May 19, 2022

‘No two floor plans are the same'

There is little that Arnold Bolders does not know about the construction of the Joint Research Center Zeeland (JRCZ). As project manager of BouwMeesterPro, the agency that is managing the construction at Het Groene Woud, he is involved in everything. It is a busy job, but he also enjoys the process. "I could write a book about it," he says, laughing.

The construction of the JRCZ started in February last year. About a year before that, Bolders got involved. For the former bouwkundestudent of HZ University of Applied Sciences, it is one of the bigger jobs in his career as a project manager. Due to the complexity of the building, he and his colleagues went through a very intensive preparation process. Since then, he has been working on the JRCZ at least three and a half days a week.

He stands in between the clients and (sub)contractors. "As BouwMeesterPro, we are at the heart of the construction organisation. That means you have to deal with both sides. That sometimes causes some stress and tension, especially because there is pressure on the construction from the start. Corona and the war in Ukraine have not made things any better. Sometimes you have to say no to both sides, but that's part of the job. When I see what we are making here, I am proud."  

Challenges

The JRCZ is a special building, first of all because of its construction. A large part of the building is cantilevered. That brought with it the necessary challenges, especially with regard to the planning and execution.

In addition, each floor is different. "No two floor plans are the same. As a contractor, you prefer to have one programme. This building will have multiple users, which requires a lot of flexibility. A data science room is something completely different from a chemistry lab. You have to be constantly alert."

In addition to the diversity of the spaces, the construction is a big job in logistical terms. "Almost the entire plot is taken up by the building. So you have to make all kinds of arrangements. It is very tight."

Air-conditioning system

The biggest challenge, however, is staying focused. "We have to take so many things into account, because everything is different from an ordinary building. Just take the air conditioning. There's no way you can compare it with an ordinary air-conditioning system. It is much bigger. It's a precision work to get all the equipment and installations in there."

However, he, his colleagues and the contractor will get the job done. "Now that you can see it, it really comes to life. Especially when you walk through the building you realise how special it is." A few more months and everyone will be able to move into the building. Bolders is looking forward to that moment. "I dare say I am looking forward to the opening," he concludes with a smile.

Arnold Bolders 1