Contract for ‘de Knoop’ government office building definitively awarded to Strukton, Ballast Nedam and Facilicom consortium

08 July 2015

The Netherlands’ Central Government Real Estate Agency has contracted the R Creators consortium to redevelop the former Knoop barracks in Utrecht into the new government office building ‘de Knoop’. The R Creators consortium, formed by partners Strukton, Ballast Nedam and Facilicom, proved to have submitted the most economically advantageous tender in the recent European tender procedure. The awarded DBFMO contract covers the project’s design, build, maintenance and operation. The contracted operation phase, with a term of 20 years, will start from the moment the complex is taken into use in 2018. R Creators’ mission is to ensure that everyone using the new government building in the near future does so to their full satisfaction.

R Creators - De Knoop 

Space, rhythm, routing and results

The Central Government Real Estate Agency will be redeveloping the ‘de Knoop’ government office building on Utrecht’s Croeselaan into a modern office complex. A number of government agencies will be moving into the new centre. The ambition is to transform ‘de Knoop’ into a pleasant and inviting environment for people to work, convene and interact with their colleagues. In terms of both profile and functions, the building will have strong added value for the city of Utrecht and the Dutch government. Once ‘de Knoop’ opens its doors in 2018, this hospitable building will be ready for twenty years of daily use as a hub for office work, services and new collaborations. The contracted project involves a combination of partial demolition, renovations and a new extension on the site of the former Knoop barracks. This will ultimately result in a new combined office complex and conference centre with a gross floor area (GFA) of some 30,000 m2. ‘De Knoop’ is situated close to Utrecht Central Station, on one of the sites covered by the Utrecht Station Area Master Plan.

PPP project

An interesting feature of this project is that it will be realised within a DBFMO contract (Design, Build, Finance, Maintain and Operate). This means that R Creators will not only bear responsibility for the new complex’s design and the planned renovations and expansions, but also for the financing of the project, as well as its maintenance, management and the associated facilities services. Quality is key in R Creators’ integrated proposal. The lifecycle costs of the new government office will be significantly lower than usual, since all services will be designed, financed, realised and operated by one and the same party within an integrated programme.

In the period ahead, there will be a strong focus on completing and formalising the various contracts and the project financing. R Creators has already made a start on a more detailed elaboration of the project plan. Work at the site itself will start in 2015, and the government office building will be taken into use in early 2018. This will also mark the start of the 20-year contract term for maintenance and operation.

Parties involved

The contractor is R Creators B.V., which is jointly owned by shareholders Strukton Integrale Projecten (80%) and Facilicom PPS Contracten (20%). The parties executing the contracted activities on R Creators’ behalf are Strukton Worksphere, Ballast Nedam and Facilicom Bedrijfsdiensten. The design submitted by the R Creators consortium was developed by the architects’ offices of cepezed (building), Fokkema & Partners (interior) and Rijnboutt (urban integration). In addition, the consortium enjoyed consultancy support from the firms of Norton Rose Fulbright (legal advisers to the lenders), Allen & Overy (legal advisers to the consortium) and RebelGroup (financial consultants).