In Couillet, near Charleroi, it was up to our constructive challengers to realise the construction of recycling factory Filao. The new plant, specialised in recycling plastic bottles, has a surface of 17.000m². What were the most intriguing challenges in this long-awaited project and how did the works proceed, is shared to us by Frédérick Désier, technical director at our colleagues of edibosud and project leader of this site.
The project: new construction recycling company
Filao is the result of a partnership between Sources Alma and Veolia. The first being the largest manufacturer of bottled water in Belgium, the latter a well-known specialist in water and waste management.
An overview of the varying construction works on this site:
- Factory consisting of a number of adjoining processing buildings
- 1 storage space for compressed bales of PET bottles
- 1 office area
- Several technical rooms
- Civil engineering for the production expansion
“In concrete terms, we at edibosud were responsible for the construction of a recycling factory for plastic bottles. The project consists of several building parts: from a storage space for compressed bales of PET bottles to a specific area to create recycled plastic pellets. The latter are later used to produce new plastic bottles, ready for another round at the consumer.”
“In total, we had 8 weeks to develop the stability study and to map the structure and building façades of the varying industrial constructions. Our team – lead by our stability engineer, our internal work planners and the project lead – took a strong hold of the preparatory work right from the start. Given the great importance of this project for edibosud, as technical director, I too supported all the involved team members.”
“The media paid a lot of attention to this project as well. The construction of this new recycling factory was something people liked to discuss because this is the largest player in all of Belgium when it comes to recycling plastic bottles. Building consultant Filao has appeared in a wide range of press releases over the past couple of months and years.”
“Our constructive challengers worked closely with the design team and the different parties that were assigned by the client. This smooth cooperation enabled us throughout the project to gain an even better insight into each other’s goals and it helped us to keep a clear overview over the entire project, before and during the works. Thanks to that, we managed to stay well within the defined deadlines.”
“In order for a project of this size to succeed, this requires close involvement by the client. It’s his job to establish a couple of key moments within the trajectory from beforehand. Once the intended cooperation is formed, it’s the rest of the team’s job to set up a strict planning and to do whatever it takes to adhere to that planning; the internal as well as the external parties.”
“For this project, we cooperated with TRBA, the contractor responsible for the groundworks and the landscaping works. This strong partnership allowed the Filao employees to step into their new buildings on time and with clean shoes.”
The major challenges
1. Strict deadlines
“The biggest deadline was to get the buildings wind and watertight in light of the pending production start-up. It was paramount to deliver each building part before its strict deadline in order for all the subcontractors to start their activities according to plan. We also needed to finish part of the environmental works in time so that the contractors could access the site. At one given time, we were working with about 100 to 120 people at the same time.”
2. A competent team
“By composing an internal construction team, we were able to start the required studies soon enough. This was the toughest challenge for us. It helped us to comply with the delivery terms the building consultant requested. It takes only one missed delivery to result in a delay in the process. This is where we made the difference, by always being present on site, by greatly involving our teams in this project and by setting the right priorities, changing them when the situation required it.”
3. Ready for redirection
“We had to implement a variety of modifications throughout the project. But as constructive challengers, we knew we weren’t just planting a new building; we would do everything in our powers to deliver a customised newly constructed recycling factory to our client. This mentality helped us to redirect effortlessly to new requirements; this was true for the entire team involved in this prestigious project.”
“The willpower, flexibility and the gusto of our constructive challengers to turn this into something beautiful is made what us achieve our goals in this project. Mainly respecting the client’s defined deadlines has proven to be a crucial element.”
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