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VDL De Meeuw shares formula for unlocking housing market and accelerating construction
Photo caption: Project NDW21 in Nijmegen

VDL De Meeuw shares formula for unlocking housing market and accelerating construction

7 June 2024

To increase the necessary and sought-after productivity levels in construction, the sector needs some fresh perspective. That includes working with a universal construction system that allows third parties to independently design and complete buildings within construction times that are up to four times faster. This is one of the concepts to be shared by VDL De Meeuw, specialist in ‘flex goods’, on Tuesday 11, Wednesday 12 and Thursday 13 June 2024 at the Provada real estate fair at RAI Amsterdam.

Turning design into configuration

To increase productivity in the construction industry, buildings need to be thought of as products that can be constructed using up to 80 percent industrially prefabricated standard parts. This involves the configuration of designs; buildings are assembled using pre-developed building modules. This approach can shorten the phases for design, production and completion. Certifying a building as a product also means that permit procedures can be shortened and simplified.

VDL De Meeuw is making its building system available to third parties. Architects and property developers can use configuration as a tool to design and construct buildings. Making the building system universal saves time at every link of the real estate chain, from building plans to key transfers. This approach can be used to effectively address one major social issue: the chronic housing shortage. 

100,000 homes a year

Commercial Director Joziene van de Linde of VDL De Meeuw: “The new Dutch cabinet is insisting on achieving 100,000 homes a year. Although this is a necessary pursuit, if there is not a substantial improvement in the construction sector’s productivity levels, we will only see a mere 70,000 to 75,000 homes per year being produced. VDL De Meeuw is happy to make its industrialisation expertise available to help accelerate productivity in the construction industry in cooperation with our supply chain partners.”

Labour productivity in the high-end manufacturing sector has doubled over the past 25 years, while over the same period, productivity in the construction sector has remained at 20 percent. This gap can and needs to be filled in order to reconcile supply and demand. This requires more effective and efficient cooperation throughout the real estate chain, as well as a simplified and accelerated decision-making process in terms of licensing and zoning. This also offers the added advantage of reducing some pressure on the civil service system.

Aesthetics

Van de Linde points out that in addition to improving productivity, there is also a special focus on the aesthetic qualities of a building: “One of the options available to those that use our system is being able to vary the façade designs and building typologies, so the buildings can be given their own signature. Our NDW21 project in Nijmegen proves that speed and aesthetics go hand in hand”.

VDL De Meeuw under the VDL banner

VDL De Meeuw is achieving this sought-after leap in productivity under the banner of VDL Groep, a family-owned industrial company that took full ownership of De Meeuw a year ago and which has its headquarters in the Brainport region of Eindhoven. VDL De Meeuw has been given a fresh look in line with the VDL Groep house style. The official launch of this new look will take place at the Provada real estate fair on Tuesday 11 June 2024 at 3.30 pm. Besides making its new logo and website public, VDL De Meeuw will also be sharing its plans to unlock the housing market, including how the much-needed acceleration in the construction sector should take shape.

About VDL De Meeuw

VDL De Meeuw was founded in 1929. The company, with offices in the Netherlands and Belgium, is focused on producing and implementing flexible and modular housing. VDL De Meeuw offers clients a wide range of housing solutions in the markets of healthcare, education, government, business and residential housing. The company also offers rental solutions for temporary housing as well as the lease or sale of semi-permanent and permanent solutions.

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