More than 40,000 m² of class A warehouse spaces and 3,650 m² of offices is what we completed for project developer Logistics Capital Partners. The construction of this new logistics facility has been the largest project ever in our order book. An achievement that in addition has been delivered completely according to the BREEAM Excellent standards. With an extra-large edibo delegation as actuator and project manager Kris Verbruggen and site managers Ruben Bloemen and Gilles Verhaert as driving forces. They give you an exclusive look behind the scenes.
In the past year, on the border between Genk and Bilzen, right next to the Albert Canal, arose an impressive newly constructed building complex, consisting of two warehouses of 40,555 m² in total, 44 loading docks, six floors of office space of 3,650 m² in total and a mezzanine of 2,650 m². Everything combined, this amounts to a built area of almost 47,000 m².
In logistical projects, the emphasis is often merely on the practical aspect. The building consultant here did, however, give proper attention to the aesthetics as well. Although the building is made of conventional industrial building materials such as concrete and sandwich panelling and steel deck roof plates, they do stand out.
For instance, the façade and roof elements were painted in a characterising white colour on the inside of the construction, as was the roof structure itself. At the front of the building, a long and narrow strip of polycarbonate provides a lot of additional natural light.
5 big challenges
Our constructive challengers took on the entire building process, including the environmental works. A masterpiece we managed to realise in a short timeframe, thanks to a tight schedule and very highly valued inhouse support.
1. Unexpected plot twist
In March 2022 the works started for edibo, realising that delivery was already scheduled for in about a year.
“Because we were able to provide solid guarantees about timely delivery of the materials for the concrete structure, we quickly gained the building consultant’s trust,” explains project manager Kris Verbruggen. “We still had to rely on one of our biggest strengths to stay on course and to meet the deadline: our flexibility.”
“No lessees had been contacted for neither warehouse space at the start of construction. While installing the building structure of the first warehouse, however, we learnt that there was a candidate-tenant for the other warehouse. The only thing was that that construction was scheduled for later in the process. This meant we had to reassess the entire planning.”
“In order to gain time, we employed additional workshop staff during assembly. They supported us for weeks on site, where they also performed welding works. At one given moment, there were 15 challengers assembling at the same time; quite a crowd.”
2. Flexible storage
Due to the delivery shortage caused by the coronavirus and the situation in Russia and the Ukraine, we chose to have a lot of the materials delivered to the site even before the works had effectively started. This meant that we had to store the materials on site and move them around every now and then. The big advantage being of course that we were able to warrant the defined lead time of the construction site.
3. Rock-hard subsurface
Underneath the concrete floors, we provided gravel cores as foundation. However, the subsurface was so hard that the machine initially couldn’t get through. As a result, we had to pre-drill in order to reach the subsurface.
4. Literal high-voltage
During the installation works, we had to take additional safety measures due to the proximity of high-voltage cables. Because we were not allowed to simply interrupt the power – and leave part of the city of Bilzen without electricity – we were able to complete an important part of the installation works thanks to the support of a customised crane.
5. Slippery site
Once surfaced, we encountered another challenge: mud, lost and lots of mud. The heterogenous, rather loamy soil prevented rainwater from finding its way to the subsoil, resulting in all kinds of unpleasant consequences, especially during the scheduled works for the exterior paving.
Building on BREEAM pioneership
We delivered the very first BREEAM certified project ever in our country. Ten years later, the project for Logistics Capital Partners is one of the many recent steps in our clear transition to an increasingly sustainable building policy.
Under the watchful eye of site manager Ruben, we made sure to checkmark all the sustainable goals of the building consultant, mainly the second highest certificate: BREEAM Excellent. How did we do this?
- The complete supply for the groundworks was delivered by boat: 70,000 m³ of gravel, resulting in 3,500 lorries fewer on the road;
- Instead of disposing soil, we treated it on-site to be reused there;
- Detailed monitoring of the water consumption on and around the site;
- Noise measurements on the construction location to maximally limit noise pollution for people and animals;
- For the bees and birds of the neighbourhood, we restored the flora by planting trees and installing apiaries;
“To prove that we did meet the prespecified BREEAM goals, we needed to meticulously monitor all the ongoing processes and to register CO2-emissions, including the work of subcontractors. It therefore came down to proper communication on and off site and to keep emphasising the importance of the sustainability requirements”, concludes Ruben Bloemen.
Project manager Kris Verbruggen and his fellow-challengers look back on this feisty project with great satisfaction but even more so on a successful milestone in our edibo history.
“The fact that we are able to deliver a project of this magnitude in such a short timeframe and at this high quality, coupled with the BREEAM sustainability narrative, means that we can be genuinely proud of our team. The adaptability we demonstrated here proves we are ready to take on any challenge that comes our way.”
What project do you want your new milestone to be?
Are the plans of your future building project slowly taking shape but are you still on the lookout for the right building partner? Know that with edibo, you are adding an industrial contractor to your team who is possessed with challenges and who translates the most complex construction riddles into a solution that is customised to your wants and needs.