Wageningen University & Research (WUR) will be using the BIMlink cloud platform in the coming years to provide access to all property information of approximately 200 buildings. This means that all building data is always available in unambiguous structures. Jaco Kamphorst and Eric Steinebach of WUR see BIMlink as the ‘game changer’ for their plans. “We must all speak the same language and BIMlink is the ‘translator’ to communicate with each other.”
WUR has a rich history and was founded in 1876 as the Rijkslandbouwschool, or National Agricultural School. Wageningen University & Research (WUR) was created by merger with the Agricultural Research Department. The globally acclaimed university has been voted the best university in the Netherlands no fewer than sixteen times. WUR is active in the field of Life Sciences and a lot of research is carried out into flora & fauna, water management, food supply and climate change.
WUR has 12,900 students from over 100 countries and over 6,800 employees. They study and work in a professional and research environment consisting of over 200 buildings at different locations. The total area is over 650,000 square meters (GFA), making WUR one of the largest property owners in education and research in The Netherlands.
Construction & Housing Management
Within the Business Office section, Jaco Kamphorst is responsible for managing property information. Another important section in this department is Construction & Housing Management. This section consists of 22 project managers, technical building managers and contract managers. Together they are responsible for property information, building maintenance and for sustainability, innovation and new construction. Eye-catching construction projects are the new education building Aurora, the new auditorium Omnia and the complete sustainability of the WUR campus. For the latter, WUR is aiming for a 95 percent gas reduction by 2025.
There is a lot going on at WUR, says Head of Construction & Housing Management Eric Steinebach. His project managers have led many successful construction projects for WUR. In total there are currently more than 200 projects in progress and 40 are pending.
Steinebach knows that a good information structure is important for these projects. “The project managers request revisions on a daily basis. An updated revision is regularly delivered upon delivery of the projects and must be processed. The processing and management of all that data is essential; this is the tool for the project managers. It must always be in order. In addition, WUR is in the process of migrating to BIM models. This happens building by building. For this, the organization has also been set up and WUR’s BIM conditions are in good order, partly in consultation with other universities and the market. This means that WUR is well prepared for the future,” says Steinebach.
From 2D information to asset management
A professionalization process has taken place within the Business Office of WUR, in which the working method, systems and contracts with regard to real estate information have been scrutinized. “We are now checking existing real estate information and then filling the system with this information,” says Kamphorst. “We have to convert the current 2D information into elements so that we then link it in BIMlink to documents like contracts, user and supplier information.”
WUR uses the BIMlink platform to support and provide access to both 2D drawings and BIM information for checking, validating and providing access to all new construction, maintenance and renovations. After an extensive selection process for a DMS, BIMlink was chosen because, in addition to being an excellent DMS, the platform also offers support for the transition to a future-proof real estate file. “With BIMlink we are fully prepared for the future,” says Kamphorst.
De department Property & Housing works with a management model, in which project managers co-ordinate the work of various architects, consultants and contractors who design and realize the projects. A good revision file with all the necessary information is the basis for proper planning and preparation of work.
There are an increasing number of possibilities for real estate management in the cloud. “We are working on a digital twin of the WUR Campus that will provide us with insights into property information 24/7. It is very important that it can be linked to other systems and applications,” says Kamphorst.