Build more sustainably and faster with precast concrete – Bouw Magazine

Design from efficiency and a warm heart to build

‘Building with prefab is faster, more sustainable and can be realized with less labour’, says Johan Oltvoort from Olbecon and Olcas. ‘And it can reduce failure costs’. It also makes it the solution to the housing shortage and shortage for construction professionals. In addition, prefabricated walls, floors, roofs and housing are also affordable.’

In mid-October, Housing and Spatial Planning Minister Hugo de Jonge made agreements with all provinces on housing up to 2030. Another 900,000 homes will be added in the next eight years. Oltvoort: ‘These homes must be energy-neutral or energy-efficient, climate-adapted, circular, of high quality and affordable. It is not clear how the construction sector will cope with this large construction task with too few employees. I have a suggestion: build with precast concrete.’

Smaller construction projects
Oltvoort firmly believes in the power and efficiency of prefabricated construction. ‘The industrialization in which large contractors are engaged only offers a solution to the lack of labor in serial construction.’ For small projects of a few houses or a detached house, there are solutions from Oltvoort’s companies: Olbecon and Olcas. “We make prefabricated construction and industrialization available to contractors who carry out smaller construction projects. Because we do everything in-house; engineering, calculations, drawing and advice, we are fast and it remains affordable. We build with passion and with a warm heart.’

Independent supplier
Olbecon focuses on advice, design, calculation, engineering and logistics regarding ready-to-use concrete parts (walls and floors). Since 2018, the sister company Olcas has been developing prefabricated homes and on concrete hulls, complete with installations. ‘With our team, we advise, calculate, draw, transport and guide our customers from Olbecon. We do not produce. We are therefore independent and can supply all types of floors and walls. We recommend the best and most efficient solution for any project.’ There are already many choices in concrete walls: cavity walls, fire walls, columns, insulated sandwich panels and solid panels. ‘We also supply insulated and non-insulated perforated slab floors, traditional and prestressed wide slab floors with reinforcement and ribbed floors.’ A construction company has a fixed point of contact at Olbecon. “It’s very nice, especially when the floors and walls come from different production sites. We ensure coordination and that everything is on the construction site on time.’

The probability of error is much lower
Oltvoort’s mission is to introduce more contractors to the benefits and quality of precast concrete components and prefabricated homes. “With Olcas, we supply construction kits including heating and cooling systems with heat pumps. And we use the concrete’s heat accumulation. A heat pump delivers water at approximately 21 degrees to the solid floors and we combine this with the principle of radiant heat. In this way, you have a comfortable indoor temperature in summer and winter.’

‘Building with prefab is faster, more sustainable and can be realized with less manpower’

Separate construction and installations
Oltvoort argues for separating the constructive function and the installations. ‘We always advise against laying pipes in the floor, but on top of the perforated plate or wide slab floor. Building this way saves time because less coordination is required between the client and the installer. And it greatly reduces the risk of errors. Another advantage is that you can also remove the installation layer, for example if there is new insight into installations or new user goals by year. Demolition of the concrete floor is then not necessary, and the constructive floor can be removed be recycled. In this way, building with prefabricated concrete parts contributes to circular construction.’

Warehouse Deventer
“A concrete shell is very interesting for houses with flat roofs on three or four floors,” explains Oltvoort. ‘It builds quickly and you can cover the outside with insulation and a brick wall or another material.’ But other types of housing can also (partially) be built with a concrete frame. A good example is the home of Jarko Van Bertens Media and his wife Marieke. The construction of their barn in Deventer is in full swing. Oltvoort: ‘We designed and produced the concrete shell with Olcas. The house has a ground floor with concrete walls and floor, with a floor with a wooden gable roof above.’ Marieke has a fondness for steam-open skeleton construction and the natural material wood, because she expects to sleep best in it. Jarko believes that a solid foundation is important. Architect Gerben van Kampen from Woonsublimem designed the barn, contractor Michel Lips from Duiven built it.

Build more with the same team
‘Because our designers have been involved in this building project from the start, a great advantage has been achieved. If our designers see from the preliminary sketch design, they can design a hull very efficiently. In other words: in this way, the maximum can be achieved from the hull, such as large walls, quick assembly and processing of lintels in the wall. All this has a positive effect on the cost price.’ And not just the (private) client benefits. ‘A contractor with a team of five now builds four houses a year in the traditional way, and can build five by working with prefabs.’ This is confirmed by Contractor Lips. Oltvoort adds: ‘For contractors, work preparation takes place at the beginning of the process. And building with prefab requires a somewhat different way of designing. I always call it holistic design. A holistic design is feasible, ensures that customers can live comfortably and is affordable. Building with prefabricated does not have to lead to a less beautiful home.’

Text: Sara Terburg

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