The public limited company ‘Scholen van Morgen’ builds 182 nursery, primary and secondary schools on the initiative of the Flemish government. In this way, the legacy problem of outdated educational infrastructure in Flanders is being addressed. A project to which Jan De Nul is happy to contribute.
‘Scholen van Morgen’ is a public private partnership between the Flemish government with AG Real Estate and BNP Paribas Fortis. Jan De Nul builds a total of fourteen schools by order of AG Real Estate. For Jan De Nul, the contract entails the design and construction works as well as maintenance for 30 years. Every ‘School of Tomorrow’ is a unique project based on specific local needs and vision that meets all modern requirements in terms of sustainability, comfort and flexibility. In all, it involves 710,000 square metre of school infrastructure for 133,000 students.
Kristien De Vries is the overall coordinator of the Schools of Tomorrow project for Jan De Nul. “We tried to standardise the techniques (heating, electricity, sanitary facilities...) for the fourteen schools. In this regard, every school has an identical structure, we always use the same materials and suppliers. But this doesn’t mean that the design of all these buildings is similar. Every school is unique.”
DESIGN, BUILD AND MAINTAIN
Jan De Nul concluded a dBM agreement with the client: design, Build and Maintain. The building design is conceived by an external architectural office. As soon as the construction works start, Jan De Nul takes over this detailed design responsibility, hence the lower-case d.
The design and Build phases cannot be separated from the Maintain assignment. What makes this project unique, is that Jan De Nul will be responsible for maintaining the building for a period of thirty years. This long-term contract is relatively new in the industry and completely changes the art of building. Jitte Dens and Jan De Schrijver were the respective site supervisor and project manager for the school in Zwevegem. “A maintenance period of thirty years implies that your building must be of high quality. Actually, it is like building for yourself”, says Jan De Schrijver. Jitte Dens adds: “We also had to make important choices: do we choose a cheaper floor covering that we replace every year or a more durable one that we may have to replace only once in thirty years’ time. That must all be weighed whereas in other projects, you just do as established in the specifications.”
Part of the works is outsourced. For most schools, Jan De Nul executed the structural works and worked with subcontractors for the other parts of the contract. Jan De Schrijver: “We are responsible for coordinating the works of all subcontractors, the arrangements with the architect, the administration, the supervision, etc.”