Last month Axxerion and R Creators evaluated the project of implementing the monitoring system for government office building De Knoop. Both parties are enthusiastic about the successful implementation and the cooperation. With Olwin Verhappen, Development Manager at R Creators, we look back on this exciting project.

Redeveloping Government Office Building De Knoop

The Government Property Management Agency has developed a modern government office building in what used to be the Knoopkazerne barracks. Since 1 February 2018 various government agencies moved into the building, which accommodates workplaces, visitor workplaces and meeting facilities. In accordance with the slogan ‘efficient & inviting’ the new office building is a substantial money-saver by utilizing the available areas more intensively. The ICT is well organized and there are appropriate catering facilities and good security.

In June 2015 the Government Property Management Agency chose R Creators as the best in the tender of this PPP project. PPP means Public-Private Partnership. It is a cooperation configuration between the government and one or more private companies. In PPP projects, the government does not interfere with how the project is executed, but only leads towards the desired result. This gives the private parties the liberty to execute the project according to their own views. The government uses PPPs to make use of the brainpower and the innovative power of the private sector.

DBFMO Contract with R Creators

R Creators, a cooperation of Strukton, Facilicom and Ballast Nedam, made a DBFMO contract (Design, Build, Finance, Maintain, Operate) for 20 years. This kind of contract does not require prefinancing by the government. The government only pays for delivered achievements. To this end, the desired output during the contract lifetime is defined in advance. Payments are made during the lifetime of the contract based on the delivered achievements and the availability of the delivered services. Verhappen: “It turned out that our bid not only had the best price, but also the closest match with the client’s ideas on sustainable partnership and hosting. R Creators has a clear vision on how to organize services in the office building together with B/CFD (Facility Services Center of the Internal Revenue Service). Our goal is to act together as one service provider towards the occupant of the building, but have a clear dividing line behind the scenes. And of course we also had a beautiful design for the office building!”

Implementation IWMS / Monitoring System

An important part of this PPP project is a reliable and flexible IWMS and monitoring system, which had to be linked to the enterprise software (SAP) and the property management software being used. Towards the end of 2016, R Creators chose Axxerion’s IWMS after an extensive selection period. Verhappen: “We have done a broad inquiry, and Axxerion’s response, their price and their planned approach, turned out to be the best match. Furthermore, one of the consortium partners already had good experiences with Axxerion.”

The project was started at the beginning of 2017. An important feature that was configured was the automatic reading of 3D BIM drawings. BIM, which stands for Building Information Models, is a methodology where all required information pertaining to a building is centralized. The advantage of the BIM model is that all parties can use the same database for maintenance and management of the building. In 2011 the Government Property Management Agency made BIM compulsory for integrated contracts.

Setting up an elaborate request system was important to R Creators. Such a system is essential for clarifying the monthly invoicing (availability fees) for the office building. Theis occurs in accordance with a standard payment mechanism set down by the government, which is called BOM monitoring. It is not enough for facilities to be available, they must also meet the quality requirements. The availability fee is paid and the desired quality must be achieved. Discounts can be applied if the required availability or quality requirements are not met. Thus it is very important to guarantee the process and make it transparent.

R Creators has drawn up an elaborate monitoring document to classify the requests. The possible requests are grouped by area, and they are linked to different discounts, including for example recurrence discounts, in case of exceeding the allowed time for handling the requests. All formulas concerning discounts are stored in Axxerion, which means they are transparent and guaranteed. Axxerion checks whether a request is subject to discount and must be included in the monthly invoicing. Verhappen: “The Gross Availability Fee (GAV) is vital to R Creators. The monthly invoice is composed of data retrieved from Axxerion, such as variable services and accrued discounts. These data impact the GAV, which means they must be 100% correct. During the project phase we spent a lot of time testing to make sure that everyting is right and that the system performs all calculations correctly. Even an audit was performed. Axxerion has proven to be reliable and solid. The monthly invoice that results from the calculations is not questioned by the client. This is no small thing.”

Lessons learned

The cooperation between R Creators and Axxerion proved both powerful and effective. The time schedule for the implementation was tight because of the opening date of the building. On R Creators’ side, one person had full responsibility during the implementation phase. Besides, there was a steering committee with two persons to back up during holidays and to execute tests. Verhappen: “The deadline was quite strict. Therefore it was necessary from time to time to scale up and deploy more people, to reach the set targets. The cooperation was frequent and intensive, and all worked out in good harmony. We all had the same goal. One lesson learned is that the definition of job responsibilities could have been more clear in advance. In the end, everything was done, but not always by the person responsible for doing it.”

Future

The future looks sunny for Verhappen. “People adapt in how they work, how they cooperate and how they meet. Therefore, the software, the contract between the client and R Creators, and the contract between R Creators and Axxerion must remain flexible, to continue to meet changing demands. We do not know yet what is required in a few years time, or how the work will be done, but we do know that we are expected to anticipate. Thus, we must continuously develop a common vision. I did not know Axxerion when we started, only by name. Because it is a vital system, it had to work flawlessly. I can endorse that this has been accomplished. Axxerion has fulfilled its promise.”

Characteristics government office building De Knoop

31,000 m2 Offices and meeting rooms
1,082 Workplaces
75 Visitor workplaces
1,353 Meeting places in 70 areas
364 Seats in the coffee bar and the restaurant
22 Plane trees which have spent 2 years in storage before being put back
An atrium connects the conference center and the offices