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Dura Vermeer uses Microsoft HoloLens to virtually construct Boekelosebrug

Dura Vermeer is one of the top 6 firms in the Dutch construction industry. An independent family company since 1855, Dura Vermeer has been active in development, realisation, maintenance and engineering for construction projects in housing, utilities, industrial sites and infrastructure.  Dura Vermeer take an innovative approach to the projects that they develop, manage and deliver at their own risk.  They work with third parties and partners to provide trendsetting, integrated and sustainable solutions to overcome a wide range of construction challenges.  

An opportunity to tender

The municipality of Hengelo in the Netherlands ssued a tender for the replacement of the Boekelose Bridge across the Twente Canal in Hengelo, with the province Overijssel as its biggest subsidiser. The award criteria was innovation, architectural and aesthetic quality, and realisation time based on MEAT. To meet the innovation criteria, Dura Vermeer entered into a partnership with Recreate. Recreate provides solutions based on Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality that provide added value to companies.

The joint development of EBMR

Dura Vermeer embraces innovation as a fundamental characteristic in its daily operational management, supplemented by eco-friendly, sustainable business practices, and so, the company decided to bid on the tender. André van der Vegt, Dura Vermeer manager for the eastern provinces, met with Recreate to provide a software visualisation of the Boekelose Bridge for the contractors using Microsoft HoloLens. ‘During a brainstorming session, a Proof of Concept environment was set up. The Mixed Reality software we developed, combined with Microsoft HoloLens, displayed the new construction project that was envisioned. This was one of the deciding factors for Dura Vermeer to construct the bridge,’ says Roy Kamphuis, CEO at Recreate. ‘Our solution, Engineer and Build in Mixed Reality (EBMR), not only visualises the construction project, but also shows the materials used down to the last centimetre. That provides huge added value during the implementation of a project.’

The construction industry sometimes lacks innovation

‘It is not that there is no innovative power in the construction sector, but it remains limited to innovation at a project level. People come up with smart solutions per project, but it would be better to come up with innovative products and processes, which should lead to more structural changes. Innovation requires confidence to undertake experimentation, trial, error, and fine-tuning. The municipality of Hengelo has broken this pattern,’ André van der Vegt says. ‘The fact that we were awarded the tender proves that we have made the right choice in wanting to innovate.’

EBMR as a tool

The future bridge will be the connecting link between the city of Hengelo and the industry situated alongside the Twente Canal. The bridge was designed completely in 3D. Using the EBMR solution, the bridge design was placed over the ‘real world’ as a layer. EMBR is unique technology developed by Recreate in which a 3D model, a real-time holographic display of e.g. an architectural plan or blueprint, is placed over the user’s view of the construction site by using a Microsoft HoloLens. ‘When you are at an empty construction site, the contractor can see the structure of the object to be built, correctly positioned, as if it has already been constructed. When the user moves, his view of the structure also moves along with him. The user no longer has to imagine what the building will look like based on a good grasp of the drawings,’ André van der Vegt indicates. The contractor now has a clear overview of the entire design instead of just a part of the drawing. By making the 3D model visible using the Microsoft HoloLens, deviations and mistakes are spotted at an earlier stage, which will help Dura Vermeer achieve higher returns on projects.

Tender awarded due to increased added value

During the assessment phase, it became clear that the tender submitted by Dura Vermeer had a much more added value than the other bids. The evaluation price was the tender price minus the calculated added value. Of the five parties that submitted a tender, Dura Vermeer turned out to have the most economically advantageous tender (MEAT). Since the construction process will be extremely accurate, Dura Vermeer will save costs on monitoring the implementation and will reduce costs of failure. This will result in increased added value. Dura Vermeer is using EMBR and the Microsoft HoloLens successfully on two other projects. 

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