The huge challenges of a traditional sector

Young he might seem, but appearances might fool you. As an Engineer Architect (VUB/ULB) he rapidly made ranks within the Besix group as Manager Digital Developments and BIM, now venturing out to become a key player within the Neanex company, to head the consultancy division. 

The huge challenges of a traditional sector


“The construction sector needs to rethink its business model. Margins are shrinking, complexity is increasing, which automatically points in the direction of automation. That is a fascinating development, pointing in the way of data, the complex world of BIM (Building Information modelling) and AI. I want to be part of that.” 

He reflects on the pros and cons of belonging to a powerful and well-known group versus the adventure of the new, but hardly hides his excitement. 

“Within BESIX, I felt that it was time to change, to move away from traditional project management and data management. Neanex offers me a challenging environment, with inspiring people, where I can fully dedicate my time to exploit the data management of the future. I am convinced that we‘ve only seen the top of the iceberg. There are too many possibilities ahead of us. Artificial Intelligence being one of them, alongside data visualization and analytics, predictive modelling and what else. 

We need to better understand the nature of complex building processes via data and not only via expertise alone. This will allow us to build in another way, to manage in different ways and to be more efficient in the future. “

Generating passion and result through people

The main reasons he finds himself within Neanex management is the fact that data and data management are becoming increasingly important, and he wants to be part of that evolution. but secondly comes his take on collaboration and human dynamics.

“If you know the people you are going to work with, and you like their energy, you are capable of achieving great things together. `

I’ve learned that from my time spend on an important BESIX project in Egypt. It was the first time that I had to coordinate a team of that size. The team was simply too big to fall back on my normal working method. I like to be in control of things, with a group of over 80 that is virtually impossible. You have to focus your attention towards making the team work and achieve things. It was an interesting exercise for me, and it makes you grow as a person. I know the other people of the management team of Neanex and they inspire me. I trust them and I feel positively motivated to achieve growth within this company. I am firm believer in the chemistry between people on the same team, it creates passion. This passion is essential for growth and innovation.

I feel confident enough to know that within Neanex I’ll be meeting a whole range of different people, ranging from the BIM specialist over the client or a subcontractor. I’ll need to convince them all of the added value of our solution and our way of thinking and developing. Some might call this evangelization, I call it good sense and making added value visible.”

Making efficiencies visible

In the end it's all about risks (often measured in costs) and opportunities. In the construction sector there’s a tendency to think that this particular project is a one-of-a-kind project. 

“I am convinced that we can apply some form of standardization, this will allow us to have uniform data records which will allow us to identify trends. Everyone will benefit from that kind of thinking. The construction sector is traditionally rather conservative, because the risks are high. You need to understand and respect that. What we strive to do is making efficiencies visible. 

Of course, once you’ve avoided an extra cost, because you choose a different solution, the cost in itself isn’t quantifiable anymore. That is the big and obvious problem. We need meticulous attention and well based choices in terms of data, data structures and how to manage them. 

We need to evolve towards a system where all parties involved can benefit from all necessary data without overloading the system with unnecessary data nobody uses.”

Transforming data into information

The future will belong to those who master the information, who can transform data into information and knowledge. It’s not about resources only, it’s about smart solutions in building technology and maintenance. The overall project information supersedes the individual needs, without ignoring them but instead opening up for all those who need them. 

“A BIM allows for modelling, for previsions and evaluation in the long term. You always have to start from the technical need and how you are going to solve it. That leads to new ways of thinking and tackling problems, and ultimately to refreshing insights.

Avoiding the things, you thought were necessary based on a better understanding of reliable data. Is there anything more beautiful than that? 

Since my studies I’ve been fascinated by data and the extraction of knowledge you can get out of them. I’ve added to that dimension a passion to achieve results with people. I am a firm believer in teamwork and making things simpler, not more complex. With every new step in your career, you combine experience and insights with the ideas of new people. That alone accounts for growth. That is also what I stand out to do for Neanex.”


The huge challenges of a traditional sector

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Jan Van Steirteghem, (BESIX) on the need to rethink the principles of the construction industry.

We cannot fight climate emergency without efforts and fundamental rethinking of what we do. It’s not about marginal changes, but about fundamental ones. And I see opportunities for companies like ours, and like Neanex. Because digitalization and data insights will become more and more important in fighting climate emergency.”

Daan Oostinga, (Semmtech) on the growing importance of digital assets in the evolution towards sustainability in the infrastructure business.

It’s very nice to know that you have a certain resource in an asset, to extract that resource, you need to become precise, you need to know and to be able to simulate, it’s not enough to have ‘a hunch’. That’s not how business decision should be made.

It is al about being more sustainable in every way, not on digitalisation as a goal. Josefien Vanhuyse from Neanex on digital and sustainability.

Becoming data driven is the key enabler for sustainability in construction. At neanex we truly believe that we can offer the key to the castle of more circular way of thinking in building & maintaining buildings & infrastructure . This by giving asset insight at any point in time. Article by Josefien Vanhuyse CCO @Neanex

Material Passport based on Linked Data ft. Heijmans

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Driven by data, obsessed by insights by Maarten Herelikxa

As you know the Neanex Portal as Digital Asset Register aims to extract useful information from the data sources provided by all parties involved in a building process. Those data are turned into useful instruments for maintenance, cost efficiency and management of the building process. But how can we step it up?

“A Digital Twin is a dynamic, virtual representation of a building, its assets, processes and systems.”

The SPHERE project pushes the development of a user-friendly SPHERE Platform, an ecosystem integrating services, tools, and solutions from various consortium members together into a Digital Twin. During the four SPHERE pilot projects, information from different sources (e.g., the actual assets, sensor data, simulations) is combined, interpreted, and processed to eventually feed back to the physical building.

Know Your Asset Inside Out

Digital Asset Register is the static version of a digital twin to state it in a simple way. Connect information from different sources relevant for this specific asset throughout the project lifecycle. This register provides the single source of truth.

Risk Management for Asset Owners

How do you struggle for asset management to have real insight in the status or your asset? How can we enable control and insight in the right information to make relevant decisions? Do you have data or do you need information. Neanex enables 'smart' asset management to lower risk on high unforseen costs.

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