The construction work on Government Office Building de Knoop is nearly finished and the “Availability Certificate” has been signed, bringing the completion stage of these premises to a conclusion and hailing the start of the operation stage. As from today, Government Office Building de Knoop is in operation and the users can start moving in.
All the parties were required to work well and very closely together to ensure that the redevelopment was sustainable, a condition that was actually included in the criteria for awarding the contract, creating a framework for a solid partnership for the next 20 years.
Government Office Building De Knoop
R Creators (a partnership consisting of Strukton, Facilicom and Ballast Nedam) was commissioned by the Central Government Real Estate Agency to transform the former Knoop Barracks into a contemporary government office building. The development of Government Office Building de Knoop is in keeping with the “Compact Civil Service” programme which was launched in 2007 to improve and reduce government services. The former de Knoop Barracks has undergone redevelopment to replace outdated accommodation in the region. The work consisted of a combination of demolition, renovation and extension, based on the principle that as little as possible was to be demolished and as much as possible should be re-used. The former Knoops Barracks’ shell has been converted into a government office building with a meeting centre that can accommodate a thousand visitors. The building’s design, the interior and the services all centre on the users’ needs, of which R Creators made a thorough study before translating them to the integrated design. The design, construction, installations, management, maintenance and operation are not separate elements: they all reinforce each other. When creating the design solutions, the decisive factor was not the initial costs but the overall costs over twenty years.
Long-term partnership and hostmanship
In addition to the usual award criteria for a building, long-term partnership and hostmanship were also added to this project as award criteria. In terms of sustainability, the focus for the Government Office Building De Knoop was not only on reducing energy consumption and material use, but also on maximum flexibility so that the building and service provision are future-proof. Collaboration intended to produce a long-term partnership was an important criterion for the tendering phase, not only because the contract has a term of twenty years but also because R Creators’ support organisation would be working together as a single team with the government office building’s support department during the operation stage. This is the first time that services and collaboration have been assigned so much relevance in a PPP tendering procedure and it has made a positive contribution to the trouble-free completion of the building and the start of its operation.
@ Image Government office building De Knoop, Mineurslaan 500, Utrecht, January 2018
Image: René van der Waal, BEELD14