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Cooperate to innovate

– Study Association KOers

After the paradigm shift from the industrial and experience economy to the knowledge economy, we live in a world of constant and rapid change, that challenges organizations in every branch to innovate. Organizations that are able to innovate, improve their competitiveness and productivity and will secure their market position strategically . 

Co-creation is the concept of innovation driven by cooperation. The idea behind co-creation is that sharing knowledge leads to multiplication of knowledge, the so called knowledge-creation. Knowledge-creation is focused on feeling the market, quickly mobilizing a relevant response to developments in order to be able to profit. It requires a continuous learning organization. It is therefore that even educational learning models describe creation as the highest attainable level of learning. To this end, agile organizations are constantly bringing knowledge from outside to inside the organization and facilitate knowledge sharing by creating cooperative networks.

One of the projects where Wijcon as a multidisciplinary engineering company  represented the integral role of the construction designer and detail engineer has been ‘Het Zand’ or ‘Toon’, as it would be mentioned later on. This project was situated in Terwijde, Utrecht. It is an example in which co-creation led to the most optimal result for all involved building cooperation partners, adding value to its residents within its environment.

Van Wijnen Midden, in the role of project developer,  included Alynia as the architectural modeler and Wijcon as the engineer already at the beginning of the design phase. Together they formed a sparring partner for the architect. These cooperation partners, familiar with each other's knowledge and experience from different domains of building, brought expertise together in the most early phase of building and where able to think along with the needs of the specific building client, achieving the most optimal building system and efficient division of space. The residential building itself, a U-shape building, consists 98 apartments distributed over five, six or nine storeys and several parking spaces on ground level. The building system was prefabricated, but had a few restrictions such as the connection and the place of the balconies. Due to the fact that Wijcon was already involved in the early stages of the design phase, the architect could take all the restrictions into account in such a way that the design was perfect to perform in prefabricated structure without expensive solutions. After approval of request for construction the project was handed over from the development team to the building team of Van Wijnen Midden. Due to the integrated role of Wijcon, it was possible to carry out the detail engineering as well. All the prefabricated elements, such as walls, balconies and stairs, but also the steel elements to connect the balconies to the floor, where calculated and modelled by constructive modellers of Wijcon. Via highly automated work processes and File-to Factory, it was possible to reduce failure costs significantly and shortened preparation and construction time significantly. 

In this chain cooperation, the starting point was the need and expectation of the building client. The expertise of different cooperation partners, brought together in co-creation contributed to this innovative project in achieving the maximum result.