Pieters has become a knowledge company thanks to years of fruitful collaboration with architects, principals, contractors, building physicists and building equipment specialists in the Netherlands and abroad. If, as a project principal, you wonder whether your project requirements may be too specific or too daring, you should contact us first. We are ideally placed to help you with these challenges. Our knowledge and experience are available to you in the form of the following services:
Structural design, calculation and construction drawings
Designing, calculating and producing engineering drawings for load-bearing structures has been our core business for more than 40 years. Our objective is to come up with a functional and rational design for a building that marries the aesthetic requirements with durability and sustainability in an optimal and safe structure that meets all the client’s requirements and wishes. So we always look for integral solutions during the design process in order to realise production-viable and safe structures. We set high standards, but remain realistic at the same time and always jointly determine the best course of action. As a result, we are the preferred partner for project principals, architects and contractors.
Research assignments and product innovation
Pieters constantly looks for innovative solutions and improvements, both for and outside the scope of our projects. In areas where no expertise is currently available, we involve our own innovation department. In collaboration with well-known institutes, we carry out research into new uses of materials and products, test out-of-the box solutions for the structural engineering challenges we face and evaluate potential improvements to our own working methods.
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Structural calculations and engineering drawings for suppliers and contractors
Bringing successful projects to a successful conclusion often requires detailed engineering drawings of the structures. This may also require us to deliver a package that includes the detailed engineering, production guidelines and workshop drawings for prefab concrete structures and steel structures. For example, we do all the detailed engineering for our UHPC designs.
Engineering coordination for contractors
In construction, the general contractor is generally assigned responsibility for all the detailed engineering. Pieters provides appropriate engineering services and coordination for several contractors in the Netherlands, even when third parties are responsible for the structural design. The process often starts with a set of tender specifications, which we screen on behalf of the tendering contractor to identify structural and civil engineering activities for which the contractor will be held responsible. Based on this review, we provide an engineering estimate so that the contractor can submit a bid.
Because safety in public buildings and facilities is of paramount importance in the construction industry and real estate sector, risk management is essential. If requested, Pieters can provide an expert and independent opinion on designs, calculations, and reports submitted by third parties so that you can complete your project without any nagging concerns about safety. Asking for a second opinion is an excellent form of risk management and therefore also recommended in the NEPROM's Code of Practice for Safe Building Design (Gedragscode Constructieve Veiligheid). An independent external audit significantly reduces the risk of errors, particularly in the light of the government's policy of increasingly reducing its involvement in supervising compliance with building regulations and the fact that municipalities sometimes only check design documents on a random sample basis. A second opinion is highly recommended for complex and unusual structures, and structures assigned to construction class 3 (CC3). We also provide internal second opinions as part of our ISO 9001 quality system.
Pieters has extensive experience with drawing up feasibility studies, such as adding extra floors to a building, reusing existing buildings and foundations and different variant studies for projects. We quickly perform a basic analysis to determine what is and is not possible in terms of the load-bearing structure and present our findings in an understandable manner. We identify possible solutions, points that require attention when applying the solutions and draw up a construction cost estimate for the options to allow effective assessment of the project's feasibility.
Technical specifications and budgets, construction coordination and supervision
At Pieters, we prefer to manage all aspects of an assignment for our clients. We have the level of in-house expertise required to draw up technical specifications and budgets, which we use from the design phase on to arrive at feasible and optimised designs. In addition, we also prefer to coordinate projects together with the contractor up to the time of completion and handover and supervise construction to ensure correct execution of the design.
Risk management is extremely important in construction projects and infrastructure projects. Unforeseen events can lead to significant financial loss and a level of structural damage that makes it impossible to guarantee safety. So we draw up a risk analysis at the start of the structural design process. Two methods can be used.
- The qualitative method: we list the possible structure-related risks and indicate the appropriate control measures.
- The quantitative method: where possible, we quantify the structure as measurable criteria, which are generally expressed in terms of financial consequences and, where possible, in terms of structural safety. We also quantify the risk of occurrence and the related consequences based on the Risman method.
The primary objective is to identify a possible risk so that it can be anticipated in the design and action can be taken to minimise the likelihood of occurrence. The following measures can be implemented based on a risk analysis:
- Prevention: taking action to prevent something from happening or reduce the likelihood that it will happen.
- Detection: identifying the potential damage if a threat occurs in practice.
- Repression: : limitation of the damage.
- Correction: drawing up a plan to minimise the consequences in the aftermath of an event that causes damage.
- Acceptance: no (additional) action, the risk that an event may occur and the possible consequences are accepted.
- Transfer: financially in the form of insurance, or operationally by means of outsourcing.
Once the risks have been identified, we can jointly determine the control measures together with the design and implementation teams.