Construction is going better with the new quality assurance act (Wkb). That is the conclusion of the construction company Willy Naessens Nederland and the Doorn Totaalinstallateurs. They built a business premises together under strict supervision rules, long before they came into effect. They are proud of the end result: “This kind of quality assurance provides much more insight.”
According to the new Quality Assurance Act (Wkb), builders of new buildings are responsible for proper construction supervision from 2023. They must hire an independent, certified inspector for this: he checks throughout the process whether the design and implementation are in accordance with the building decree. The aim is to better guarantee the quality and safety of new construction, to simplify municipal supervision and to exclude accidents as a result of construction defects.
Quality label ‘Well built’
The new building concerned the new business premises of the Doorn Totaalinstallateur in Giessen: a modern sustainable industrial building with a 1500 m2 industrial hall and two floors with 1100 m2 of office space for the approximately 100 employees. By controlling and certifying the entire process of design and construction in accordance with the Wkb regulations, the building was one of the first in the Netherlands to obtain the associated quality label ‘Good Built’.
Tjerk van Opzeeland, director of the Doorn Totaalinstallateurs, had a clear reason early on to gain experience with Wkb: “We install a lot in new construction. So our customers will soon have to deal with the new rules immediately. The construction of our own new building was a great test case.” Van Opzeeland commissioned the construction certification company PlanGarant for the inspection. “Such a private party can guarantee quality much better than a government. Building inspection is often an additional task for an official who can only carry out an inspection two or three times. A professional agency can register each phase. It provides much more security.”
From design to final report
Bas Verbunt, Operational Manager at builder Willy Naessens Holland, is also satisfied. “The new supervision provides much more quality assurance. You only get the ‘Well Built’ quality label if everything is right: from design, piling and reinforcement to construction, finishing and final report. It is really important. In large construction projects, it often happens that you have to deviate from the original drawings and come up with new solutions. With this intensive supervision method, such temporary adjustments are also correctly recorded and reported, and they are always traceable.”
Better build quality
Altena municipality, to which Giessen belongs, also looks back with satisfaction on the first WC experiences. Building inspector Wil Remeijsen: “Because of other tasks, the municipalities get less and less time for a thorough and regular building inspection. This new approach provides more quality in control and reporting. The municipality is still responsible for the legal side and permits, but a quality assurance employee with an architectural background can record and report the right elements on the construction site more often and better than we as a municipality could, given the time alone.”
Not necessarily more expensive
Does this intensive monitoring and registration make construction more expensive? Van Opzeeland: “Hiring an inspection agency obviously costs money, but in return the quality increases and the error costs decrease. All in all, I don’t think it’s much more expensive; maybe even cheaper with a higher quality.”
These new rules do not cost the builder much extra time either. Verbunt: “We already have a well-documented way of working, it was primarily about including all inspection points in the planning and conveying them in good time. If your preparatory work is correct, the supervisor only needs to register that it is good.”
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