Rotterdamsebaan will be the new major access road linking the Ypenburg A4-A13 junction to the center ring around The Hague, the Netherlands. The construction of an entirely new city entryway is the biggest infrastructure project in the city’s history. For the tendering process, The Hague has chosen a competition-driven dialogue. In this process it’s important that the choices and processes must be recorded clearly and transparently. Communication during the dialogue phase was channeled and registered smoothly with Relatics. Thanks to the constructive cooperation with five participating consortia, the municipality was able to choose the best offer based on solid reasoning. The main contract was awarded in December 2015.
After completing the city planning preparations, the Municipality of The Hague started drafting the contract documents. This project involves a Design, Build & Maintain contract. Frank Haring is the municipal official responsible for the design and implementation of the civil engineering structures. “To achieve the best result, it is crucial to offer the contractor a great deal of freedom. That is why we kept the program of requirements as functional as possible.”
Effective preparation with comprehensive overview of specifications
The technical specifications were set out in Relatics. Haring: “We wanted to record all relevant information in a central location, rather than consulting separate Excel checklists. Relatics follows the principles of systems engineering offering a clear hierarchy and overview. This makes information storage less error-prone and facilitates easy, transparent modifications. We were able to achieve a comprehensive overview of the demand-side specifications and prepare thoroughly for the tendering procedure.”
A clear structure creates an equal playing field
The tender involved a competition-driven dialogue with five different consortia. Haring: “We provided a copy of the Relatics database to all the potential contractors, so they could review all the technical specifications. All of the communication involving questions and
answers was handled through the Q&A configuration that Relatics offers.” This gave the municipality an overview and a clear structure. “The process was digitized in a workflow in which the questions, answers, and comments are centrally available and automatically synchronized. It creates an equal playing field between the participants.”
Easy distribution of questions accelerates the process
The choice for Relatics offered Haring a number of practical benefits. “Contractors often save up a number of questions and send them in a Word file or email. In that case it is up to us to maintain an overview. The flood of questions is much more evenly distributed now. This solution also made it easier to distribute questions automatically within our organization, for example by assigning them directly to a specialist or department. This accelerated the process. An added benefit is that a question about a specific requirement was linked directly to a technical specification.”
Peter van Oosterhout
A solid foundation for a constructive dialogue
The contractors valued the chosen method very well. One of the people who appreciated it was Ruben Langeveld, Systems Engineer at the consortium, that ultimately won the tender: Combinatie Rotterdamsebaan, consisting of BAM Infra and Wayss & Freytag. “Choosing this Relatics configuration made the dialogue smoother. It was a pleasant coincidence that our combination also uses Relatics for other projects. We imported the requirements into our own environment. In our case, that gave us a solid foundation that we combine with other relevant information, such as process requirements and project control.”
Practical tool for the effective control of information
The biggest advantage that Relatics offers, according to Langeveld, does not necessarily play a prominent role in the tendering stage. “Although it is practical for asking questions and receiving answers, the main advantages for us are in the implementation stage. Nevertheless, it is very practical to have the requirements, risks, and preliminary designs stored in a structured, flexible, and central environment from the outset. From a systems engineering perspective, it offers a highly practical tool for the effective, efficient control of information flows. That allows us to assign the requirements to our specific experts in the design stage. By structuring requirements based on objects, it is possible to define sets for different primary disciplines, such as civil engineering, road-building, or technical systems. They can start working based on that information, clearly recording the progress and choices they’re making.”
David van Keulen
Fact-based cooperation guaranteed
In the run-up to the implementation and during the construction process, the Combinatie Rotterdamsebaan can provide evidence that they practice what they preach and follow the contract. Langeveld: “The client wants to maintain control of the project’s risks and monitor risk management. In Relatics, we can record all of the choices and processes clearly and transparently. The municipal authority can always use the viewing function to check the progress from the other side. This ensures that we are always discussing the facts based on the very latest status reports, and everything that happens can be related to the requirements that were set out beforehand.” Haring concurs. “During the tendering stage Relatics proved to be a very convenient tool that made communication much easier. It definitely had a positive effect on tender procedure and on the end result.”
About Frank Haring
After completing his study Civil Engineering, specialization in concrete structures, at the Delft University of Technology Frank Haring was a Project Engineer at Witteveen+Bos for more than ten years. Since mid-2013 he has been working as a Project manager of shield driven tunnels at the Project Civil Rotterdamsebaan. In this function he is responsible for the design and construction of the tunnel and the deepened road at junction Ypenburg.
About Ruben Langeveld
After completing his study Civil Engineering at the University of Twenty and achieving his master in Construction Process Management, Ruben Langeveld started working at BAM. He has been working at BAM Infraconsult at the department RAMS/Risk/SE for three years now. In this function he’s responsible for Systems Engineering and Risk Management. In addition, he’s a member of the Relaticsteam of BAMinfra.
Articles about Questions and Answers
The Rotterdamsebaan is the road between junction Ypenburg (A4/A13) and the center ring of The Hague. In 2014 – 2015 the tender for this project has taken place. Relatics is used during both the question specification as the formal communication with candidates during the dialogue phase. Presentation (in Dutch) About the author Joost Joustra is…Read More