

age the exchange of ideas among the market parties, but I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t always use it. Such an instrument

Before embarking

on the project, deter-

can be applied for both large and small projects,

mine the objectives and the relevant areas where

but guard against using it for the sole purpose of

you require creativity from your suppliers. Then

obtaining information.

make the most the innovative power and knowledge available in the market by making it clear to

To encourage

them where the boundaries of their freedom lie.

ideas, protection of intellectual property is need-

contenders to propose their

ed. The bidder takes out a patent in respect of his

Ensure that

the selection and granting

criteria are geared towards the specific objec-

idea, which others may use for a fee, and the commissioning party is offered an open licence.

New types of contracts

require a change

out). A wise commissioning party will furthermore

in the procedures and an open approach from

include in his specifications the quality standard

all parties. To prepare the organisation for this,

he has in mind.

a simulation or simulation game is a powerful

Be sure to list


the risks and the proposed

distribution of risks in the brief and include these

Regressing to

the ‘old behavioural patterns’

in the negotiations.

is normal. Regular process support can help


prevent this. It is also essential that opportunistic

Also assess

behaviour is identified and discussed.

product and lifecycle-related aspects. Develop

and rate the quality of the

DURF 4 Tendering procedures and benchmarking

sufficiently transparent instruments to this end.


Communicate about the criteria and score.

The request Make it clear

to the bidding parties what the

should correspond realistically

with the budget and not be too excessive for op-

objectives and intentions of the project are and

portunistic reasons (overbriefing). The commis-

why this form of tendering/brief was chosen. Also

sioning party may choose whether to make its

state the selection criteria. The project objec-

budget public.

tives and freedom boundaries form the basis of the brief. If you have definite ideas about certain

The contract

components, prescribe these as well.

bonus/malus, risk distribution, etc.


specification gives bid-

ders ample room for expressing their creativity.

can also include alternatives:

Making the offer

To avoid getting the opposite of what you were expecting, include images or a general descrip-

Only offer what you can

tion in the sense of ‘we’re thinking along these or

what you think the commissioning party wants to

those lines’. Reference projects tend to give too

hear. Also offer alternatives.

achieve and not

much guidance, so avoid these.

Offers are

still too often worked out in detail

Solution-free specification does not imply

in an effort to reduce the price. This drives up the

that commissioning parties no longer have any

transaction costs. Develop cost and design meth-

say in the matter (or the process of fleshing it

ods to be able to budget the overall plans.

Past Performance and benchmarking

Choosing As the commissioning party,

you should

To take past performance

to the next step,

not shy away from interacting with the bid-

it is essential that major commissioning parties apply

ders. There’s a reason for competition-oriented


dialogue being called ‘dialogue’. There’s more to it than answering questions or providing informa-

Until such time

tion. Make topics such as risk analysis and risk

comes into being, past performance can also play

distribution part of the dialogue and assessment.

a role in the selection process of each individual

as an industry-wide system

project. This means involving the reference projects

Action plans

sometimes look good on paper

and don’t impact much in the scores, but they can

and past commissioning parties. This requires a lot of extra work from both parties.

encourage a discussion to assess the bidder’s

There’s more


to a performance measurement

than just the ‘final score’; the lessons learnt and op-

Assessment techniques

with panels of

portunities for improvement are important too. During

experts are handy tools for making attitude and

a performance measurement, ensure that you give an

behaviour measureable and are subsequently

honest assessment of your own performance and that

included as a criterion.

of others.

Training for bidders

(together with the

If you know

that a performance measurement

commissioning party or otherwise) could serve

will take place once construction is concluded, see to

to encourage openness and mutual trust during

it that you build up a dossier during the project and

the tendering procedure and to make attitude and

arrange interim measurements.

behaviour measurable.

Bench marking is something you basically do for Transaction costs

can be limited through a

your own benefit. The organisation can use the results

tendering procedure in stages, where the number

to identify areas requiring improvement and to imple-

of bidders is reduced as early as possible.

ment the relevant improvements. <


DURF 4-4


‘Commissioning parties can learn a whole lot more Bert Klerk, Chairman of the Board of ProRail

from one another’ ‘What strikes me in particular is that there are a lot of good intentions in the sector, but that these are seldom put into action. And we should

58 DURF 4 Tendering procedures and benchmarking

put an end to that once and for all.’ Bert Klerk, Chairman of the Board

will not be taking the traditional approach to ten-

of ProRail, has a clear idea how to achieve that. ‘Realising that design

dering, but that it will go about it in a dramatically

& build contracts are irreversible, challenging the market itself to

different fashion. This usually results in enginee-

come up with solutions itself, showing mettle, creating more room for

ring firms dropping by to explain how they could

experimenting and keeping the lawyers from your door as long

solve the problem, but not this time; a good sign.

as possible.’

He quickly adds on a more serious note: ‘But I am serious about having to do things differently. I still don’t know how, but it benefits ProRail and brings Bert Klerk talks about the rail programme ‘Hoog

about renewal.’

Frequent spoor’. It illustrates his present ap-

Renewal and a different approach. Words that

proach to the market sector. ‘The essence of the

crop up regularly during the conversation with the

programme is that work needs to be done on four

chairman. ‘Make no mistake,’ he stresses, ‘Scar-

major rail corridors, which will make the railway

cely ten years ago the entire rail was still looked

timetable obsolete on these routes in 2012. In

at superfically. And contractors enjoyed doing

practice, this means a train on the tracks every

that; there was no incentive for them to be in-

few minutes. A sum of 4.5 billion euro has been

novative. Only when we said that we want to put an

earmarked to this end. That puts some serious

end to it did we start seeing innovative solutions.

pressure on the market.’ During an engineering

And now they steer their trains brimming with

conference, Klerk told his audience that ProRail

measurement equipment along the tracks.’

Bert Klerk:

‘An alliance helped us realise a huge profit.’

Because that’s how you reap the rewards together. We must be willing to share the risks instead of distributing them. Create a buffer for risks together and start with the less complicated projects. That is also why room for experimentation is also important in this regard.’ Klerk takes the same approach when market parties come with their own proposals. ‘I wholeheartedly applaud the principle of an unsolicited proposal. We need to challenge the market to offer as much creativity as possible. That is why I attach such great importance to own initiative. PSIBouw also came with the proposal, but it tur

Bert Klerk:

ned into a whole encyclopaedia of legal regulati-

‘Don’t fall into the trap of

ons.’ An overly judicial approach alone is a thorn in his side. ‘It takes its departure from the notion of ‘things do go wrong and I don’t want to be the

legal nitpicking.’

party responsible’. We really have to let go of that. Simply show more mettle. And then you can make

The turning point

agreements with each other, of course, but don’t The great turning point to the

approach came about when the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management de-

fall into the trap of legal nitpicking.’ Quality

ProRail comes under the EU tendering

cided to launch the high-speed railway line HSL,

rules for utility companies. ‘It allows us more

according to Klerk. ‘In hindsight you could say

freedom,’ he admits. Freedom that ProRail seizes

that the market was not truly ready for it at the

with both hands. ‘We are already spending more

time. But it’s good that it did happen. The sector often takes one step forward and two steps back. In this case, we took two steps forward.’ In Klerk’s opinion, the HSL was actually too complex for it. ‘We did a small part of the Betuwe Line via an alliance, for example, and realised a huge profit. A profit that we then shared with the contractor.


Bert Klerk:

‘Above all, dare to come up with creative solutions.’

60 DURF 4 Tendering procedures and benchmarking

on quality, for example. Of course you need to de-

Klerk, who also chairs the Supervisory Council of

fine that quality beforehand. In our case it entails

PSIBouw, still has a number of wishes for the fu-

availability, reliability and the life cycle costs, for

ture. ‘Commissioning parties could learn so much

example. For a bridge across the IJssel, we added

more from one another, like the various desks

to the requirements listed the condition that it

taking initiatives, to give an example. The bottom

had to remain within the 50-million euro budget

line is that, instead of everyone reinventing the

and that we will select the most attractive bridge

wheel, we should all build on what others have al-

in the end. Plain and simple. Anther example:

ready achieved.’ Klerk also emphasises that par-

facilities were needed near the Gein river in the

ties should work together in joint ventures more

Abcoude area. There was immense resistance

regularly, when a project demands it. ‘It is handy

from local residents. So we presented the problem

if a project is complex and we are still uncertain

to the market. One party came with the solution of

how to best approach it. RWS, ProRail and the

rerouting the river slightly and building an aque-

Government Buildings Agency (RGD) could do this

duct. Everyone was happy.’

together. In open talks to foster confidence. In that


sense I regard PSIBouw and Regieraad as imporThis is the modern way of inter-

acting with one another, according to Klerk. ‘And the knowledge that design & build contracts is an

tant instruments in achieving this collaboration.’ In the right direction

He also says he cannot

irreversible process. Added to that is the fact that

emphasise enough that room for experimenting

we deal with a limited number of market parties,

is essential to be able to tackle new initiatives

of course. You ultimately need to be allowed to

together. ‘And to the bidders, I would like to say:

work on the tracks.’ That does not alter the fact

Show daring, above all. Dare to come up with cre-

that ProRail constantly keeps a close eye on the

ative solutions and dare to experiment with design

performance of the parties. ‘We have established

in general. We are heading in the right direction

criteria for that purpose. And they need to stay

together, but we’re not there yet.’ <

within the boundaries in the implementation process. Failure to do so earns them a yellow card. And if they fail to remedy the situation, they are given a red card and are excluded from the next tendering procedures. Performance is incidentally not used as a selection criterion. Nor is it needed in our case,’ says Klerk.

DURF 1 Culture and behaviour

DURF 2 Building for consumers

DURF 3 Collaboration and integration of the chain

DURF 4 Tendering procedures and benchmarking

DURF 5 ICT and construction

DURF 6 Knowledge and education

DURF 7 Practical projects

DURF 8 Outlook for the construction sector

DURF 9 The PSIBouw programme


ICT and construction Digital standard from requirement specifications to reuse

BIM: the treasure in the saddlebag Science Lab Plaza, Amsterdam

Building efficiently thanks to a BIM Rolf Koops:

‘Don’t get bogged down in abstraction’ Lessons

Do or don’t ONRI chairman, Ed Nijpels, on the introduction of the Building Information Model

‘All too often, we wait for someone else to make the first move’


DURF 5-1

Introduction to the theme

Digital standard from requirement specifications to reuse

BIM: the treasure in the saddlebag The Building Information Model is being implemented more and more worldwide. BIM is already compulsory in Denmark, but still has a long way to go in the Netherlands. It has been the topic of discussion

62 DURF 5 ICT and construction

There are various reasons for calling it a matter of

for decades, but implementation is slow to get off the ground.

urgency. Firstly, the construction sector is faced

Broad application, however, is gradually gaining momentum in the

with the task of significantly improving efficiency.

Netherlands as well. Digitisation in the construction sector is to a

Failure costs are still shockingly high, risks need

large extent still dominated by ICT developers. But true acceleration

to be reduced, further collaboration and supply

and implementation must also come from other sides: from users

chain management are growing and labour mar-

and commissioning authorities.

ket shortages are forcing construction firms to do more with fewer people. ICT is indispensable in all of the above.

while breakthroughs are taking place left, right

The second reason concerns the dramatic

and centre. In recent years, PSIBouw has been

changes in how the built-up environment is cre-

committed to making serious efforts towards ex-

ated and used. Users and commissioning parties

pediting the development and implementation of

are making their voices heard; they want to see

BIM, the Building Information Model. In fact, it can

options before a structure is built or assigned a

be said of the BIM that it has long been part of the

new purpose; they increasingly demand true free-

hidden treasure in the saddlebags of the caravan

dom of choice in their role as client and they set

that has been in search of this particular treasure.

requirements pertaining to the life span of their

This caravan is made up of two movements: one

construction and the durability of the materials

group wants to do more towards optimising the

and the environment. Added to this, the structures

arrangements that form the basis of the shared

are becoming so complicated that they are impos-

language that the BIM makes available to all us-

sible to realise without digital models.

ers; the so-called â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;open standardâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. This group still


wants to continue tinkering under the digital bonViewed from that perspective, the

net, because important results, though achieved,

years of discussions about arrangements ulti-

have not yet been fine-tuned.

mately aimed at producing a shared digital com-

The second group mainly aims to set to work on

munication platform become a rearguard action,

what is already available in terms of BIM technol-

ogy and methods, and in doing so, further develop

opment of BIM in practice, supported by invest-

the system and improve the arrangements in

ment in the arrangement systems. Because a lot


is already possible (as will be clearly illustrated in Chapter 2), nobody needs to wait for the initial

This process shows how fragmented the construction sector is. The further development of the BIM will essentially require new forms of collabora-

implementation. BIR

To guide and encourage the development and

tion between parties in the construction chain

implementation of ICT in the construction sector,

and different working procedures and organisa-

the National Building Information Council (Bou-

tional forms within companies. These are already

winformatieraad or BIR) was established towards

difficult to achieve in the regular construction

the end of 2006. The BIR consists of representa-

sector, so it is not surprising that a lot of ground

tives from the larger public commissioning au-

still needs to be gained in the field of digitisation.

thorities as well as construction, engineering and

From within PSIBouw, we encouraged the devel-

architectural firms. It intends to contribute greatly


‘BIM is an indispensible tool in construction efforts that will increasingly begin to focus on sustainable solutions.’ to the realisation of building information systems

foreman... to name but a few: They work together

and arrangement systems.

simultaneously instead of consecutively. Produc-

The BIR coordinates the various local and inter-

ers and suppliers personally retrieve the informa-

national initiatives and supports ideas aimed at

tion from the model and contribute to its develop-

realising an effective BIM.

ment. This leads to different relations and new forms of outsourcing. This is often still difficult to

A BIM is an intelligent digital information model

do, as became clear during the first BIMcasew-

in which all information about an object, such as

eek 2007 of which PSIBouw was co-organiser. To

a building, is stored centrally by and for all part-

perpetuate the learning process, we were also

ners in the construction chain. This furthermore

involved in the BIMcaseweek in 2008.

gives a clear picture throughout the process on key information about decisions taken during the

Launching customer

Dozens of countries co-

process, about changes and about the specifica-

operate internationally to make the BIM appli-

tions of the commissioning authority. With the

cable worldwide. The use of BIM has been made

aid of the universal Industry Foundation Classes

compulsory for the construction sectors of the

(IFC) data model, the BIM data can read various

US, Denmark and Finland, and the Netherlands

software packages. This means: entering the data

is set to follow suit in the near future. The com-

only once instead of seven times. From specifica-

missioning authorities’ forum, a platform of the

tion and planning packages to design, cost and

major commissioning parties, aims to prescribe

operation calculations, energy simulations and

BIM and thus become a launching customer. This

recycling. Plus the steering of intelligent auto-

first sheep leaping over the ditch is a crucial step,

mated production systems for the construction of

even though it will mean additional investments in

building components.

software, training and organisation of tasks.

To sum up, a BIM is an indispensible tool in construction efforts that will increasingly begin to

This is why we want great efforts to be made

focus on sustainable solutions.

towards pilot projects and implementation in the


next few years, so that development and practical Working with a BIM does however re-

issues can surface immediately and any teething

quire the relevant parties to change the way they

problems of the BIM can be ironed out sooner.

think and work. The roles and functions in the

This will in due course facilitate the inescapable

construction process change accordingly. Archi-

process of transition. <

tect, structural engineer, cost accountant, works

DURF 5-2


Building efficiently Science Lab Plaza, Amsterdam

thanks to a BIM Construction of the Science Lab Plaza was launched in the Zuidoost district of Amsterdam in September 2008. The impressive complex, which consists of three transparent buildings rising from the water,


According to Michel Post, IFC is

forms part of the Medical Business Park of the AMC. Not only the

the ideal way of creating an efficient BIM (Build-

design itself, by Michel Post Architecten (MPA), but also the design

ing Information Model). A BIM already contains

process is impressive. A Building Information Model (BIM) was used to

all information pertaining to objects, materials

realise the entire design, in collaboration with the structural engineer

and processes, stored in a central database from

and the installation advisor.

where it can be accessed digitally. The advantages of a BIM are obvious, according to Michel Post: fewer problems at work due to conflicting draw-

MPA set to work on the SL Plaza project in 2004 as

ings of the various parties and greater insight into

a kind of pilot project for working with a BIM. ‘We

the realisation of the programme for the commis-

are currently in the final design stage and are still

sioning authority. This leads to significantly lower

‘BIMming’,’ Michel Post jokes a few months before

construction costs. ‘There is an especially great

construction is due to start on his brainchild, the

risk of miscommunication in the case of a build-

SL Plaza. Michel Post Architecten have years of

ing like the SL Plaza, which has many technical

experience in creating 3D designs with the aid

systems. In the regular construction sector, the

of EliteCad. When the Amsterdam-based agency was commissioned to design SL Plaza, they called in the help of their regular partners: engineering consultancy Veccins BV and construction firm Pieters Bouwtechniek, both of whom make use of software packages that support the universal exchange model IFC (Industry Foundation Classes).

Michel Post:

‘Unfounded fear of openness in the design process.’


contractor only discovers errors during the actual building process. As a design agency, you then have to free up time and manpower for something you did three projects ago. With a BIM, we can use clash control software to iron out the problems during the preliminary stage. This approach saves us a lot of headache and unforeseen work. The fact alone that everyone can look at the same monitor instead of stacks of blueprints during the toolbox meetings is of great help. 66

Pioneering role

DURF 5 ICT and construction

In light of the above, Post finds

it difficult to grasp why the construction sector would lag behind in the use of ICT applications. ‘Working with 3D models has long since become the norm in other sectors like the petrochemical and shipbuilding industries. In fact, we are one of the few architectural firms to play a pioneer-

issues with the 3D packages and IFC, but we are

ing role in working with BIM and IFC. It seems

making every effort in this regard and are seeing

architects suffer from an unfounded fear of open-

good progress. Demand from the market is rising,

ness; everyone tries to keep their information to

which also sets the ICT sector in motion.

themselves for as long as possible.’

I hope that we’ll see the end of drawings on paper

Working with a BIM also raises questions, ac-

in three years from now. Working with a BIM,

cording to Post. ‘Roles and functions change.

which makes all the information about a building

Who does what and where do the responsibilities

accessible to everyone, is ultimately also to the

lie? But these are issues you can resolve as you

advantage of management. It might not be as easy

go along. Of course, that means you have to start

as it sounds, but I am convinced that it’s a step we

somewhere. There are still a few compatibility

have to take.’ <

Rolf Koops:

‘Don’t get bogged down in abstraction.’ The Noordelijke Regieraad Bouw has opted for a practical approach: chain digitisation in two practical projects in Groningen, a bicycle

Aduarderdiep, and the ROC Noorderpoort col-

bridge across the Aduarderdiep and the new ROC Noorderpoort

lege, which needed a new school complex.

Nautical College-Hotel Delfzijl premises.

Koops: ‘You cannot digitise the entire construction process in one go. That is why you need to investigate per project which areas

As secretary of the Noordelijke Regieraad

will benefit from working with a BIM. In the

Bouw, Rolf Koops undertakes to promote the

case of the ROC Noorderpoort college, this

use of BIM in practice. ‘A lot of knowledge has

was visualisation: it offers opportunities for

been acquired and developed and we want

the optimum division of the relevant space

to apply that in practical projects. We expect

in close collaboration with the user. The ROC

that this will encourage others to follow suit.

also attaches great importance to sustainabil-

You can wait forever until the most perfect of

ity. You can also use the data added during

systems has been developed, but it is far bet-

the design and construction stage in your

ter to develop it as you go along.

management and maintenance system at a

We believe BIM can help use reduce failure

later stage.

costs. After all, there is a far greater chance

In the case of the bicycle bridge, the main ad-

of errors occurring in the regular construc-

vantages lay with improving the efficiency of

tion process that uses sequential transaction

the information exchanged between the vari-

models. And the fact that processes such as

ous parties. If everything has been document-

design, construction and technical installation

ed in a single database, you can also translate

take place simultaneously makes it possible

it to your work and materials planning.’

to achieve optimum results. Both projects have since been launched. ‘You have to start with the commissioning

The Regieraad brings the relevant par-

authority,’ according to Koops. That is why he

ties together. Rolf Koops: ‘For example, we

sought - and found - launching customers:

collaborated with the University of Gronin-

the Concrete Construction and Hydraulics

gen, which has an advanced calculation and

department of the province of Groningen, who

visualisation centre. We make the knowledge

wanted to implement chain digitisation in the

available, in cooperation with the Building

construction of a bicycle bridge across the

Information Council (BIR), and PSIBouw and assume responsibility for its exchange. We also see to it that the experience gained from these projects is shared with the rest of the sector.’ <


DURF 5-3


Final result of the BIMcaseweek 2008

Do or don’t

68 DURF 5 ICT and construction

Hundreds of people were involved in the practical projects of PSIBouw. We asked a number of these people about their most important lessons: what they have learnt and what advice they would like to give to others who want to get started too. We made a selection from the dozens of examples heard at the various meetings.

2 3

The implementation of BIM corresponds well with the world of younger people in the sector.


A BIM pays for itself during the design, implementation, management and maintenance stages. BIM reduces failure costs, because it ensures that

BIM is more than ICT. BIM requires coopera-

the right information is available at the right place

tion that leads to supply chain management. The

and time. The implementation of BIM can help

implementation of BIM requires all parties in the

save a lot of time during the entire construction

chain to adjust their roles and processes.


‘The goal is to make companies enthusiastic about BIM.’

‘Ensure continuity within the BIM programme.’

4 5 6 7


BIM is most effective when applied from the very

When gaining experience with BIM, smaller

beginning of the process.

projects or parts of projects are often better suited than very large projects. 69

The commissioning parties play a crucial role in

‘Arrangements on how to implement

terms of international connection and implemen-


tation in the Netherlands.

Practice has shown that BIM has developed to

It has emerged that the arrangements require

such a degree that there are hardly any obstacles

further development. However, this need not

in the way of this expanded application.

obstruct the application of BIM in projects. The experience gained in practice can be utilised to


benefit further development.

Highly complex structures can no longer be realised without BIM. Clear arrangements are needed on how to implement BIM.

BIM are definitely needed.’

Applying BIM’s visualisation helps the end user to make the right choices in the preliminary stage. This leads to better quality. <

‘BIM has in fact reached the stage of development where it can be used as is.’

DURF 5-4


‘All too often, we wait for someone else ONRI chairman, Ed Nijpels, on the introduction of the Building Information Model

to make the first move’ ‘Nobody is opposed to a BIM in principle, and everyone is enthusiastic when they hear what it is and what it can do. Even so, you often run

70 DURF 5 ICT and construction

into problems in the development stage. Who takes the necessary

He admits that he is ‘genuinely surprised’ that

action? Who works with it? Who has the courage to invest their time

a Building Information Model does not yet enjoy

and money? And then you see that all too often we still end up waiting

everyone’s support. ‘It is always such a shame

for someone else to make the first move,’ according to Ed Nijpels,

to see how much effort it takes to turn enthusi-

chairman of the Dutch association of consulting engineers (ONRI).

asm into action. The theory exists, but it hasn’t been put into practice yet. Because BIM is not yet operational, many still fail to see its purpose. Only

Even before the discussion about ICT and con-

when you’ve succeeded in making it practical and

struction is well under way, the former politician

workable will you find the market opening up for

warns: ‘I have not the slightest bit of technical


knowledge, so don’t expect any technical comments from me’. It is obvious that he prefers to fo-

‘But why does the subsequent stage require so

cus on the bigger picture and clearly understands

many millions?’ Nijpels’ question mainly refers

the sector’s need for transparency when it comes

to the future development of the BIM. ‘I under-

to cost and quality. ‘And I certainly believe that the

stand that the development stage requires money.

use of ICT can be an important aid in fulfilling this

And the government finds it important that the


construction sector is organised in the correct

Ed Nijpels:

‘Only when you’ve succeeded in making it practical and workable will you find the market opening up for you.’

trade association has an educational responsibility towards its members, but in this specific case it’s a fact that our role within the chain is limited.’ The ONRI chairman nonetheless foresees a change in the role of consultancies and engineering firms. ‘It happens more frequently that they act as coordinators of the project on behalf of the commissioning party. In this case, you, as a business, find yourself much more on the process side and therefore at the wheel. And I can well imagine that, as the commissioning party, you would impose certain requirements that necessitate a good ICT system. Like the BIM, for instance. However,’ Photography: Frans Davids

Nijpels continues, ‘this shifting of tasks and responsibilities is happening gradually. But I sense that the urgency of the development and implementation of a single system in the construction sector is too great to be able to wait for it.’ Labyrinth

At the same time, he admits that this

manner, i.e. properly, and that it should provide

might also be the crux of the problem. ‘Everyone

financial support to that end. But apart from that,

has their own interests in the sector. And we all

I do sense strongly that it can only be taken to the

agree that a transparent system will contribute

next level once one party grasps the urgency of

to a significant reduction of the failure costs,

the matter and supports it in word and deed.’

improvement of collaboration and therefore also


a product of a higher quality. But despite the fact Several prominent engineering firms

that we all know this and support this, everyone is

are involved in the development of a Build-

waiting for everyone else to take the lead.’ Nijpels

ing Information Model. ‘Obviously they see the

is doubtful whether the Building Information

advantages, and rightfully so. And it is good that

Council (BIR), established two years ago, will be

they promote it as much as possible. But to be

able to change that. ‘Personally, I am highly criti-

honest I find the role of the engineering firms in

cal of all these different consultative frameworks.

the overall process rather lacking, which tends to

We in the construction sector are experts in con-

make it less obvious at first glance that we as an

stantly establishing new consultative bodies. The

organisation can handle such a trajectory. And by

result is a labyrinth of groups that actually have

that I am not trying to shift our responsibility onto

very little striking power. And it’s a real shame, if

someone else’s shoulders. I am convinced that a

truth be told.’ <


DURF 5-5


Publications, instruments, practice, network All the information in this chapter can be accessed via

Ik bim, jij bimt.

Use of IFC Model Servers. Modelling

Toekomst voor het bouwproces

ICT waves in the construction world

Collaboration Possibilities in Practice

A 3D approach

What is BIM? How does it work?

Kaj Jørgensen e.a.


What are the latest developments,

Report on how collaboration between

and what are the plans for the future?

partners changes when using models of buildings and model servers. Toekomst van het Bouwproces Coins Final report on the phase of the research into the methodology applied

72 DURF 5 ICT and construction

when using construction information. De COINS systematiek Coins

Final report on the phase of the research into the COINS-project.


VISI Management introductie

Two halves of the ICT whole

A basis for digital cooperation



Draft publication on the methodology applied when using construction information.

Brochure published during the instal-

An impression of the VISI framework

lation of the Bouw Informatie Raad

and its uses in everyday construction

(Construction Information Council).


Films VISI Handboek. Een fundament voor digitale samenwerking

The BimFilm

Science Lab Plaza Amsterdam

CROW Digital cooperation manual.

BIM Caseweek London

Review of the Development and Implementation of IFC compatible BIM Arto Kiviniemi e.a.

Practical projects

Report on the state of affairs regarding IFC within BIM.

Convenant A2 (A2 Covenant) Accelerating the building of infrastruc-

BIM Caseweek 2007

ture. To achieve this, we need to share

BIM Caseweek Organisation

a strong ambition â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and we need to

Final report.


work together. A covenant will help us

Michel Post Architecten have been

fulfil this ambition.

using BIM technology for the Science Lab Plaza project right from the start.

Ministry of Finance


Experience gained from using a digital model to organise verification of the

Output Specification. Does the provi-

derâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s offer correspond with the output


Practical projects: COINS Practical projects: VISI

People In the Netherlands Radboud Baayen

Bouwend Nederland

Project Leader, Objectenbibliotheek

Secretary, Regieraad Bouw,

B&U (IFD Library for buildingSMART)

Northern Region

Frans van Dam Rijkswaterstaat Construction Department President, Dutch Cadstandaard NLCS Wubbo Hazewinkel 3D Blueprint 74

Rolf Koops


President, buildingSMART

DURF 5 ICT and construction

chapter Benelux Henk van der Horst PSIBouw Director Ton Huijzer PSIBouw Practical Projects Manager Paul Jansen CROW

Kees van Leeuwen PSIBouw Convenant A2 Ton Lohman Regieraad Bouw Programme Manager Hans Moll Strukton Engineering President, COINS key group Gerrie M端hren PSIBouw BIR Project Office member Hans Nijssen BIR President Guus Pieters

Project Leader, Objectenbibliotheek



President, COP Virtueel Bouwen Jan Kees Pikkaart BouwnD Project Leader, BIMCaseweek

Michel Post Michel Post Architecten Science Lab Plaza Kees Robers PSIBouw Ministry of Finance Henk Schaap Gobar adviseurs Member of the COINS key group Martin Schilperoort Rotterdam Municipal Works President, VISI Kerngroep Serena Scholte PSIBouw Ministry of Finance Bauke de Vries TUE Committee member, buildingSMART Wilfred Wolf VIBES De Boreel Joost Wijnen Cadvisual Convenant A2

International Ronald Zandbergen

Lars Christensen

Morton Lie

Consulting Engineers

buildingSMART International

Stasbygg (Norway)

Rotterdam Municipal Works


Member of buildingSMART

President, VISI Users Association

Business Manager

Nordic Chapter

Henk van Zeeland Van Zeeland Architecten & Bouwbesluit Adviseurs Secretary, buildingSMART chapter Benelux Peter Zwakhals Uneto-VNI Project Leader, Objectenbibliotheek Installation Sector (ETIM)

Gunnar Friborg

Thomas Liebich

BIPS (Denmark)

AEC3 (Germany)

Programme Director

Technical Project Leader,

Francois Grobler US Corps of Engineers (USA)

buildingSMART International Jøns Sjøgren

Technical Project Leader,

Boligprodusentene (Norway)

buildingSMART International

Programme Manager,

Christopher Groome buildingSMART International Secretary (UK) Jan Karlshøj Rambøll (Denmark) Programme Manager, buildingSMART Nordic Chapter Arto Kivinimi Granlund (Finland) Technical Project Leader, buildingSMART International Patrick MacLeamy HOK (USA) President, buildingSMART International

buildingSMART Nordic Chapter Bjørn Stangeland DDS (Norway) Business Manager, buildingSMART International



DURF 1 Culture and behaviour

DURF 2 Building for consumers

DURF 3 Collaboration and integration of the chain

DURF 4 Tendering procedures and benchmarking

DURF 5 ICT and construction

DURF 6 Knowledge and education

DURF 7 Practical projects

DURF 8 Outlook for the construction sector

DURF 9 The PSIBouw programme


Knowledge and education Thinking with your sleeves rolled up Theo Heida, Company to College, Serena Scholte, Baanbrekers in de Bouw and Gerard Oorthuys, PtP Bouw

‘Education and industry should inspire each other for life’ Lecturers Mirjam Huffstadt and Bas van der Veen

‘Integration of education and profession is essential’ The 3 Es work together in the region Lessons

Do or don’t Doekle Terpstra, Chairman of the Higher Professional Education Council

‘Lecturers are the Johan Cruijffs of the construction sector’


DURF 6-1

Introduction to the theme

Thinking with your sleeves rolled up Construction education is evolving in step with the sector itself. It is, however, important to ensure that both evolve in the same direction.

78 DURF 6 Knowledge and education

It takes stamina to improve the connection be-

After all, the gap between the building profession and education is

tween education and the labour market. The world

not dissimilar to that between citizens and politicians. New, though

of education is vast and includes not only the tra-

small-scale, initiatives such as Company to College or Baanbrekers

ditional educational institutes (on the secondary

are already starting to bridge the gap between practice and education.

and tertiary level) but also many - still highly frag-

The new clientship academy could likewise play a key role in that

mented - training networks that are managed by

regard. Also promising is how swiftly universities of applied sciences

collective labour agreement (CAO) parties in the

(‘hogescholen’) are updating their orientation on the construction

construction sector. It is also difficult to convince

sector. The process of renewal in the world of education is, however,

people who have been working in the construction

still in its infancy.

sector for years that they need further schooling or refresher courses. The culture in which innovation and collaboration do not come naturally

Knowledge agenda

The training institutes and

has been growing over the past decades and it

knowledge organisations still have a task ahead of

will be difficult to reverse this trend. Be that as it

them as well. An enlightening report, drawn up by

may, a drastic improvement of not only the image

the commission chaired by former HBG executive

but also the everyday reality of the construction

Reigersman at the request of Bouwend Nederland

sector is an absolute necessity for it to remain

and the relevant trade unions, was published in

an appealing choice for prospective students and

2007. The commission’s basic conclusion was

attractive to potential and current employees in

that the sector lacked a long-term ‘knowledge

the sector. To attract professionals to the sector

agenda’. If planned carefully, such a long-term

and keep them there, it is furthermore of the

knowledge agenda makes it easier to match the

utmost importance that the organisation’s image

knowledge demand and supply, according to

becomes a top priority of HR management.


Do we see any evidence of innovation at tradi-

institutes and universities within their own region.

tional educational institutes? The field of higher

In other words, universities of applied sciences

professional education (HBO) in particular has

facilitate the dissemination of renewed knowledge

taken up the gauntlet, partly thanks to the ef-

to both the industry and to the education environ-

forts of lectureships and knowledge centres

ment. Universities, too, are gradually starting

with encouragement from PSIBouw. And that is

collaborate with construction firms and commis-

a positive development, since the construction

sioning parties.

sector provides employment to many graduates from universities of applied sciences. Moreover,

Life-long learning

PSIBouw worked mainly with

universities of applied sciences occupy a rather

a knowledge agenda for process innovations, from

unique position within their region, as they form

where it organised research and practical projects

part of the networks of authorities, commission-

in an effort to start bridging the gap between

ing parties and contractors while at the same time

industry and education in the building sector. The

often maintaining ties with secondary education

basic point of departure was that proactive re-


‘One of the recommendations was to organise so-called knowledge clusters within large-scale practical projects.’

newal of the industry would be impossible without

Trend reversal

To encourage this, Regieraad and

education undergoing renewal as well. PSIBouw

PSIBouw put forward a series of recommenda-

also wanted total commitment towards life-long

tions in 2007 and 2008. They also made proposals

learning from the construction sector’s entire

on the most suitable approach to the dissemina-


tion and implementation of knowledge. The aim

After all, more complex construction projects

was not only to gain the relevant experience but

need employees with an aptitude for seeing the

also to further broaden the existing knowledge.

bigger picture and how everything is connected,

One of the recommendations was to organise

and therefore with different skills. Education is

so-called knowledge clusters within large-scale

not yet sufficiently geared towards this demand

practical projects, where knowledge workers can

for interdisciplinary ‘thinker-doers’. And lectur-

practise their skills and respond swiftly to new

ers, in turn, need refresher courses and more

demands on educational and other issues.

time to keep up to date with developments in the

These recommendations marked a rather dra-

field. PSIBouw called for the establishment of an

matic trend reversal. For years it was believed

exclusive university programme for the construc-

that you first have to develop knowledge through

tion managers of the future, an exclusive train-

scientific research before you can offer it to the

ing course aimed at patronage, improving the

sector. The implementation would then follow ‘au-

connection between education and industry and

tomatically’. The concept of ‘knowledge transfer’

breaking the habit of using unskilled workers in

also suggests: bringing your set of knowledge to

the construction sector.

the user via the developer, in a format that appeals to the user and, hey presto, it works. This might hold true for the development of, say, nanotechnology, but certainly not for the construction sector. PSIBouw concluded that the connection between the building profession and knowledge development and implementation should be sought in a manner also known as ‘action learning’ and ‘action research’: Demand for specific

Core Scientific Team knowledge develops in the practical arena from

The Core Scientific Team is responsible for the scientific research

where it is approached with the aid of training and

within the PSIBouw programme. Durf 9 contains a comprehensive

investigation. Thinking with your sleeves rolled up,

evaluation by the team. One of its tasks was to contribute to the

is what you could call it. It is a form of experiential

synchronisation of research, education and the building profes-

learning that has already been applied to count-

sion. The objective, partly at the insistence of the Core Scientific

less practical projects of PSIBouw. But because

Team, was to find a method where this engaged scholarship could

action learning is exceedingly industry oriented,

manifest itself. In the ideal situation, this would consist of mixed

it gives rise to the question: How can you upscale

teams of researchers from universities and research institutes

the knowledge and practical experience gained in

and professionals from the building sector. This has proved to be

this specific situation to make it more widely ap-

difficult to realise in practice. Industry professionals and academic

plicable in other projects and ultimately the entire

researchers are seldom actively involved in each other’s field of


work. This is due to the difference in the way issues are tackled in

This question is best left to the next wave of inno-

practice, which is at an entirely different pace from the timeframe

vation that will succeed the PSIBouwprogramma

observed in academic research. The relations between academ-

(PSIBouw construction programme). To encourage

ics and industry professionals are too pragmatic, especially when

this, the Knowledge Development Taskforce was

financial considerations play a role. The Core Scientific Team gives

recently established as part of Regieraad Bouw

its scathing assessment of these relations and their consequences

(see insert). <

for the programme in Durf 9.

Knowledge Development Taskforce for the Construction Sector A good example of a new ‘action learning’ practi-

has recently been established. This group of

cal project developed from the ambition of Alm-

experts from the construction, property and

ere to become the Netherlands’ most sustainable

education sectors is launching its activities

city in 2030. To turn this dream into reality, all

with the establishment of a so-called knowl-

the brainpower available in the Netherlands will

edge agenda, which will stipulate what knowl-

have to be pooled in a type of laboratory setup.

edge still needs to be developed for the 2010-

Such a knowledge cluster could also prove useful

2015 period and how this can be implemented.

in other areas, like the Rotterdam ports, where

Social issues that arise will form the basis and

the knowledge about building on and along the

a proactive role will be sought for the con-

water can be pooled. To get all these types of

struction sector to ensure that a solution for

initiatives off the ground, the Knowledge Devel-

these issues can be found in collaboration with

opment Taskforce for the Construction Sector

knowledge institutes.


DURF 6-2


‘Education and industry Theo Heida, Company to College, Serena Scholte, Baanbrekers in de Bouw and Gerard Oorthuys, PtP Bouw

should inspire

each other for life’ ‘In the future, people will no longer have a real career as we know 82

it today. Instead, we will have professionals at the helm of their own

DURF 6 Knowledge and education

career and its development,’ predicts Theo Heida, initiator of Company

come fired up about it themselves. New workers

to College. ‘And of course,’ he adds, ‘the perspective of a project

joining the sector inevitably bring with them that

manager might differ from that of a crane operator. But they will both

enthusiasm for new methods. A new generation is

benefit from renewal in the sector.’

on its way, of course. Company to College organises guest speakers, courses and student support and guidance by professionals. In this manner, we

Heida finds the ‘how then’ a difficult question to

give them the opportunity to share their experi-

answer. ‘In my opinion, it is mainly a matter of

ences with the students. The main aim is for these

providing others with opportunities and seizing

professionals to give their colleagues of tomor-

those that come your way.

row a taste of the sector today and to illustrate

It is also a question of how you interpret renewal.

that the sector is indeed actively involved in the

In my experience, renewal can be realised through

renewal process. Kindling enthusiasm is of course

greater work efficiency or better collaboration.

an important factor, as is giving the students food

One thing’s for sure: enforcing “the renewal” from

for thought so that they themselves become more

the top will have little effect. People have to be-

aware of their own innovative power.’

Theo Heida:

‘Enforcing “the renewal” from the top will have little effect.’

Gerard Oorthuys:

‘Our commissioning parties are often involved in the training.’

Fertile soil

Gerard Oorthuys, General Manager


‘Innovation takes place in the profession

of the Project Talent Group and initiator of the

itself; it is all about people,’ says Scholte. She is

PtP Bouw talent programme project for prospec-

one of the initiators of Baanbrekers in de Bouw, a

tive project managers in the construction sector,

network training programme for innovative people

also operates from the premise that innovative

who have been working in the construction sector

strength should be initiated by people themselves.

for some time. These pioneers, or ‘Baanbrekers’,

He offers young professionals a type of ‘experi-

share their knowledge about the latest innova-

ence merry-go-round’. Recent graduates are

tions and teach people about related disciplines

given the opportunity to work at various organi-

such as change management. They cover topics

sations in the construction sector for a period of

that include: How do you handle resistance? How

about two years. This brings them into contact

do you turn an idea into a success story? How

with commissioning parties, consultants and con-

do you enter into alliances? The entire chain

struction firms. PtP applied this concept of chain

participates in Baanbrekers, so all interests are

integration long before the term was even invent-

represented. Scholte: ‘People working in the

ed. It teaches young professionals how to operate

construction sector today are the ones shaping it.

from different sides of the same issue, which is vital from the perspective of cultural change, says Oorthuys. ‘Specifically because of the existing workforce, we are able to contribute to innovation in the sector. Our commissioning parties are often involved in the project management training of the PtP participants. I believe that this creates fertile soil for renewal, because the existing knowledge is transferred to young people with a fresh outlook, who are multi-skilled and can instantly set to work on the issue at hand.’


Serena Scholte:

‘Besides knowledge, there is also a demand for the right contacts.’


They are proud of their trade, so they are the ones

different views and collaboration, according to

who should be leading the way when it comes to

Scholte. ‘Besides knowledge, there is also a

renewal. We concentrate on people who want to

demand for the right contacts. And because net-

make a difference in the construction sector. We

working forms a key part of the programme, the

also look outside the sector: at people who might

participants meet new people with whom they can

be interested in partnerships with the construc-

then enter into joint ventures. Bringing education

tion sector. Innovation is born at this interface.’

and industry closer together has a ripple effect on

There is no shortage of interest in new concepts,

the renewal initiatives.’ <

DURF 6 Knowledge and education

‘Integration of education Lecturers Mirjam Huffstadt and Bas van der Veen

and profession is essential’ ‘Universities of applied sciences are a readily accessible discussion partner for the profession. After all, many entrepreneurs and managers come from this educational background as well,’ remarks Bas van der Veen, who lectures Innovative Enterprise at the Saxion

they are being taken seriously. I believe it to be a

University of Applied Sciences. His counterpart Mirjam Huffstadt

sure-fire way of embedding knowledge develop-

(Urban Renewal at the Utrecht University of Applied Sciences) agrees:

ment within universities of applied sciences in the

‘Universities of applied sciences serve as a link between senior

organisational sense.’

secondary vocational education institutes and universities’.

Shoulder to the wheel

Huffstadt sees a lot hap-

pening at universities of applied sciences. ‘That is The two lecturers agree that universities of ap-

because these institutes play a linking role with

plied sciences play a key role in the renewal of the

regard to other types of education, but I think it

sector. Van der Veen: ‘And we’re really putting our

is also because they frequently collaborate with

backs into it. We’ve seen many lectureships take

knowledge institutes and maintain close ties with

shape in recent years. A positive development,

the profession.’ According to Van der Veen, there

because it proves to the construction sector that

are clear indications of a healthy cross-pollination

Bas van der Veen:

‘There is a healthy cross-pollination between education and industry.’

between education and industry. ‘And that is es-

construction management/industrial engineering

sential, because the further integration of educa-

and management science or regional planning

tion and practice is a must if we want to train new

spend the first six weeks working in small groups

professionals for the construction sector. And you

on actual projects in the city. Huffstadt: ‘They

can see that the lecturers enjoy teaching, but also

have to conduct simple on-site research. What is

like to keep a finger on the pulse of developments

the problem on this location? Who are the actors

in the industry itself, so they can relate these

within this space? When we first launched this

experiences to their students in turn.’ They both

highly practice-based traineeship, people initially

agree that the lecturing profession is undergoing

thought we were crazy. But it has proven to be

similar change. Huffstadt nods. ‘Needless to say,

successful. It has been met with great enthusi-

the profession has already changed enormously.

asm by all participating parties and it gives the

For example, young people can obtain information

students far more insight into how the industry

from everywhere these days and the lecturer’s

really works.’

task is increasingly shifting towards ensuring that the students absorb the most relevant informa-


‘Renewal is teamwork,’ reiterates

tion. The developments in the industry are also

Van der Veen. ‘PSIBouw initially had to answer

happening at such a rapid pace that you, as a

questions like: Why do we have to change? And

lecturer, have to put your shoulder to the wheel to

what exactly are we supposed to change? We are

keep up with it all. That is why the integration with

now entering a phase where individual entrepre-

the profession is incredibly important.’

neurs take the initiative themselves. What does

Just how important is evident from the success-

innovation mean for my own organisation today?

ful experiment in Utrecht, according to Huffstadt.

And how do I give it shape? These are difficult

All 350 students who enrolling for the study

questions to answer but that is where the univer-

programmes in architecture/civil engineering,

sities of applied sciences come in handy.’ <

Mirjam Huffstadt:

‘Practice-based traineeships give the students so much more insight into how the industry really works in practice.’


The three Es work Limburg initiative:

together in the region School is only a place to acquire knowledge, while there is so much Tjeu van de Laar, Dean of the Sector at Gilde

more to be learnt in the ‘real world’. The region provides the ideal

Opleidingen (Roermond), Bert Schroën, Director of

climate for bridging the gap between education and industry, because

the Faculty of Architecture and Construction Engi-

it offers opportunities for working on practical education projects.

neering at the Zuyd University (Heerlen) and Harrie van Eck, Director of Haegens Bouw (Horst) are

86 DURF 6 Knowledge and education

involved in various education projects, of which

useful. It is an entirely new way of teaching.’

the ‘Opleidingswoning’ is the best known. The

The practical projects are also a welcome relief

‘Opleidingswoning’ project involves the construct-

for the lecturers. Schroën: ‘The industry is un-

ing of a house by students under the guidance

dergoing constant and rapid change. Lecturers

of experienced workers. Such homes are being

sometimes battle to keep up with it all, but now

realised around various locations in Limburg (and

they can stay up to date.’ Schroën: ‘And theory will

more are to follow in the rest of the country).

always be an essential component and must be

‘When the boys and girls first come to us from

provided by qualified teaching staff.’

school, they know practically nothing. That is why the parties joined forces to launch projects that


Van de Laar chiefly views it as team-

involved students on not only the VMBO level but

work between the three Es: entrepreneurs, educa-

also the MBO-HBO level’, according to Van Eck.

tors and the establishment. The latter - in the


form of local authorities - is already indispensaVan de Laar: ‘Three years down

ble, for example in the granting of permits for the

the line, it is evident from all sides that this ap-

Opleidingswoning projects. The central govern-

proach works. The students who participate in the

ment is also vital in allowing room to experiment

building of the home view it as the experience of

with legislation.’ Schroën often finds the subject

a lifetime. And of course it makes for a welcome

cluster of students an obstacle. ‘Take a student

change from practising their plastering skills at

with a Nature and Technology subject cluster: you

school, where their handiwork will only be demol-

can’t get much better than that, in fact. But these

ished again. The students often say that they feel

students might drop out, whereas someone with

that they are only now learning something truly

a less than ideal subject cluster would have been able to pass the programme with flying colours. Go-getters are always successful.’ Van de Laar: ‘Some of the lower-level requirements present a similar obstacle. Of course the students need to

Tjeu van de Laar:

‘We need to draft a strategy for knowledge and education on the regional level.’ have the basic knowledge, but we have to accept

The reason for his pioneering role in the project

the fact that there are boys and girls who are

is that he instantly saw the added value for his

very practically minded. The pond becomes a lot

company. ‘You are guaranteed new blood com-

larger if you ditch the requirements with regard

ing into the business. In fact, I have had no need

to foreign languages, for example. The nurturing

to advertise a vacancy for the past three years.

of talent, that is the key issue. Take the require-

The projects also help boost our public profile.

ments for the RPL (recognition of prior learning)

And we firmly believe that a good staff policy also

certificate. The procedure takes two years. Why

means investing in people. Those with ambition

not adopt a more practical approach to the issue?

soon find themselves rising through the ranks in

A manager has seen such a person on the job and

our company. The foremen of today become the

can tell you precisely what this person can do and

new site managers of tomorrow. We match them

may receive a certificate for.’

with an experienced site manager and give them


further training.’ We need to draft a strategy for knowl-

edge and education on the regional level, accord-


The positive results notwithstanding,

ing to Van de Laar. What should we focus on, what

there are still a few teething problems. The main

does the market need, and with which parties

problems that Van de Laar and Van Eck encoun-

should we subsequently enter into discussions?

tered were in connection with the sector’s image.

Thinking from an integrated idea, that is the basic

Though Limburg has seen a rising interest in the

principle. The market research question for an

building profession in recent years, it is still not a

innovative home gets assigned to HBO students,

popular choice among students. In Bert Schroën’s

for example, who then become involved in their

experience, the main issues related to the frag-

own manner.’

mentation of the educational field. ‘Should all 14

Van Eck: ‘This is also how we launched the Opleid-

universities of applied sciences in our country

ingswoning project. At first, it concerns the people

offer all building-related programmes? I don’t

involved in the discussions, of course. We were

think so. It’s a simple fact that a study programme

committed to finding a solution together, and if we

requires critical mass. Dilute this and the quality

ran into any obstacles along the way, we managed

suffers, which is of no benefit to anyone.’ <

to overcome then. Plus you need a party to finance the ideas. In the case of the Opleidingswoning project, we agreed that each party will bear its own costs. And for that you need the courage to take the plunge.’


DURF 6-3



DURF 6 Knowledge and education

Do or don’t Hundreds of people were involved in the practical projects of PSIBouw. We asked a number of these people about their most important lessons: what they have learnt and what advice they would like to give to others who want to get started too. We made a selection from the dozens of examples heard at the various meetings.

1 2

Tackling education and research in the construction field requires a sector-wide knowledge agenda.

Knowledge development in the construction sector does not run in a straight line, and knowledge seldom comes from a single source; both theory and practice in turn lead to questions and responses in a cyclic process of creation in which several persons play a role at the same time.

‘Diversity within the teams reinforces the capacity for learning.’

‘Knowledge development in the construction sector does not run in a straight line.’


Like the building profession itself, education and research also have their own dynamics of change. They deserve separate (but still related) attention in renewal programmes for the construction


construction sector is becoming familiar with competencies that strengthen the professional expertise, such as cooperation and communica-


tion skills.


Collaboration between entrepreneurs, vocational education and the establishment (authorities) can best be organised on a regional scale; lecturers at universities of applied sciences are in the ideal position within their region to take the initiative in


this regard.

Always carry out project evaluations. They make the learning experience unambiguous and therefore accessible to others while providing a foundation for extending the knowledge to people,

9 10

organisations and sectors.

Tap into the desire for innovation and the ICT

Commissioning and contracted parties in the construction sector must make systematic investment to become learning organisations; this requires systematic attention to process innovation, organisational change and personnel



The main challenge concerning education in the

skills of new generations to boost innovation in the construction sector.

Always start by looking at the lessons that can be learnt from experiences in other countries or


sectors. <

Diversity within the teams (regarding generation, sex, knowledge, specialities) significantly reinforces an organisation’s capacity for learning.

‘Always carry out project evaluations.’


DURF 6-4


‘Lecturers are the Johan Cruijffs of Doekle Terpstra, Chairman of the Higher Professional Education Council

the construction sector’ Doekle Terpstra, Chairman of the Higher Professional Education Council, is not dissatisfied with the relationship between higher professional education and the construction industry. ‘We are starting

90 DURF 6 Knowledge and education

to see eye to eye.’ But there is still a lot to be done. For example, he

one could say that we are now trying to keep pos-

wants to double the number of lecturers over the next five years.

session.’ Terpstra feels that the appointment of

‘After all, they are the Johan Cruijffs of the sector; they attract

lecturers has played a major role in this regard.

students.’ And he is critical of previous efforts to regionalise study

‘For the construction study programmes, it still

programmes. ‘The construction sector, too, requires sufficient mass

concerns 12 lecturers. And you have to admit that

in the international context.’

they are the heroes from the sector. The main aim is to give it greater mass. I want to see the number of lecturers doubling over the next five

‘Major advances have been made in the construc-

years. Because lectureships ensure a definite

tion sector with regards to the collaboration

connection between education and industry. A

between education and industry. The sector,’ ex-

lecturer must be of outstanding quality, as this

plains the chairman of the association of universi-

is also a type of hallmark that serves to attract

ties of applied sciences, the Higher Professional


Education Council, ‘has experienced a far greater sense of us having to finish the job together. In


And with that, Terpstra has almost

the past, everyone mainly complained about each

automatically paved the way for the future. ‘The

other and it is good to see that we have now finally

competition between universities of applied

put that period behind us. If I compare it to sports,

sciences will increase. This means they will be

Doekle Terpstra:

‘I want to see the number of lecturers doubling.’

small and medium-sized enterprises, regional municipalities and education pool their resources. But,’ stresses Terpstra, ‘it is not without risk. The universities of applied sciences could find themselves concentrating exclusively on supplying the regional demand because that is what the current labour market demands. And with that we will be shooting ourselves in the foot. Because the construction sector, as well, needs focus and mass from an international context.’ And speaking of this international context, Terpstra expresses surprise at the fact that the Dutch construction sector lacks state-funded PhD programmes to match their bachelor degrees. This is common in other countries. ‘It costs money. But personally I conider that of lesser consequence. forced to set themselves apart from the competi-

Because when we compare higher education in

tors and that not all institutes will offer the same

the Netherlands against international standards,

programmes. More sector-based, for exam-

we do not fare well. If we truly want to realise our

ple. This choice will depend on how the region

ambition of becoming a knowledge economy, then

operates. The Hanze University Groningen, for

we will have to make investments to that end. The

example, has the gas sector on its doorstep and

same holds true for the training programmes: I

could therefore shift its focus towards practical

applaud the fact that the Utrecht University of Ap-

research and training for the energy sector. Such

plied Science has taken the initiative to introduce

regional embedding is important. You can see the

the PhD programme in Urban Management and

added value for employment, for example when

Area Development (MUMAD), with financial sup-

Doekle Terpstra:

‘The competition between universities of applied sciences will increase.’


Doekle Terpstra:

‘We expect a lot from our lecturers, and there’s nothing wrong with that.’ port from the construction and property sectors.

the establishment of so-called knowledge clusters

Such a degree would however have to form part

around large-scale practical projects. Brilliant,

of the state-funded package of HBO-PhD pro-

and you can see this development getting off the

grammes, which is incidentally already in place

ground, albeit somewhat reluctantly perhaps.

for healthcare, teacher training and arts educa-

The Opleidingswoning project in Horst (referred


to elsewhere in this dossier) is a good example of

Practice-based education


what can be achieved from the education-industry Practice-based educa-

chain. In fact, it is a shining example of what

tion is an important aspect of the training pro-

can be accomplished and that people are indeed

grammes for the construction field, in his opinion.

willing to invest in one another. The strength of

‘I am also a supporter of “practice labs” through

the Opleidingswoning project lies in the fact that

DURF 6 Knowledge and education

VMBO, MBO and HBO students are able to find something that ties in with their studies.’ Lecturers

Terpstra feels the need for a greater

effort towards the practice-based approach of lecturers. ‘We expect a lot from our lecturers, and there’s nothing wrong with that. And I still believe that the teaching is becoming an increasingly enjoyable profession. It is becoming more diversified, thanks to cross-pollination with the industry, and this makes it far more dynamic. Not that this makes it any easier, either. It demands a lot of flexibility from the lecturers. That is why a healthy relationship between the field of work, practice and education is so important. And why I feel that we should count our blessings.’ <

DURF 1 Culture and behaviour

DURF 2 Building for consumers

DURF 3 Collaboration and integration of the chain

DURF 4 Tendering procedures and benchmarking

DURF 5 ICT and construction

DURF 6 Knowledge and education

DURF 7 Practical projects

DURF 8 Outlook for the construction sector

DURF 9 The PSIBouw programme


Practical projects Head in the clouds – feet on the ground

Small steps produce big results Associates as connectors of programme and practice

‘Surely you would know how we can best tackle this?’ Lessons

Do or don’t Bert Keijts, head of the Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management

‘There’s more verve in the relations’


DURF 7-1

Introduction to the theme

Head in the clouds – feet on the ground

Small steps produce big results Ultimately, innovation is all about the building practice. And it is this practice that PSIBouw sought out specifically. It means becoming part PSIBouw started out with a whole series of ambi-

of the dynamics where your influence is rather limited. A research

tious research projects. But the question soon

report may look good on paper, but legislation and practical objectives

arose of how the acquired knowledge could be

still drive a wedge between knowing and doing. Fortunately, a

implemented in practice. Midway into the pro-

learning-friendly environment can be created through trial and error.

gramme, it was decided to change course and seek

This is precisely what the practical projects of PSIBouw came to

a closer link with the concrete renewal initiatives


in the sector. Initially to give the programme a firm 94

footing, but also to be able to follow the initiatives

DURF 7 Practical projects

in practice and to provide the relevant support,

the powers that be, helps but the main aim is to

tools and interventions where needed.

establish substantial contact between all parties

This happened partly due to the top-level agree-

involved. It is also of the utmost importance that

ment that was signed between the government, the

there is someone with enormous drive, like the A2

business community and PSIBouw towards the end

project leader or the headmaster who insisted on a

of 2006 with the aim of expediting the widening of

different approach to the new developments at his

the A2 motorway between Utrecht and Amsterdam.

school in Veenendaal. It makes all the difference

Admittedly, an impressive document, but none of

between doing things the old way and opting for

the parties involved in the practical implementa-


tion had any interest in the innovative approach that the agreement proposed. ‘Nothing wrong with


The practical projects did not focus

innovation, as long as it doesn’t disrupt the main

mainly on the skills needed to implement new

process,’ was the opinion of those directly involved.

knowledge. It was more about developing a con-

Pushing and pulling

nection between people, their background, knowlSo how do you then man-

edge and networks. In other words, sincere inter-

age to entice people - who are incidentally already under immense pressure - to support a new approach, a new way of tendering, something unknown? It often took some pushing and pulling. Persuading a project leader or a building contractor and waving the agreement about from time to time. Pressure from the outside, especially from

‘As soon has it becomes a part of your being, you will crave the next step.’

est in the viewpoints, the agenda and the relevant

rience. As soon has it becomes a part of yourself,

partiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; interest in one another. This facilitates the

you will start craving the next step.

development of an environment where someone is willing to take a small step towards, for example,


People who work on the practical

exploring a different type of contract. Not by sud-

projects of PSIBouw have developed their own

denly tabling the model-based final situation as

dynamics. This means that feedback to the or-

a serious objective, but instead by exploring the

ganisation itself is not always that simple: How

initial step thoroughly and trying it out if required,

do you convince your boss or management to

without it having any immediate repercussions.

risk the next step into the unknown? How do you

Games or simulations have proven their worth in

as an alderman sell the idea of transferring the

many respects. Or consider competition-oriented

management and maintenance of public spaces

dialogue: Give it a try and see what happens. The

to an association of residents, a corporation and a

lessons you learn in this manner do not come

contractor, as was the case in Hellevoetsluis?

from a book or a report, but from first-hand expe-

And the project to construct a new school in


‘It takes daring and leadership to persevere with innovation, dare to learn from your mistakes and then take the next small step.’ Veenendaal in accordance with LBC principles:

Close ties

And what is achieved by that? Ambition

it was born under a lucky star. A commissioning

is the driving force of innovation and networking

party who said: there has to be a different way of

are the wheels. The philosophy that innovation

building and the building contractor who said: I’m

develops in a straight line of knowledge develop-

going to do things differently. It was not all plain

ment and dissemination is outmoded. In reality, it

sailing and at a certain stage this even resulted in

is far more dynamic and complex. The academic

an exceptionally painful rift between company and

world also gives us increasingly clear indica-

commissioning party, leading to a tense moment.

tions that a traditional approach to the issue of

How do you as a headmaster convince the school

innovation does not work. Closer ties between

board and the local council that you want to give it

practice and theory, and between professionals in

another shot nonetheless?

the construction sector and knowledge workers,


are needed to translate the needs of the sector Looking back on such an event, it

more clearly into scientific research - and make

doesn’t take long for big words like daring and

the relationship between science and construction

leadership to surface. Of course, it takes both

more productive. The International Advisory Board

qualities to persevere with innovation, dare to

(IAB) of PSIBouw has referred to similar examples

learn from your mistakes and then take the next

from other countries, such as the Construction

small step. But even more importantly: it is all

Excellence programme in the United Kingdom and

about continuing to pay careful attention to the

the CRC (Construction Research Centre for the

question of what you want and what your partners

Construction Industry) in Australia. The simi-

are willing and able to do. Rather admit that you

larities in terms of questions and problems are

are unwilling or unable to do something and then

remarkable. Yet PSIBouw’s programme turned

see how your collaboration can continue from

out to be unique from an international perspec-

there than holding your tongue or - against your

tive in the sense that the theme of ‘culture and

better judgement - creating a false impression.

behaviour’ is included as one of the priorities in

If the adage of openness applies anywhere, it is

the programme, whereby we emphasise that it

certainly in the delicate game of interpersonal

concerns behaviour with a small ‘b’. The real work

communication: After all, that is what the practi-

starts on the individual level - with the head in the

cal projects are mainly about.

clouds but the feet on the ground.. <

‘Ambition is the driving force of innovation; networking the wheels.’

DURF 7-2


‘Surely you would Associates as connectors of programme and practice

know how we can best tackle this?’ Dozens of PSIBouw associates were involved in the practical projects. People from the fields of project management, communication,

Kees van Leeuwen became an associate for the A2

construction, to name a few. Their brief was to bridge the divide

project. ‘The idea was to expedite the widening of

between new knowledge and renewal initiatives in building practice.

the road. At first, it was unclear how I could con-

In this chapter, six of them discuss their experiences and you are

tribute to that. What does not work, at any rate,

given a general impression of a few projects. Details of most of the

is pushing; going from door to door like a hawker

practical projects can be found at

peddling his ware, calling out that you have such great tools for helping them. It will only lead to doors being slammed in your face, because the situation is tense enough as it is.’

Risk management: communication

The associates would sometimes appear of their

Experts work their fingers to the bone on analyses and calculations

own accord at a project in which PSIBouw had

to manage risks at large-scale projects, but ‘forget’ to communicate this

already been involved in some way or another.

information. PSIBouw associates introduced ‘communicative risk man-

‘Some projects were initially launched as a chiefly

agement’ to a number of players in the market. This has since expanded

technical project. Take the Vogelbuurt neighbour-

into a part of the working procedures at the Directorate-General for

hood in Hellevoetsluis. The management and

Public Works and Water Management, ProRail, a number of large

maintenance of the public spaces would have to

municipalities and major building contractors. A demand for

be supported with ICT resources from a lifecycle

communicative risk management has developed within trade and

philosophy. We posed the question: Where exactly

industry and educational institutes.

is the user in this project? Nobody had though about that. That soon prompted the question:

New school buildings in Veenendaal: ‘trust engineering’

Could you assist in that regard? We also proposed

The associates provided substantive advice during this LBC project

to monitor the interaction between local council,

and took care of the monitoring of the project. They advised the partici-

contractor, residents and association. This gave

pating parties on the collaboration aspect. This intensive coaching has

rise to a working procedure that nobody could

since caught on as ‘trust engineering’.

have predicted, where the need for new knowledge

engaging the services of a behavioural scientist


arose and was fulfilled within the work itself.’ Ton

“your behaviour belongs in the Dark Ages”, but

Huijzer led this project.

I managed to get the message across in a more diplomatic way. They accepted it, specifically due

‘When heading practical projects and experi-

to the fact that I was an outsider and ultimately it

ments, you should actually be naïve and remain

resulted in a valuable relationship.’

open to surprises. I did this by continuously inviting people to explain their viewpoints once again,

Even projects already blessed with an inspired

by asking them to describe these in a different

initiator, such as Solids’ Frank Bijdendijk in Am-

way. The contractors were already under stress

sterdam, can benefit from a little help sometimes.

because the A2 had to be built at a desperate

Karssen: ‘Look, it also works without PSIBouw;

pace; the public servants attempted to move the

nothing more is needed. There were times when

deadline from 2010 to 2011 after all, in brief:

I asked myself: “What am I doing here?” but the

everyone sat in their own separate strongholds.

truth is that our network enabled us to involve

You can’t then simply go waltzing in there and give them your expert opinion on how things should be done. But you can make people more receptive


Bronckhorst: market survey

if you listen to your instincts and keep your eyes

The new local council of Bronckhorst (Gelderland) is constructing a new

open. For instance, I noticed that the parties in

town hall. The commissioning party and consultants decided that a builder

this project kept sending each other letters, so I

should be involved in the final stage of the design process to provide input on

said: put down that pen and paper, go over to the

affordable solutions. PSIBouw associates offered advice and supervised the

fellow at his construction site and have a cup of

subsequent market survey. This led to the ‘award based on value’ concept.

coffee with him. He was dumbfounded, because

DURF 7 Practical projects

that would go against the work culture. But he did it anyway. After that, things became far more

Evaluations of large-scale infrastructure projects

direct and personal, and only then do you have a

PSIBouw associates arranged the evaluation of seven contracting

fertile breeding ground for new ventures.’

procedures at large-scale infrastructure projects. Various types of contracts were assessed. All the recommendations for improvement can

Aart Karssen agrees. Along with associate Marjan

be used directly by project managers, tendering managers and contract

van den Dungen, he was called in to assist in a

managers of commissioning parties and contractors. Local authorities

number of projects, including the development of

can also benefit from the experience gained.

the Kasteelschap in Almelo, a neighbourhood designed and landscaped by and for local residents. ‘At some point I noticed that all the energy had

Zaanstad: Which developer?

drained from the project and that everyone was

When selecting project developers, local councils often find themselves

waiting for me with a “you have al the answers,

in need of a quality-based selection method. For two cases in the Zaanstad

don’t you?” kind of attitude. When a project be-

local council, the associates explored the possibility of developing EMVI-like

comes this dependent on external people who play

criteria to apply when selecting market parties on the basis of added value.

almost no role in the actual implementation, then you know it is doomed. You have to be clear and should not be afraid of confrontation. I remember

Ministry of Finance: DBFMO in PPS

a project in Zuidwolde where the commissioning

A digital model was used to specify the desired output for this renovation

party had little faith in the contractor. You could

project. The associates assessed the project in collaboration with the parties

read this between the lines of the invitation to

involved, and also presented the results at two meetings for experts special-

tender. As associate, you cannot tell them outright

ising in functional specification and the application of digital models.

others in the project with whom the “regular”

‘It doesn’t work to arrive on the scene as a

partners did not see eye to eye. Our role in that

self-proclaimed innovator with a “listen, I’ve got

sense is to break down barriers and forge ties

something for you” attitude,’ according to Serena

between people. They sometimes need a nudge

Scholte and Kees Robers. ‘What’s important is

in the right direction. That means we do nothing

that you can home in on an existing or perhaps

on the substantive level, but so much more in the

hidden call for support, and that requires rather

methodical sense.’

specific and personal work. What you then see is how quickly people’s expectations are raised,

Central Holland: Soft soil

along the lines of “well, you’re the innovation experts, aren’t you?”’

Exceptionally soft soil: a problem shared by the local councils of Central Holland and the Rhine region. The project entitled ‘Denk Wijzer, Werk Slimmer,

The associates agree that modesty is a vital

Bouw Beter’ (Think Wiser, Work Smarter, Build Better) focuses on a different

quality when playing a role in innovative practical

approach to working and thinking when it comes to tender procedures relat-

projects. The capacity to sense what others are

ing to construction and maintenance issues. The target groups: local admin-

struggling with, what problems they face or what

istrators and their civil servants. The aim was to find sustainable solutions

their needs are is crucial. As an associate, you

within local councils, with lifecycle value and lifecycle costs as key concepts.

are undeniably confronted with your own habits

These were to form the starting point for decision making and process or-

as well. Karssen: ‘I had to rein myself in, because

ganisation. PSIBouw offered support to make the project possible. From the

I am rather impatient by nature.’ Van Leeuwen:

lifecycle perspective and transparent collaboration, the project serves as an

‘I come from a project management background,

example for public-private knowledge development and implementation.

so the focus quickly shifts to time, money, quality, information, organisation. These are hugely

Almere sustainable

important, of course, but I have discovered that

Almere, a partner in the sustainable housing and development programme

changed in that regard.’

personal communication is crucial. I have since

entitled ‘Nieuw Flevolands Peil’, decided to realise the Columbuskwartier neighbourhood in a renewable manner. It is pioneering work and therefore

Demand generates supply, is the conclusion of

of interest to other local councils, developers and builders with plans in the

these associates. You could compare it with the

sustainable direction. The building practice is mainly in search of an ap-

marketing of services. ‘Production’ and ‘consump-

proach to sustainability in construction and housing. Under the guidance of

tion’ of the service actually take place in tandem

the PSIBouw associates, the evaluation of this groundbreaking project was

and the end user is a co-producer. This means

developed and carried out: how did the management, contracting and the

that an innovation programme can only be suc-

development of tools rate in terms of sustainability?

cessful if new knowledge and new tools are not simply forced onto the market, but only introduced

UMC Radboud

when the programme demands practice-related

The Radboud University Medical Centre wanted to apply past performance

in collaboration with the market parties.

in the selection and award of construction, mechanical and electrical engi-

The programme can then generate supply from

neering contracts on the basis of quality (organisational and otherwise) at a

the network of people and from knowhow, instru-

maximum price. The PSIBouw associates organised expert meetings to gain

ments and experience; in the manner that the

insight into the possibilities and risks. Interested parties were interviewed

future construction sector itself should, in fact,

to obtain a clear picture of their findings. The process was subsequently as-

be treating its customers. <

sessed during a round-table meeting with the commissioning party. The associates were also involved in the assessment of the award based on quality.

questions from the market and develops solutions


DURF 7-3



DURF 7 Practical projects

Do or don’t Hundreds of people were involved in the practical projects of PSIBouw. We asked a number of these people about their most important lessons: what they have learnt and what advice they would like to give to others who want to get started too. We made a selection from the dozens of examples heard at the various meetings.

1 2

Practical projects are not initiated from an innovation programme, but are always in existence already. Seek them out and look for a gap without forcing your way in. Then seize your opportunity.

Do not place all your faith in your own assumptions and the seemingly pure intentions of others. Many are yay-sayers and nay-doers. But there are also nay-sayers who are yay-doers. So investigate underlying motives and interests wherever possible: What does the person truly want and what will he or she do? Listen - summarise – keep asking questions.

‘Listen. Summarise. Keep asking questions.’

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Innovation is not a glamorous job. Nor can it be forced through the application power.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;

3 4

Besides innovation, it is also about leadership, the

creates expectations and therefore gives rise to

ability to forge ties, communicate. When you apply

pressure on the group. This will affect every indi-

these qualities, be aware that a vulnerable project

vidual. Pay attention to this and make it clear.

will result.

Innovation is not a glamorous job. Nor can it be

Sometimes you need to persevere.

forced through the application of power. Instead, it is a gradual process and will always meet with resistance. That is why it is so important to ensure

Because renewal projects, too, have a tangible ob-

that all successes (even minor ones) are recog-

jective and ratio (and are organised accordingly),

nised and celebrated, and to pursue a compli-

5 6

it might seem that there is no room for procedure,

ment-oriented policy.

Recruit people who swim against the current;

7 8 9

Participation in a project that involves renewal

intuition and emotions. So rather than constant discussions on the issue, deal with it in the work

10 itself.

input from an outsider often gives new insight, but first ensure a healthy atmosphere in the team.

Do not expect instant miracles. It takes time to establish effective collaboration that also inspires confidence. There is often more happening than might seem to be the case.

Never assume in the meantime that success has been achieved. Stay alert and pay attention. <


DURF 7-4


‘There’s more verve Bert Keijts, Director-General for the Directorate-General for Public Works

in the relations’

and Water Management

Bert Keijts, head the Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management, hazards a guess that some four years from now, his service will be entirely focused on quality rather than price. ‘We still

102 DURF 7 Practical projects

have a long way to go. We as the management team will have to give

and Water Management and the subsequent

employees the assurance that it is okay for them to do so. And that

improvement of relations with the market. ‘We

mistakes are allowed. That is also the added value of applying other

have been successful in that regard. I can state

types of contracts and tendering procedures in practice. We need to

with confidence that relations between commis-

invest much more energy in this; otherwise it will all remain mere

sioning parties and contracted parties have more


verve. As a public commissioning authority, we also came to realise that we can actually enforce the renewal in the sector to a large degree.’ That It is the day after Bert Keijts has been voted

is why Keijts defines the recent years of innova-

‘Public Service Manager of the Year 2008’. ‘I must

tion as a period of restoring and improving mutual

admit I am rather touched by this award,’ says

relations. ‘The construction fraud has left deep

Keijts. Memories of the evening’s celebrations are

marks in that regard. When an employee spoke

still fresh in his mind, but the Director-General

about a company, they usually knew something

does not have much time to reflect on these.

about what went wrong in a project of that com-

Since his appointment in 2003, Keijts has been

pany. Mutual distrust. We’ve since worked past

concentrating on effecting a change in the culture

that. Thanks to the efforts from the sector’s and

within the Directorate-General for Public Works

our side, many of the old wounds have now healed

Bert Keijts:

‘Stop dawdling and start doing. Then we can all begin to learn from each other.’

Nederland, ONRI and PSIBouw to encourage the new approach to collaboration between commissioning party and contractor. Rules of play

The establishment of the forum for

commissioning parties in the construction sector by major public and semi-public commissioning parties is further evidence, according to Keijts, that the renewal of the sector has been taken seriously. One of the first activities of this forum was the drafting of a code of conduct for public patronage. ‘This code contains the rules of play; how we should present ourselves and what contracted parties can therefore expect from us. And what we can expect from them, of course. The code furthermore provides our employees with a framework for the carrying out of their duties in relation and we are able talk to each other about the pros

to contracted parties.’ It creates clarity, according

and cons of a contract. At the same time, the

to Keijts, but there is still a lot of groundwork to

no-obligation character is gone. For example, we

be done. ‘Every now and again I notice that con-

decided in the GWW working group at the time

tracted parties still approach us with the greatest

that practical projects should be set up and that

of caution. It just proves that you cannot rub out

PSIBouw should play a key role in that.’ A good

two centuries of hierarchy within the space of a

example, according to him, is the A2 agreement;

few years. But this caution is unfounded. Simply

the alliance between the Directorate-General for

speak your mind. Impossible to complete the road

Public Works and Water Management, Bouwend

within this timeframe? Then say so immediately,

Bert Keijts:

‘There was mutual distrust. We’ve since worked past that.’


Bert Keijts:

‘The new code of conduct contains the rules of play for us and our commissioning parties.’ and new ways of interacting with the market have slowly but surely become engraved in the minds of the large national commissioning parties. He is however concerned about the provincial and local levels. ‘How do smaller municipalities intend to challenge market parties? We are already grap-

104 DURF 7 Practical projects

instead of waiting until work is underway and the

pling with the question of how to best evaluate

expectation has been created that the road will

performance contracts. This will be even more

be ready on time. The preliminary stage, in other

difficult for a smaller municipality to do. We can

words, before the signing of the contract, still

offer them support, but are often met with the

needs a lot of work in that respect. Then the sign-

attitude of: “oh, so Directorate-General wants to

ing of the contract becomes a logical next step. It

take over the market here”. Perhaps we should

still happens frequently that signatures are placed

set up a regional service centre to assist them in

under pressure and that often spells the begin-

this regard.’

ning of the end.’ Successes

Renewal. Keijts spends a lot of time

No excuses

The bottom line, he believes, is that

people should get down to brass tacks. ‘Stop

on that word. He feels, more strongly than anyone

dawdling and start doing. Then we can all begin to

else, that the construction sector can take a

learn from each other. That is also what practical

smarter approach and, at the same time, that a

projects are and should be about. PSIBouw has

lot of work still needs to be done. ‘The crux of

also done a good job to this end in its capacity as

the matter is this: How do you extend the suc-

driving force. That is why I can identify with most

cesses from the learning projects to include other

of the lessons described in this dossier. And of

projects? Not that a new line is suddenly included

course it always takes time to get the renewal to

in contracts in Groningen. Project feedback does

sink in on all levels. But it must certainly not be

not always take place with equal spontaneity

used as an excuse not to do it.’ <

in our experience. We have introduced the HID performance contract meetings to ensure that the issue receives more emphasis. That is where all the knowledge is collated and staff of the Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management can access information.’ In his opinion, the application of other types of contracts

DURF 1 Culture and behaviour

DURF 2 Building for consumers

DURF 3 Collaboration and integration of the chain

DURF 4 Tendering procedures and benchmarking

DURF 5 ICT and construction

DURF 6 Knowledge and education

DURF 7 Practical projects

DURF 8 Outlook for the construction sector

DURF 9 The PSIBouw programme


Outlook for the construction sector Appealing outlook for the construction sector

From there and then to here and now Peter van Dommele, CEO of the Esha Group

‘The construction sector will help make the Netherlands more future proof.’ Hans Nieuwenhuis, Director of Getronics PinkRoccade

‘You have to know why you want to change.’ Lessons

Do or don’t Roel in ‘t Veld

‘We only accept change if the decline becomes serious and the alternative attractive.’


DURF 8-1

Introduction to the theme

Appealing outlook for the construction sector

From there and then to here and now Just imagine: fifteen years from now, the Dutch construction sector will be the national and global leader in the field of sustainable, This objective also formed the basis of the Transi-

conceptual and flexible building. A leader in the approach to energy

tion Agenda for the Construction Sector (Transi-

use, spatial development, neighbourhood improvement and mobility.

tieagenda Bouw), towards which dozens of people

Service-minded, solution-oriented and shows a good deal of initiative.

from within and outside the sector contributed 106

in recent years and which saw the light towards

DURF 8 Outlook for the construction sector

the end of 2008. This agenda focuses on the long

state and the trends on which it has no influ-

term, which is not without its stumbling blocks.

ence but of which the effects will undoubtedly be

After all, future-oriented thinking is said to easily

of consequence to the sector. A summary of the

result in unrealistic expectations. (As if we don’t

irreversible trends applicable on the construction

have enough on our plates already these days).

sector can be found in the publication entitled ‘Megatrends Bouw’.

Nevertheless, a programme aimed at Process and Systems Innovation in the construction sec-

The sector itself is characterised by fragmenta-

tor (PSIBouw took its name from this) requires

tion and therefore lacks a common response to

gradual innovations to be embedded in the longer

these trends. The sector’s heavy focus on the

term: a vision provides perspective and direction

short term is noticeable and highly persistent.

and can therefore prove to be exceptionally practi-

Mutual relations are characterised by their imper-

cal and grounded. A vision provides an answer to

manence and by standpoints that have prevailed

the question: what will we develop now and what

for decades: cost takes precedence over value;

will we subsequently omit?

the construction sector is highly project-oriented; knowledge implementation and education are of

Developing a vision is not simply a matter of some

minor importance.

dreaming here, jotting down an ambition there;

Just imagine: fifteen years from now, the Dutch

arranging a business meeting this way and a

construction sector will be the national and global

trend watcher that way. Nor is it set in stone. The

leader in the field of sustainable, conceptual

development of a vision for the sector starts with

and flexible building. A leader in the approach to

a thorough analysis of both the sector’s current

energy use, spatial development, neighbourhood

improvement, and mobility. A service sector that

therefore the culture of organisations. Interesting-

is solution-oriented and shows a good deal of

ly, everyone agrees on the importance of cultural


and behavioural change as the key to renewal.

The above forms part of the assessments made by

The fragmentation of the sector ultimately

several parties in recent years and does not con-

translates into an interesting series of problem

tain anything new in itself. Everyone does however

analyses, which make it exceptionally difficult

approach the issue from their own unique angle.

to determine a vision that carries any weight on

And consensus between parties in the sector does

the industry level. In that sense, the construction

not always lead to concrete action within their

sector still has a long way to go towards the kind

own organisations. It has emerged that converting

of sector-wide transition that was realised in the

knowledge into action has become the most per-

agricultural industry and is currently taking place

sistent problem in large parts of the sector. The

in the financial world. Evidently, the construction

main issue is how to change the behaviour and

sector similarly needs a true crisis.

‘Seemingly minor renewals can only be realised with patience, time, perseverance, courage, mettle and... Daring (Durf).’ So how can you see where the changes are taking

prevails and there is no shortage of alternative

place and whether these are conducive to the

services and processes, concepts and products. In

transition of the sector? A series of measure-

addition to a broad knowledge base, social pres-

ments was taken in recent years in an effort to

sure is also on the increase and a new generation

answer these questions. It emerged that the level

committed to doing things differently is emerging.

of trust between the partners within the sector

The Transition Agenda for the Construction Sector

has improved considerably and that commission-

provides the relevant objective; not as a fixed bea-

ing parties have become more positive about the

con, but instead as a prospect that has sufficient

innovative capacity of construction firms. This

appeal to warrant working towards it and that

forms a good foundation for a transition, but it is

gradually raises enough questions to ensure the

still difficult to measure whether this transition is

relevant reshaping as the occasion arises.

actually sustained. This is because the renewal of the construction sector has two dimensions that

The question is not if the wave of renewal in the

are not easily expressed in measurements: proc-

sector is being sustained, but rather how, at what

esses, technology and systems, on the one hand,

pace and with how much intensity. Recent years

and the interaction with society on the other.

have shown us that a vision for the future holds

Looking at the sector as a whole, we see that it

great significance, if incorporated into each of the

is largely inward looking. The wave of renewal in

minor renewals, to automatically become a part

the construction sector should disentangle itself

of the ‘big job’. We must refrain from encouraging

from the structure (the institutions and rules), the

extravagant and compelling visions that have little

culture (attitude and behaviour) and the method of

bearing on everyday practice. Seemingly minor

operation (rules, regulations and procedures).

renewals can only be realised with patience, time, perseverance, courage, mettle and...

PSIBouw has collaborated with several other programmes to realise the first step towards a method for measuring this, a so-called ‘monitoring framework’, which also addresses the social effect of these types of programmes. The effects, however, will only become visible in the long term. As is evident from DURF 1 to 7, the construction sector shows clear potential for a fundamental change. A sense of urgency, albeit modest,

Daring (‘Durf’). <

DURF 8-2


‘The construction sector will make the Netherlands Peter van Dommele, CEO of the Esha Group

more future proof’

Peter van Dommele, CEO of the Esha Group bv, is a regular participant in the debate meetings of PSIBouw and admits that he is sometimes immensely annoyed with meetings in the construction sector where

This transition has been introduced and will offer

the same issues are brought up over and over again. ‘Give it a rest and

our construction sector countless opportunities to

set to work instead. We as a sector have the social responsibility and

play a leading role in that area. As an independent

the knowledge to make the Netherlands future and climate proof.

organisation, SUBLEAN will act as the initiator,

So fulfil this obligation and seize your opportunities.’ A conversation

driving force and service provider to ensure that

with an inspired person.

the various parties participate in the transition process in an industrious and committed manner. We are heading towards a knowledge industry that

January 2009 marked the start of Van Dommele’s

revolves around the future and climate proofing of

leadership of the SUBLEAN Group: Sustainable

the built-up environment,’ predicts Van Dommele.

Building and Living Environment As Normal. ‘The

According to him, that means keeping your eyes

urgency to make the Netherlands future and cli-

and ears open and anticipating social and other

mate proof has been placed on the social agenda.

developments. A good example of that, he says, is

The next step is to develop society and industry

the transition process introduced in the roof and

to the extent that the next generation will take

road sector. ‘The development of, for example,

sustainable building or social interactive spatial

roofs that generate energy and reduce the amount

development for granted and see it as normal.

of rainwater that needs to be drained away via

Peter van Dommele:

‘The next step is to develop society and industry to the extent that they are ready for the next generation.’


Peter van Dommele:

‘We have a properly functioning construction sector and should stop clinging to the past.’ the sewage system, and eco-friendly roofs that

higher budget, will be a far more inexpensive and

improve the air quality. They might initially be

sustainable option in the long run. It’s easy to tune

more expensive than traditional roofs, but will

the social parameters. If politicians were to say

ultimately prove their added value in the economic

and conclude that we will pay 50 percent more for

and social sense.’

energy and region-bound burdens due to all sorts



of global and climate changing developments ten Added value. It doesn’t take long for

years from now, then households and businesses

DURF 8 Outlook for the construction sector

the phrase to crop up in the conversation with

will be able to see energy-saving measures in a

Van Dommele. - as it often did in the past when

new light. Capitalise on that advantage and you

he participated in the PSIBouw debate sessions

will instantly have a more generous budget and

that formed the basis of the Transition Agenda

a new industrial development as well. The same

for the Construction Sector . ‘As a sector, we can

applies to issues such as air quality and water

add value to the built-up environment so that its

policy.’ Such a social approach, according to Van

sustainability improves and it becomes fully func-

Dommele’s vision, would be able change the

tional after a period of, let’s say, 30 years. I also

construction sector’s position in one fell swoop.

support the ambition that the Transition Agenda

‘Because it means that we as sector will be offer-

represents today. We have the knowledge and

ing solutions that pay for themselves in no time.

experience at our disposal to make a difference.’

These solutions do exists, of course, but many pri-

At the same time, he admits that it will come at a

vate and corporate consumers still find them too

price. ‘But,’ he points out, ‘if you were to be able

expensive. Today’s households would rather have

to predict today that the energy burden will have

more floor space than an eco-friendly heating and

risen by 15 percent in about five years’ time, then

cooling system underneath their homes. Believe

you can easily work out that innovative changes

me, this attitude will change as energy becomes

in the field of energy, which currently require a

scarcer and therefore more expensive.’

Peter van Dommele:

The construction sector needs to do advance defending and make scoring its main objective. Only then will we be on the right track.’

proof. There’s no doubt in my mind that we can do it. And it gives us the unique opportunity to transform it into a knowledge industry, so that we can also export our knowledge and experience and lay the foundations for a bright future.’ A natural progression

Van Dommele is a staunch

believer in the transition from a passive to a proactive sector: ‘But that should happen gradually. All we need to do is to make it a natural Peter van Dommele:

progression. Larger commissioning parties such

‘Because it means that we as sector will be offering solutions that pay for themselves in no time.’

as the Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management and the Government Buildings Agency should challenge the construction sector to come up with solutions and to subsequently see it as self-evident that the market should be left to do its job. We have to accept that we are working on the development of a new dimension. The

Knowledge industry

market, in turn, should claim this more prominent According to Van Dom-

role by showing its dynamic side and engaging in

mele, the construction sector is ready to make

social innovation. We need to seize the opportuni-

the Netherlands future and climate proof and to

ties and make them visible. I like to compare it

keep it that way. ‘We have a properly function-

with football; the construction sector needs to do

ing construction sector in principle and should

advance defending and make scoring its main ob-

stop clinging to the past. In fact, the construction

jective. Only then will we be on the right track.’ <

industry should be proud of its achievements. We spend too much time talking about all the things that need changing in the sector and conveniently forget about the great achievements of the past. I’m not saying that things don’t go horribly wrong at times, but I do believe that the real challenge for the construction sector lies in how we can make the Netherlands more future and climate


‘You have to know why Hans Nieuwenhuis, Director of Getronics PinkRoccade

you want to change’ Hans Nieuwenhuis, Offshore Director at Getronics PinkRoccade, says his company is currently in the midst of a transition process. Not surprisingly, since his division has been sold to the Cap Gemini Group this summer. ‘That means I am focusing all my energy on the

112 DURF 8 Outlook for the construction sector

integration process. The essence of the transformation procedure

in the transition process. Or, to put it differ-

is that you know the reason for and the direction of the change

ently: Can you really speak of a problem if nobody

beforehand. And that is precisely the aspect I sometimes find

experiences it as such?’ He admits to having

lacking in the construction sector.’

mixed feelings about the Transition Agenda for the Construction Sector . ‘Yes, it is a well thought-out document. It also lists countless trends that un-

Nieuwenhuis often expressed criticism during

doubtedly affect the construction sector or where

the PSIBouw workshops that formed the basis of

the sector should play a key role, such as sustain-

the Transition Agenda for the Construction Sec-

ability, population ageing and employment. But,’

tor . ‘Someone would say, for example, that the

Nieuwenhuis adds, ‘it fails to explain the possible

construction sector is very passive and should

effect of these trends on the sector. In brief, these

become more proactive. So I would say: who is in

trends should be viewed from a slightly higher

favour of that now? And I would get no response.

level of abstraction to shed light on them. I find it

This led me to conclude that nobody was really

important, because if you have a proper grasp on

interested in taking on the role of problem solver

that, the why also becomes a lot clearer.’

Hans Nieuwenhuis:

‘You can’t solve problems if nobody experiences them as such.’

world were to look like that?’ He admitted that Hans Nieuwenhuis:

this assignment was far from simple. ‘You really

‘You have to think outside the box and be able to put yourself in that world.’

have to think outside the box and be able to put yourself entirely in that world. But in the end these sessions resulted in very useful strategies. The result of which was that it became easier for us to anticipate changes in the world, because we had more or less anticipated the problems and worked out the solutions beforehand.’ An added advantage


of these sessions was that they also had a positive One of the ways of gaining insight

effect on the employees of Getronics PinkRoccade.

into the consequences, he explains, is to draw up

‘They got to know one another on an entirely dif-

so-called scenarios, a technique that Nieuwen-

ferent level, resulting in a far more homogenous

huis also introduced when he joined Getronics

company at the end of the process, with manage-

PinkRoccade (GPR) in 2000 and had brought with

ment members all speaking the same language. It

him from his previous employer, the Ministry of

is clear that these kinds of brainstorming models

Defence. ‘There we focused on issues such as how

help find the answer to whether - and if so, how -

to take into consideration the useful life of ships

you need to make changes.’

for the navy over a 25-year period. The long term, in other words. GPR, on the other hand, worked


It is exactly this exercise that Nieuwen-

with timeframes of no more than 12 months and

huis still finds lacking in the Transition Agenda.

was too easily influenced by passing fads. What

‘Precisely when looking at the issue at hand, it

was needed was a strategic plan with a timeframe

becomes clear how you can get the construction

of about five years.’ To that end, he introduced

sector on board. This is because the trends identi-

macro surveys, which not only pinpointed the

fied can be used to formulate the so-called meg-

developments in the areas of economy, technol-

atrends. Set up the relevant scenarios. Then go to

ogy, politics and demographics, but also showed

the various parties in the sector and ask whether

where the greatest uncertainties lie. Nieuwen-

they identify with these. That will ensure that you

huis: ‘We then whittled these down to a maximum

end up with something that enjoys widespread

of four uncertainties before turning our attention

support. Because, once again, we can go on solv-

to brainstorming. The key question in that regard

ing problems, but if nobody experiences these as

was: What would it mean for your business if the

actual problems, then what is the point?’ <


DURF 8-3


Do or don’t Hundreds of people were involved in the practical projects of PSIBouw. We asked a number of these people about their most important lessons: what they have learnt and what advice they would like to give to others who want to get started too. We made a selection from the dozens of examples heard at the various meetings.


A vision will carry more weight if it can play a role in practical experiments or even business cases, where the future is brought forward, as it were: work done on a small scale what could later on

Significance of a vision 114 DURF 8 Outlook for the construction sector

for the industry

1 2

A vision only becomes effective when it links the short and long term.

A transition has to think from the outside in, and not vice versa. Not going in search of the problem in the construction sector, but rather translating the demand from the ‘outside world’ into the supply in the construction sector. This gives strategic meaning to the problems that the construction


sector itself faces.

Working on a vision as part of a renewal programme means learning to live with resistance, setbacks and cynicism. It takes unwavering personal ambition to keep guiding the issue back to the long term.

5 6 7 8

become the norm.

It is tempting to reduce the complexity in an effort to arrive at a practical work agenda, while we are able to develop so much knowledge in dealing with complexity.

It is not a single road that leads to Rome; a variety of visions are possible.

A vision’s strength lies in the fact that it can be summarised in a few sentences, but several strategies are needed to realise this.

Transition monitoring is still in its infancy and unable to exercise any real influence on the strategy and actions of an innovation programme.

Developing a vision

1 2

Ensure that the people who meet to develop a new vision are provided with an inspiring and unusual working environment. This will encourage openness, inspiration, an exchange of innovative ideas.

Although an appealing vision might provide direction, it does not automatically provide the initial and subsequent steps to get there. Each vision must have concrete steps assigned to it. Make

3 4

sure you appoint a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;chief in chargeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; as well.

When many different people work on a vision at different times, it is important to devote a lot of attention to the coherence of the ultimate vision.

A lot of positive energy is generated when many different people work on a vision. An ICT expert, roof innovator, an econometrist, a

sociologist, someone in healthcare. They provide as many useful angles.

5 6 7

Maintenance and management are as important a part of the vision as its development and construction and should therefore receive attention during the development process itself.

Establish a clear language and stick to it. Appealing perspectives, vision, transitions, long-term agendas, transition agendas: limit the number of phrases and apply them consistently.

Working on a vision attracts a certain type of person. This soon leads to a group of people who are on the same wavelength with one another, but are often misunderstood by the outside world. Ensure a balance between thinkers and doers, dreamers and go-getters. <


DURF 8-4


‘We only accept change Roel in ‘t Veld:

once the decline becomes serious and the alternative attractive.’ I sometimes ask my students: ‘Why do you watch Idols but don’t have 116

the slightest interest in the kind of neighbourhood you’re living in?’

DURF 8 Outlook for the construction sector

If you ask them how much time they would like to spend on the budget of their town or neighbourhood, the answer proves not that much.

a role in this: ‘I want the best for my children as

People have become motivated by their own interests rather than

well.’ This is a powerful link between the social

social objectives. Roel in ‘t Veld, Chairman of the Advisory Council for

and the personal planes.’

Research on Spatial Planning, Nature and the Environment (RMNO) and professor at the Open University, reflects on social innovations in the future of the construction sector.


‘If no collaboration is established, the in-

novation investment required will not take place. Studies of major innovations have shown that the first seeds can often be found among small

‘Today’s thirty-somethings reason away the entire

groups of inventive citizens, enterprising newcom-

macro issue; it is simply not part of their universe.

ers to the industry or employees in echelons other

Their focus is on their own lives. They have chil-

than the top in larger organisations. The manner

dren and both partners work, which makes for a

of collaboration between investors, developers

logistics nightmare. It is possible to live like this,

and marketers will subsequently determine the

of course, but it will have an adverse effect on

pace and degree of success. These dynamics of

the level of involvement that innovation requires.

mutual relations amongst the main actors require

Linking social objectives with personal interests

their own social structure.

could serve as an incentive. You have to make this

If you want to embark on a healthy long-term

visible. Sustainability, for example, that which

route, you will also need to take into account the

your Transition Agenda is all about, will become

democratic component, which is monopolised by

important to this generation. This is partly be-

the public administration. That is insane, because

cause the issue of intergenerational equality plays

if we talk about vital communities and a vital con-

perspective for some time and this has caused some tension. It can sometimes be too difficult to get over the trauma, which results in the sector losing its way temporarily. You could force a breakthrough, but that would require the actors to rise above themselves. The government could say: we will pay for offers. We do something about risk allocation, about thinking in terms of the lowest price and costs. The current regime with its institutional order is still resisting this. Nor is there any fundamental change in the approach to the tendering procedures It is evident in the public transport sector. You might aspire towards a level playing field, but this will never be realised as long as we have a concession holder who has access to all the information. You could ask yourself the question whether tendering is profitable on a social level if you factor in all process costs. You need to keep a sharp eye on the conditions in which the government does damage in this manner. Severe rule orientation leads to discontinuity and this is perhaps government’s way of protecting itself against failure, but it is nonetheless causing serious damage in the private sector.’ Resilient

‘The forces at play in the construction

struction sector for the future, then of course we

sector are currently highly complex. This sector

are talking about more than just the authorities.’

operates on the interface of public administration


and private enterprise. It shares this interface ‘Sadly, this sector is still not very future

with all sorts of other social institutes, such as

minded; it finds itself in the final throes of post-

corporations and pension funds whose weak-

traumatic stress following the scandals that shook

ness lies in the fact that they are in fact not truly

the sector. The main problem was that the trust

democratic. Not that they have to be, but the

between the partners has been dealt a severe

consequence is a shortage of social legitimacy

blow. The parties were unable to see things in

once the ball starts rolling. This is fatal for the

Roel in ‘t Veld:

‘Focusing on the future not only provides direction but also helps you reflect on your current role.’


Roel in ‘t Veld:

‘A major pitfall is the notion that new knowledge will automatically lead to greater efficiency and renewal within an organisation.’ continuation of fundamental innovation efforts. A

new meanings and values originate. In this ap-

strong, resilient society has institutes maintaining

proach to innovation, giving meaning to and nego-

sufficient ties with involved citizens.’

tiating the values become the core competencies for innovation. In terms of managing organisa-

118 DURF 8 Outlook for the construction sector

‘Programmes such as PSIBouw contribute mainly

tions, the merging of moral and professional con-

as a driving force. They do not come up with

siderations does not make things any easier. How

anything new themselves, nor is it their task to

do you express sustainability in your operations,

do so. They can, however, bring together clients,

for example? And how do you as an organisation

suppliers and intermediaries and speed up the

contribute to social cohesion in the cities?

pace of renewal. But the pitfall is that you might

Focusing on the future not only provides direction

lose sight of the fact that innovation requires you

but also helps you, as an organisation, reflect on

to step out of a stale situation, in which a lot has

your current role. This could serve to augment

often been invested, also in the emotional sense.

the lack of dynamic quality, in other words, the

We become attached to things. We only accept

willingness to change. The question then is how

fundamental change if the decline is immense and

you can translate a covert conviction of how things

we can see that an alternative is available. At that

can be done into overt behaviour. What helps in

moment you see innovation disappearing as an

that regard, I have found, is to switch roles, as is

objective in itself. That is the power of an outlook

sometimes done in games or simulations. It helps

for the future.’

bring the future closer to you so that you can gain

Core competencies

insight into the image in concrete terms. The most ‘Another pitfall is the notion

important task lies between thinking and doing:

that new knowledge will indeed lead to greater

the options are already in place; now it’s time

efficiency and renewal of organisations or sectors.

for the dynamics to reinforce the innovative ef-

Organisations then apply this knowledge for the

forts. <

realisation of their objectives in a rational ambiance. But we’ve left that world behind us. It might hold true in the fields of technology and science, but not for the social world towards which the construction sector contributes as well. In the social world, the development and implementation of knowledge is related to the question of whether this corresponds with our values. And the success of innovations depends on the manner in which

DURF 9 The PSIBouw programme

DURF 8 Outlook for the construction sector

DURF 7 Practical projects

DURF 6 Knowledge and education

DURF 5 ICT and construction

DURF 4 Tendering procedures and benchmarking

DURF 3 Collaboration and integration of the chain

DURF 2 Building for consumers

DURF 1 Culture and behaviour

DURF 9 PSIBouw completed; the renewal continues PSIBouw programme team

‘Looking back, more has changed than one would think’ Lessons

Do or don’t

Peter Jägers, Director-General of the Government Buildings Agency

‘Bring more focus to the renewal’


The PSIBouw programme

DURF 9-1

Introduction to the theme

PSIBouw completed; the renewal continues The late 1990s. The construction sector lags far behind other sectors in terms of performance. Dramatic social developments lead to changes in the demand, for which the construction sector has no solution. European competition grows. The traditionally structured building sector has no answer to all these developments and realises


At the start of the new century, the Robers Com-

more and more that it needs the winds of change to blow through it.

mittee became the ‘incubator’ for the renewal

The Robers Committee, consisting of a number of representatives

programme entitled ‘Proces- en Systeeminnovatie

from the construction sector, concluded that a fundamental renewal

in de Bouw’ (Process and Systems Innovation

of the processes and systems that have always dominated the

in the Construction Sector), which ultimately

construction sector is needed.

DURF 9 The PSIBouw programme

hatched under painful circumstances: the Building Inquiry in 2003 – a moment that turned out to be both a low point and a starting point. The


PSIBouw advocated the firm embed-

objective of the Robers Committee was to create

ding of the programme into the sector as well

a programme that would pave the way for the

the motivation of the largest and most diverse

construction sector to generate added value, be

network of innovation-minded people. To that end,

appreciated and respected and provide a pleasant

a broad range of projects covering a whole gamut

working environment. The programme proposal

of topics was initiated.

was approved by the Committee of Experts, the

PSIBouw has built up a network consisting of a

panel that decided on behalf of the government on

few thousand innovation-minded individuals from

the proposals concerning the pursuit of finan-

businesses, the government and other organisa-

cial support within the scope of the Investments

tions, knowledge institutes and universities. This

in Knowledge Infrastructure (Subsidies) Decree

network pools the innovation-related knowledge

(BSIK). With that, the PSIBouw programme be-

and experience and the enthusiasm for working

came a reality.

on a new Dutch construction sector. An impressive

‘A fundamental renewal is needed.’

65 percent of the programme was financed by the

three ministers in a response to the parliamentary

construction sector itself (in the form of commis-

inquiry. The alliance gained shape in dozens of

sioning parties, construction firms, installation

joint actions, projects, publications and meetings

companies, suppliers and consultancy firms).

organised from a common workplace in Gouda.

The programme focused mainly on the relations between commissioning parties and contractors,


An innovation programme is constantly

the approach to issuing and awarding tenders, in-

changing. Not only because the environment

novations in the field of ICT, client orientation and

changes, but also because innovative parties

cultural change. It also stressed the importance

operate in largely uncharted waters, making

of establishing new connections in the knowl-

for a steep learning curve and encouraging the

edge world, especially with a view to the effec-

development of new insights. It emerged that the

tive application of new knowledge in educational

philosophy of the BSIK programme, on which the

programmes. Close collaboration developed with

original PSIBouw strategy had been modelled,

Regieraad Bouw, which had been established by

did not fit in with this environment. The BSIK

‘There were also indications from academic circles that the conventional approach

to the innovation issue was unsuccessful.’ philosophy is simple, but also simplistic: Knowledge is the driving force of innovation. Renewal is set in motion when knowledge is developed in crucial areas and offered to the sector, which then applies this knowledge in practice. The reality turned out to be far more complex. The develop-

There were also indications from local and inter-

ment and dissemination of knowledge alone is not

national academic circles that the conventional

enough. A lot more is needed to encourage the

approach to the innovation issue was failing. What

construction sector to become innovative. This

was needed was so-called ‘action learning’ and

insight, together with the need to give the original

‘action research’ - working procedures where pro-

programme more focus and depth, prompted PSI-

fessionals in the construction sector and knowl-

Bouw to alter its course in 2006: This included en-

edge workers operate through direct interaction.

visaging where the construction sector sees itself

PSIBouw’s international scientific advisory body,

in the long term. More attention was devoted to

which operates under the title of International

the institutional hurdles and to culture and behav-

Advisory Board (IAB), collaborated with the Core

iour – the key to renewal. Initiatives to encourage

Scientific Team (WKT) to come up with exam-

coherence in the knowledge infrastructure were

ples from the international world of innovation,

introduced as well. But that was not all.

including Great Britain and Australia. They found


remarkable similarities in terms of the phrasing Optimising the current construction

of the question and the nature of the problems,

sector should serve the long-term perspective,

and interesting differences when it came to the

according to the philosophy of PSIBouw. Innova-

implementation and emphasis of the various

tive projects form the necessary stepping stones

programmes. Internationally, the programme of

on the journey to a fundamental transition of the

PSIBouw, for example, is unique in that it includes

construction industry in its capacity as a sector

the theme of ‘culture and behaviour’ in the pro-

that helps resolve social issues through improved




Some of the members of PSIBouw’s

Core Scientific Team applied their experiences in the broader context, fleshed out in ideas for a fruitful relationship between research and the building practice as well as new ideas on the management of innovation programmes. In this

sense, the programme of PSIBouw has resulted in insights that extend beyond the construction sector alone. The need for more intensive collaboration between the various partners in the construction sector, on the one hand, and knowledge institutes on the other also surfaced during the Mid-term Review. Following this review, the Committee of Experts concluded that PSIBouw still lacks sufficient connection with the construction sector. It also emerged that, over the past year in particular, the sector wanted to search closer to home for answers: Innovation starts with your own

of the driving forces of innovation. The question is

company and organisation, and this responsibility

therefore not if innovation in the construction sec-

does not lie with an innovation programme. This

tor will be sustained, but how and with how much

prompted PSIBouw to place particular emphasis


on encouraging and supporting practice-based

The sector shows an unmistakable desire to

innovation projects during the final phase. This

maintain access to a driving force to help keep the

resulted in a highly dynamic quality that will cer-

innovation movement going. A new generation of

tainly be sustained for the duration of the current

innovators are pursuing this route as Innovators in


Practice (Vernieuwers in de Praktijk or VIP) under


the banner of Regieraad Bouw. Another developThe construction sector is finding

ment is the large-scale renewal programme for

itself in turbulent waters once again. This time it

water, climate, space, mobility and construction

is not alone, as the economic crisis is leaving no

to be launched in 2010 on the instruction of four

sector untouched. There is a great social urgency

ministries (Housing, Spatial Planning and the

to find a solution to this problem. Urgency is one

Environment; Transport, Public Works and Water Management; Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality; Economic Affairs). The results of PSIBouw will form part of this programme, with the emphasis on the implementation of the new knowledge. All in all it will be substantial confirmation of the stature and potency assigned to the innovation movement within the sector. So it is not a case of ‘over and done with’. <

‘This resulted in a highly dynamic quality that will certainly be sustained for the duration of the programme.’


DURF 9-2


‘Looking back, PSIBouw programme team

more has changed than one would think’ The day-to-day running of PSIBouw was managed by a group of people from various backgrounds: construction firms, the government and engineering consultancies with unusual fields of specialisation. Civil engineering dominated, but the group also included a historian, an ICT expert, a sociologist, a female lawyer and a female architect, 124 DURF 9 The PSIBouw programme

to name a few. Seeing as none of them had ever worked this

Works. ‘The Constructing Excellence programme,

intensively on an innovation programme before, it was a case of trial

for which there were clearly defined objectives, is

and error, as in the case of innovation in the sector. The compilation

currently underway in Britain, where the concrete

of the programme team changed from time to time. The individuals

reduction of failure costs, for example, has been

who had been involved in the programme all along shared their

expressed to the last percentage point. We were

experiences and lessons learnt with these newcomers.

unable to do the same in terms of our programme objectives, because it would take years and the


programme was already well under way. But I ‘What surprised me most was that this

programme could be launched without measurable objectives having been formulated beforehand,’ comments Henk van der Horst, Programme

would highly recommend doing so in any follow-up on PSIBouw.’ International

Jo Janssen was the programme

Director since 2005 and previously employed

secretary: ‘Look across the border if you want

by Ballast Nedam and the Rotterdam Municipal

to learn something quickly! Fortunately, the international focus was already in place. In fact, the initial study even included a comparison with innovation programmes in other countries, such as Australia, Finland, Denmark, Singapore and Hong Kong. Perhaps we still didn’t take enough of it on board with our programme. The International Advisory Board nonetheless made a positive remark: They knew of no other programme that has so explicitly incorporated the behavioural change

and culture of the construction sector as key factors in the knowledge development and practical projects.’ Diversity

‘People make the difference,’ agrees

Ton Huijzer. ‘Everywhere in the sector one can

‘Diversity is an important condition for change,’

identify people who concentrate on innovation and

adds Annelies Crama from BAM Infraconsult. ‘It

who run into all sorts of obstacles. Seek out these

soon becomes obvious that everyone reverts to

inspired individuals – that is the most important

their familiar roles in the manner in which a pro-

lesson I have learnt. They are crucial, not only to

gramme like ours is managed. Even if your pro-

the success of the programme, but especially in

gramme team is compiled from a diverse group of

terms of the degree to which innovation will truly

people, you still need to pay constant attention to

take root in the sector.’ Huijzer used to work for

divergent viewpoints and dare to discuss rela-

Dura Vermeer, but now works as independent

tions. The added value of a diverse team emerges

advisor. ‘The main task for a renewal programme

particularly if you learn from the differences. Only

in this sector today is to bring the people with the

then does space open up for experimenting and

ambition to innovate in touch with one another.

this is of course reflected in the various projects.’

Don’t confine this to the construction sector alone, but also look at people and programmes in other sectors and involve them.’


Gerrie Mühren, also from BAM original-

ly but currently an independent entrepreneur, still gains immense enjoyment from the BIM Caseweek: ‘We as a programme team encouraged this extensively without becoming too involved in the actual substance. Over time, we gained a much better perspective on how you can create conditions very effectively to give people the opportunity to experiment. You as a programme team should not attempt to organise it all yourself. So we learnt to take a step back and let the ball do

Peter Vroom

Jo Janssen

Henk van der Horst

Annelies Crama:

‘Diversity is an important condition for change.’


climate where innovation is rewarded; that will get people on board quicker. It also shows in the sector. Innovation materialises across the entire chain and does not develop from within institutes and interest groups. Businesses should do it its job, with the case weeks as leverage: relatively

themselves – and they must be willing to do so.’

little effort on our part set the entire system in

Crama: ‘Change costs a lot more time than you

motion to experiment with BIM. You should not get

can estimate beforehand. The construction sector

caught up in endless debates, either. My advice is

is immense and has a lot of people who need to

to get out there and meet with innovation-minded

be able to participate in the changes. Don’t be

people to discuss what needs to be done. The

deterred because it seems to you that little is hap-

programme can then help you turn the wish into

pening. Looking back, you will discover that more

reality. You do however need to have people with

has changed than one would think.’

drive and enthusiasm on your programme team.’ Enterprise minded 126

‘You can’t always pick and

All stages

The team received a lot of comments

on the visibility of the programme in the sector.

DURF 9 The PSIBouw programme

choose when compiling a team,’ remarks Peter

It could have been better. Rinke van der Veen,

Vroom, whose task as a Communications and

independent Communications Advisor: ‘Commu-

Management Consultant means focusing on proc-

nication is of crucial importance in all stages of

esses that make or break the effectiveness of

the programme, from start to finish. It is vital to

collaboration. ‘It is a trap to focus solely on fixed competencies when it comes to team efficiency. Personal qualities are the decisive factor and, for a team running an innovation programme, that means a willingness to accept responsibility, enthusiasm, enterprise mindedness. I would ask a new programme team: Do you want to break through the order and rules personally as well?’ Van der Horst: ‘But make sure you create a Ton Huijzer

Rob Koster

Peter Vroom;

‘Do you want to break through the order and rules personally as well?’

Rinke van der Veen

encourage the communication awareness of all members of the programme team from day one. You will lose precious time if you have to introduce this afterwards. Every project proposal should contain a section on communication, and sufficient time and money should be earmarked for

Gouda, resulting in far too little attention from the

this.’ The programme team’s initial defence to the

sector. The trick is to not be discouraged by that,

call for greater visibility was: there are no results

but of course it is something you as a team will

to show so far. That doesn’t alter the fact that you

have to face. I like to call it the pint paradox: One

should also communicate when a project is not yet

evening after the meeting, while having a beer

finished or when the results not yet fully known.

with someone from the sector, you both agree that

‘Keep people informed of the progress. It will

things must be done differently.

make them feel more involved,’ advises Huijzer.

But when you call him up the next day to continue

‘But communication is like a two-way communi-

the discussion, it is as if you’re talking to a com-

cation system,’ Vroom points out. ‘If you set the

pletely different person. He has now reverted back

programme on talk, there is no guarantee that you

to the organisation’s traditional view. You need to

will be heard. I suspect that for certain messages,

get through on a personal level because that is

some people in the sector preferred to play deaf in

where behavioural change begins.’

the beginning. We’ve only started putting our foot down in recent years. It must now become clear


The programme team often finds

what exactly these hundreds of people linked to

itself between a rock and a hard place: manage-

the programme do and what the results are. So,

ment, science, the practice. Van der Horst: ‘Eve-

as a programme, don’t forget to hide your light

rything we did was a balancing act, really. Do we

under a bushel. But make sure you pick the right

expand or do we need more focus? Does it have


enough scientific backing and how will people

The pint paradox

respond in practice? And vice versa? Do we conPim Leemhuis, with Grontmij

centrate on getting the entire herd moving along,

until 2007, comments: ‘It sometimes seems as if

or do we focus on the front runners?’

the whole innovation venture was farmed out to

Janssen: ‘What we learnt from our scientists is

Pim Leemhuis:

‘You need to get through on a personal level because that is where behavioural change begins.’


still receives an exceptionally high amount of traffic. People want to choose for themselves when they want to obtain information. It is our responsibility to make this info available to them.’ that this type of sector is all about action learn-



The programme team devoted much

ing and action research. A programme also needs

time and attention to the financial-administrative

to do research in the practical field itself and not

side of management. ‘Killing,’ says Rob Koster,

only about it. In other words: Research is some-

the team’s financial liaison. ‘In BSIK programmes,

thing you do with the players in the market during

you come across detailed and often needlessly

the implementation of projects rather than with

time-consuming procedures and reporting obliga-

scientists looking at a project from the outside.

tions. This complicates the financial management

We should however have made far more connec-

process and costs a lot of time and money that

tions between science, education, research and

could rather have been spent on the implementa-

practice in the management of this programme.’

tion of the programme itself. It will be unavoidable in these types of financing, so invest in this from

DURF 9 The PSIBouw programme

Joris Houben left Regieraad for the PSIBouw team

the beginning of the programme and don’t allow

and took on the responsibility of the knowledge

the substance of the agenda to be pushed aside.

and education portfolio. ‘This gap between science

This will reap rewards in the end.’ <

and practice is difficult to bridge. My conclusion is that you need to pay attention to embedding knowledge from the start. Make use of the existing training organisations and communication channels in particular.’ ‘But make sure you do more than just sending out pamphlets,’ cautions Van der Veen. ‘See to it that they form part of a good communication strategy. What works well is regular updates – brief, compact and with good links. The website of PSIBouw Gerrie Mühren

Joris Houben

Henk van der Horst:

‘Everything we did was a balancing act.’

Annelies Crama

Innovation still needs a strong driving force for the moment PSIBouw and Regieraad Bouw both add a face to the innovation process of the construction sector. The existence of the two organisations in parallel did raise some questions initially, but the

own link with the professional practice. Most

collaboration served the same purpose and the background of both

of the regional Regieraad bodies are now

organisations complemented each other, according to Regieraad

gradually gaining true momentum and will

Director, Jacqueline Schlangen.

be an excellent vantage point for the purpose. We will be devoting even more effort to this,’ promises Schlangen. ‘I furthermore

‘We were established on the initiative of the

feel that politics, practice and research

Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of

should be more interconnected in a follow-

Transport, Public Works and Water Manage-

up programme. Then you will have a truly

ment, and the Ministry of Housing, Spatial

strong driving force for innovation, which is

Planning and the Environment. In response

still needed for the time being. Innovation is

to the construction fraud; the idea was that

however still in its infancy.’

we would connect the renewal more closely to the political urgency. Despite the fact

Schlangen is optimistic about the mo-

that this urgency has since diminished, we

mentum: ‘Of course, it can be argued that

managed to generate enough critical mass

economic conditions are unfavourable; that

in collaboration with PSIBouw to continue

we need all hands on deck, but I also see

playing an initiating innovation role as an

it as a great opportunity to persevere with

authoritative organisation. We concentrate

the innovation efforts. The aim is, after all,

on issues such as the amendment of legisla-

for innovation to lead to a more profitable

tion, agreements on innovation on the level

sector. To that end, continuity in spurring on

of interest groups and the support of practi-

the renewal initiatives is essential. We have

cal projects. Regieraad Bouw and PSIBouw

a superior group of people in the Knowledge

ultimately worked from different perspec-

Development taskforce who keep on making

tives towards the same goal: The realisation

the effort. And I am positive that the new

of a healthier construction sector through

FES programme for climate, space, water,

radical innovation efforts.’

mobility and construction can provide the ideal innovation context for the countless

‘It is important that, now that PSIBouw has

initiatives that are already underway in

been dissolved, Regieraad establishes its

practice.’ <



between research and Science looks back

the building practice still needs a lot of encouragement.’ The Dutch science sector was one of the fairy godmothers standing at the crib of PSIBouw. A small team of scientists headed the programme in the assessment of project proposals, monitored the scientific


quality and maintained important international relations. Chairman of

to cast a critical eye on the development of this

the team, Geert Dewulf, professor at the University of Twente, looks

relationship. Dewulf: ‘Simply put, you see that

back with an independent and critical eye at PSIBouw’s four years.

many a researcher is not truly open to collabora-

DURF 9 The PSIBouw programme

tion with businesses, unless it involves organising funding. And vice versa, the construction industry ‘Our aim was to build a fruitful relationship

shows little enthusiasm for collaboration with ac-

between the academic world and the building

ademics. The Dutch construction sector has little

practice. We called this relationship “engaged

appetite for knowledge.’ A number of productive

scholarship”. Ideally, this entails action-based

joint ventures did develop, according to Dewulf.

research, where the various perspectives of im-

‘Researchers played a key role in a number of

portant stakeholders are utilised to study complex

prominent practical projects, including Staalcon-

issues. It requires a very direct involvement from

servering, the A2 or Hellevoetsluis. However, we

people from the practice and researchers in one

are always aware of the risk that one of the two

another’s work, but things didn’t go all that well.’

parties could pull out of the practical projects at

Appetite for knowledge

any time. This could easily happen because the The WKT collaborated

with the International Advisory Board of PSIBouw

construction sector is highly project orientated and the planning of manpower often difficult.

Geert Dewulf:

‘The Dutch construction sector has little appetite for knowledge.’

Geert Dewulf:

‘Nowadays it is no longer about construction related themes alone.’ Moreover, this sector is not easily persuaded into

the interests were simply too divergent for that.

making long-term investments in research and

I would nonetheless like to compliment the pro-


gramme team: They showed immense flexibility

Consensus product

and relieved the programme’s participants of a Time also played a role in

the attempts by the WKT to encourage productive ties between research and practice. Dewulf:

great deal of the administrative burden.’ Fruit

Dewulf is satisfied with the development of

‘Well, as innovation programme, you want to show

the international world of science. ‘Relations were

results soon whereas a research or promotional

established with countries such as the US, Aus-

programme takes years. PSIBouw had simply

tralia and the UK, and these contacts seem to be

not been in existence for long enough and the

sustainable, as long as we don’t neglect them. The

programme had many interests to serve. We

relations could still bear fruit after the conclusion

concluded that the programme was a typical

of PSIBouw, given the fact that PSIBouwnetwerk

consensus product. Attempts were made to give

has so many avenues for accessing the European

the programme more focus and cohesion, but

research programmes. As the WKT and the IAB, we have concluded that PSIBouw has given an enormous boost to the

Core Scientific Team

research agenda of the construction sector and to many new practical experiments.

The Core Scientific Team (WKT) of PSIBouw consisted of professors Geert Dewulf (University of Twente), Niels Noorderhaven (University of Tilburg),

Competitive position

Dewulf is optimistic about

Hennes de Ridder (TU Delft, until 2007) and Hans Wamelink (TU Delft, from

the Netherlands’ position in the international

2007). The WKT’s task was to advise management on the scientific direc-

network: ‘The Netherlands is a leader in the field

tion, cohesion and quality of the PSIBouw programme, and to justify the

of knowledge about the construction process.

scientific merits of the programme to the Royal Netherlands Academy of

And it would not be exaggerating to say that the

Arts and Sciences and the Committee of Experts. The WKT also took care of the contact with international researchers and the International Advisory Board (IAB). See Chapter 5 for the compilation of the IAB.


Geert Dewulf:

‘Attention to culture and behaviour is unique in the world.’ attention to the cultural and behavioural aspect in

to the scientific world. Nowadays it is no longer

this innovation programme is unique in the world.

about construction related themes alone, such as

There is a lot of interest in the results of the

flexible building, applications or multi-functional-

programme in that sense. What is important now

ity. It is obvious that themes, such as healthcare,

is that new steps are taken from the Netherlands.

sustainability and space shortages, are emerging

This should happen in two areas. Firstly, a strate-

to which we in the Netherlands should make a

gic action research agenda should be established

significant contribution from the construction sec-

on the basis of the strength of the Netherlands,

tor and construction research side.’ <

but also focused on the international stage. This is truly essential to improve the competitive position 132

of the Dutch construction sector internationally.

DURF 9 The PSIBouw programme

We should integrate knowledge disciplines, in which the Netherlands clearly excels if you look at its strong position in terms of marketing and

Some of the conclusions of the WKT and

design, for example. The questions we need to

the International Advisory Board

ask here are: Where would you as company like to be? And how do you connect this to the research

- students and academics should become more actively involved

agenda? Collaboration between research and the

in society and industry

professional practice still needs a lot of encour-

- collaboration between the practice and scientific world must be


rewarded and be visible through participation in the board of an


innovation programme Dewulf can give an indication of the

- action research gives proper shape to the required science-practice

ideal approach to the issue: ‘We first need to


make proposals and then organise the relevant

- an innovation programme must have clear goals and it must be

funding of a series of businesses, then link them

clear who the stakeholders are - an ambitious programme will never be successful in the short term and will require more time - clearly distinguish between science and consultancy: engaged scholarship is often confused with consultancy

DURF 9-3


Lessons of Management and the Supervisory Council

Do or don’t Hundreds of people were involved in the practical projects of PSIBouw. We asked a number of these people about their most important lessons: what they have learnt and what advice they would like to give to others who want to get started too. We made a selection from the dozens of examples heard at the various meetings.


The pitch has changed: It used to be the conmen in construction; now it’s the nitwit civil servants.

About renewal in the construction sector

1 2 3

True innovation is the work of people.

It is essential to convey a sense of urgency. A slight crisis helps as well.

If we come up with good initiatives at the top but fail to ensure that we can hand these over to

This theory does nothing to facilitate the joint assignment. Overseers need to exercise greater


self-control. It pays to invest in one another.

The lowest price often still dominates the tendering procedures. PSIBouw has given an enormous boost to mechanisms for more intelligent tendering systems. This is still foreign to local authorities. Regieraad Bouw can give them the legitimacy


to adapt their approach to tendering procedures.

The old system is disappearing as integrated contracts become more popular. Commissioning parties need to learn how to think in terms of defining

middle management and the ‘shop floor’, then

‘both boundaries and opportunities’ instead of

the sector will stagnate. So: guidance, training,

‘solutions’. Contracted parties will have to renew

exchange, experimenting, diversification of the

processes, integrate chains, take responsibility,


personnel policy and communication.

Innovation emerges through large and small innovative enterprises and public organisations rather than through interest groups.

and truly work together.



BIM is gold in our hands. Commissioning parties hold the key by becoming skilled in this and then prescribing it. The market will follow and quality


A follow-up of PSIBouw must allow a lot of room for experimenting with supply chain management and co-makership.

improve dramatically as a result.

About the programme 134 DURF 9 The PSIBouw programme

4 5

The constant managing of the expectations of the environment (including politicians and the media) and good communication, partly through the use


The approach to innovation must be sustained on the basis of action learning and action research: practical projects where science, parties from the sector and residents/consumers collaborate to

2 3

achieve tangible results.

The divide between science and practice is too wide. The scientific world has turned out to be as fragmented as the construction sector.

An innovation programme attracts it â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;ownâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; audience; it is important to involve as many people as possible from outside of the inner circle.

of large public media, is of the utmost importance.

More sponsors need to be found in the construction sector to integrate the results of the PSIBouw products in the activities. A PSIBouw-like programme is vital to facilitate changes in the construction sector. The sector is not yet ready to

6 7

organise this on its own. Time is needed for that.

The relationship between Regieraad Bouw and the Commissioning Authorities Committee needs to be reinforced.

A group with authority should take over the baton from PSIBouw so that the implementation of the innovation processes is given sufficient legitimacy. <

DURF 9-4


‘Bring more focus Peter Jägers, Director-General of the Government Buildings Agency:

to the renewal’ ‘What is lacking in terms of innovation in the construction sector is focus. And I believe this focus should be on the reduction of failure costs. We are currently throwing away eight billion euro a year in this manner. Surely no self-respecting sector can afford that?’ Peter Jägers, Director-General of the Government Buildings Agency, finds it

his six years as Chief Director of the Custodial

hard to keep calm when it comes to this issue. ‘Because if we were to

Institutions Agency. ‘But you are indeed further

simply half this, it means we will have an extra four billion euro a year

removed from the process,’ he points out, adding

that we can use to improve the product. That seems reason enough to

that he initially felt as though he had landed on

set to work seriously on innovation as a business sector.’

a different planet. ‘For instance, I read a dossier about a project, the name of which I would rather not mention, where the builder had made a

Peter Jägers has headed the Government Build-

complete mess of things. He was eventually taken

ings Agency for the past four years. ‘The Building

off the project and another contractor completed

Inquiry was before my time. So I arrived here with

the building. At times like those, you think: well,

a very relaxed view on the world of construc-

that’s the last time we’ll be doing business with

tion.’ Not that the sector was entirely foreign to

him. But I was hugely surprised to discover that

him. After all, many a prison had been built in

this same builder had managed to secure a contract worth millions through the standard tendering procedure.´ Tendering

Jägers admits that the tendering

method had a lot to do with it. ‘The traditional model of making a design yourself and then tak-

Peter Jägers:

‘The traditional model does not bring out the best in the parties.’


ing it to the market and awarding the contract to the cheapest offer does not exactly bring out the best in those involved. Certainly not in a sector where people are already failing to bring out the best in each other.’ According to Jägers, positive steps have been taken in the past four years, but the feels the construction sector is still only at the beginning of the true renewal process. ‘I also became involved in PSIBouw through Regieraad Bouw. And looking back on the recent period, I would have to conclude that a lot has been done, but that the real renewal in my opinion is still too often left up to the happy few. Everyone considers innovation to be important, but the large majority still mainly want to make money. That is why the great task for the near future is that innovation comes primarily from the sector itself. And this can only be achieved, in my opinion, through a

Peter Jägers:

‘What has been set in motion

clear focus in the renewal process.’ Gold 136

There is no doubt in the Director-General’s

mind that this focus should be directed towards

in the past four years is gold in our hands as a sector.’

DURF 9 The PSIBouw programme

the issue of failure costs. ‘Everything is basically connected to that. Each year, we throw away eight billion euro because of poor mutual communica-


Jägers admits that the major com-

tion and collaboration, which also reduces the

missioning parties play a vital role in this regard.

quality of the final product. So when we introduce

‘We must challenge the market to come up with

a Building Information Model that results in better

solutions by itself. Stop prescribing to the last

communication and supply chain management

detail what should be produced and simply for-

that promotes the collaboration, then we reduce

mulate a question instead. Leave it up the sector

the failure costs and end up with a final product of

to come up with good solutions. This would mean

higher quality. What has been set in motion in the

a dramatic changeover for us as commissioning

past four years is actually gold in our hands as a

parties as well. In the end, we need to learn how

sector. What is important now is to take it a step

to formulate the right question and then to assess


the solutions in the right manner. In brief, we, too,

Peter Jägers:

‘The design contained smart solutions that we would never have thought of ourselves.’

Peter Jägers:

‘We, too, need to become more professional.’ need to become more professional.’ It was with

solutions that we would never have thought of

this goal in mind that the so-called commission-

ourselves. Nor would the market parties, perhaps,

ing authorities’ forum was established by large

if it weren’t for the fact that they were also re-

semi-public commissioning parties. ‘Within this

sponsible for the maintenance. They even stayed

forum, we exchange knowledge on topics such as

within budget.’ Another successful example, he

innovative tendering procedures. But we also con-

says, is the conversion of the Westraven into

centrate on issues such as past performance and

the new offices for the Directorate-General for

the commissioning party’s scope of responsibility.’

Public Works and Water Management in Utrecht.

The number of parties in the forum is deliberately

‘Granted, this was brought on the market in the

kept low, according to Jägers. Although an annual

traditional way, but the implementing parties

meeting is held with a few ‘smaller’ semi-public

said to one another: “This is such as complicated

parties to inform them of the latest developments.

project; let’s make other agreements.” This

‘Look,’ says Jägers, ‘If we as a major commis-

ultimately resulted in the establishment of a risk-

sioning party already find it difficult to award

bearing party. In other words, a mutual focus on

contracts on the basis of quality, for instance,

the final product emerged. And then you do bring

imagine how much more difficult it is for the civil

out the best in one another.’ <

servants at a small municipality.’ Stimulate

According to Jägers, recent experience

has shown that stimulating the sector can lead to better results. ‘Take the renovation work of the Finance Ministry. It was carried out by a consortium on the basis of a Design, Build, Finance, Maintain and Operate contract. The design contained smart


DURF 5-5


Publications All the information in this chapter can be accessed via

Process and System Innovation in the

Strategic Update Programma 2005

Midterm Review:

Dutch Construction Industry.


Focus on Renewal 2007

Project Plan for a Research

Strategic reorientation towards the

Development Programme, May 2004

original programme and conversion

Interim evaluation of the programme

into activities and programme objecti-

implemented by the PSIBouw project

ves from 2005 on.



Midterm Review: Report 2007

Midterm Review:

Ton Kreukels, Evaluatiecommissie

Appendices 2007



138 DURF 9 The PSIBouw programme

A project plan for the Process and System Innovation in the Construction Industry programme (PSIBouw). Inventory of international reforms in building and construction, June 2004 George Ang, Roger Courtney,

Report on the interim evaluation of the

Output report (2006-2007) and

Dik Spekking

PSIBouw programme, carried out and

progress analysis appertaining to the

An inventory of international innova-

reported by the independent evaluation

Midterm Review Focus on Renewal

tion programmes for the construction



sector with independent national reports on Australia, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, Norway and Singapore.

Managing innovation in a private-

Use of IFC Model Servers.

Bachelor of Built Environment

public network. An Example from the

Modelling Collaboration Possibilities

A future-oriented profile description

Dutch Construction Sector, 2007

in Practice

A document describing the

Niels Noorderhaven, Geert Dewulf

Kaj Jørgensen e.a.

competences for the bachelor’s

A study on the gap between research

Report on how collaboration between

degree programme of higher profes-

and practice in innovation program-

partners changes when using models

sional education in the Built Environ-

mes: PSIBouw as an example of a

of buildings and model servers.

ment domain. Published in collabora-

management programme designed

tion with the Netherlands Association

to bridge this gap.

of Universities of Applied Sciences Review of the Development and

and the Higher Education Group for

Control of the Process Performance –

Implementation of IFC compatible BIM

Construction and Space.

What is missing?

Arto Kiviniemi e.a.

Tatsiana Haponava Article on the development of Key Performance Indicators to measure performance during the execution of a project (part of doctoral research).

Report on the state of affairs regarding IFC within BIM.



Interviews & photographs ECORYS Rutten Communicatieadvies, Amsterdam and Ouwerkerk TekstAdvies, Zoetermeer Research chapter 5 Ton Huijzer (PSIBouw) Other texts Peter Vroom (PSIBouw) Design 8-13 Graphic Designers, Amsterdam

Cartoons Beeldleveranciers, Amsterdam

Illustrations byMack [BNO], Berkel en Rodenrijs

Print drukkerij Mart.Spruijt, Amsterdam Editors Peter Vroom (editorial), Annelies Crama, Jo Janssen, Henk van der Horst (PSIBouw) Production coordination Rinke van der Veen, Dyonne Bliek, Peter Vroom (PSIBouw)


This is a publication of Stichting PSIBouw Gouda

Š PSIBouw 2009

Groningenweg 10 2803 PV GOUDA, The Netherlands

T +31 182 540 670


DURF ['Daring']  

Verzamelboek brochures DURF uitgegeven door PSIBouw

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