Initium building of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (university)
Start of a new future
The Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU) commissioned Hodes Bouwsystemen with the Initium construction job on the VU campus for the Faculty of Law. Together with the engineer Winkels Techniek, they produced the turnkey Initium building with four storeys on a postage stamp location in Amsterdam in just nine months and on a limited budget.
With its striking underpass and exterior wall made of glass in aluminium, Initium is a dominant feature on campus. The building contains a lecture hall for 550 people, several classrooms and offices for the Faculty of Law. Initium is intended to be a semi-permanent building with a user period of about 15 years and as a prelude to future developments of the VU quarters.
Design & Build
Construction took place under a so-called UAV-GC 2005 contract (uniform administrative conditions for integrated contract forms). Due to the limited budget and the minimum time period within which the project was to be completed, the Design & Build construction form was chosen. This involved both the design and the construction being carried out by the client.
Winkels was in close consultation, honoured commitments and was easily accessible.
Clemens Ganzeboom, head of sales at Hodes Bouwsystemen: “Intensive collaboration with your construction partners is crucial because the job with Design & Build is not devised specifically. Close consultation, honouring commitments and being accessible are also very important given the short time span of the project. We managed this excellently.”
The Initium building shows what we are capable of achieving together.
Ganzeboom see the implementation of Initium as an important reference: “With a budget of over 13 million euros and a total area of over 10,000 m2, the Initium building shows what we are capable of achieving together. We completed the building, including all installations, maintenance and infrastructure.”
We managed to complete the project within budget and to everyone’s satisfaction thanks to mutual contributions.
Because of the required construction speed and the limited budget, both Hodes and Winkels Techniek had to make concessions in their original plans and ambitions. “We solved this by, for example, building modularly with prefabricated building systems and using other materials and installations. We managed to complete the project within budget and to everyone’s satisfaction thanks to mutual contributions and proper consultation with the client and the architect.”
‘Het Nieuwe Werken’ (The New Work) is key to the design and this is further characterised by a sustainable working environment. In terms of IT, Winkels Techniek installed a sound system, among other things, in the large lecture hall that is connected to the evacuation system. Initium was also provided with a security system with access control.
...an innovative partner with the necessary knowledge, skills and expertise.
“For challenging projects like this one, we certainly want to work with an innovative partner with the necessary knowledge, skills and expertise. Winkels is familiar with the latest technologies and modern techniques. Their people contribute, identify potential alternatives and know the advantages and disadvantages.”
Clemens Ganzeboom was already familiar with Winkels Techniek from the IDF (industrial sustainability and flexible construction) workshop from the Pioneering foundation. The construction partners have also already work together on other projects, such as the implementation of HAVO/VWO in Bonaire and the expansion of the Fundashon Mariadal hospital. “All in all, the Initium project was very successful. Winkels’ employees were right on top of it and, just like us, were highly motivated to achieve a good result.”
Just like us, Winkels was highly motivated to achieve a good result.”
Arie Zoontjes, project manager of Winkels Techniek, is also enthusiastic about this construction: “The installation of all the electrical and mechanical (E&M) installations went smoothly. Our technicians also managed to installed everything very quickly thanks to the cavity barriers used. The budget was a challenge but this too was successful.”