1300 piles support CONO Kaasmakerij - Vroom Funderingstechnieken
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1300 piles support CONO Kaasmakerij

In the past two months, under severe weather circumstances, Vroom Foundation Technology from Oosthuizen and Gebr. Van ‘t Hek Funderingstechnieken from Zuidoostbeemster have carried out foundation activities for the new CONO Kaasmakerij located on the World Heritage site De Beemster. Vroom produced approximately 1,300 foundation piles (vibro and vibro combo piles) and Van ‘t Hek drilled around 514 meters of sheet pile walls into the ground for the underground construction parts. From 2014, the famous Beemsterkaas will be produced in the new cheese factory.

CONO Kaasmakerij, designed by Bastiaan Jongerius, is once again a high-profile reference project for which Vroom lived upon its decisiveness in capacity vision.

Severe weather circumstances

The foundation activities have started in January, and have been completed in March. The activities were carried out in times of light and severe frost, long-lasting and abundant rain showers and hard wind.

Placing the vibro combo piles in-depth went on unhindered during the frost periods. Vroom Foundation Technology’s project leader Klaus Veerman is proud of his teams: “Our people had to anticipate on the changing weather circumstances in order to keep the production process going and to continue to deliver quality. During the frost periods, grout for the vibro combo piles was delivered on demand in line with to the required volumes.”

However, during the severe frost period, the production process of the vibro piles until working level was interrupted for a short while.Veerman: “Initially, during frost periods we managed to cover the pile heads with isolation material and sand. That was sufficient for protection. However, during the severe frost period, we temporarily interrupted the production process as the chance to damage caused by the frost became too big. From the moment when the activities were continued, we got to deal with abundant rain showers and a building excavation that was difficult to get access to. Our Vroom team literally added a little extra in order to realize the quality of the execution process until the pile head.

From -10 to +10

Late January, temperatures went from -1- to +10 Celsius in three days. Arjan Knot and Gerard van Luijk, supervisors for Visser en Smit Bouw, are very enthusiastic about both Vroom teams’ improvisation talents. They also praised project leader Klaus Veerman for how he coordinated the project and for how he fine-tuned the progress with the contractor. Arjan Knot: “Despite the severe frost, the abundant rain showers and the hard wind, Vroom has continuously managed to realize the required production quantity and quality for the execution of the project. This was also necessary as Vroom’s colleague Van t Hek had to vibrate the sheet pile wall for the in-depth vibro combo piles during the slip stream of the production process.

Vibro and vibro combo piles

Vroom produced vibro piles as well as vibro combo piles to be placed in-depth. Both foundation piles are part of the cast-in-situ pile systems.

For CONO Kaasmakerij, the vibro combo piles have been drilled underneath the basement, the underground tube tunnel and the tank park. The pile heads have been placed at height at 7 – 8,5 m under working level. The combo piles measure 13,5 – 19,2 m which means that the pile points are located until 20-28 m under working level.

Sheet pile wall

The temporary sheet pile wall around the construction parts to be realized underground has been vibrated by Gebr. Van ’t Hek. After completing the underground construction process, the sheet pile wall will be removed. For the production of the vibro combo piles, Vroom used an additional crane belonging to Van ’t Hek in order to place the prefab concrete elements in-depth, to pour the grout column around this prefab core and to apply a water column that causes overpressure on the grout column once the casing is driven out.


CONO Kaasmakerij is a special project because it is realized on World Heritage site De Beemster and therefore, special requirements apply. For example for the maximum construction height of 7 m. An important part of the new construction elements is therefore realized underground. In the second half of 2014, the cheese factory will be operational.

Another high-profile project for which vibro combi piles have been applied is De Rotterdam, the largest building in the Netherlands, designed by Rem Koolhaas (OMA). This complex will be completed in 2013.

Facts & Numbers

Foundation activities: CONO Kaasmakerij
Project: new construction CONO Kaasmakerij
Location: Rijperweg 20, Westbeemster
Architect: Bastiaan Jongerius Architecten, Amsterdam
Contractor: Visser en Smit Bouw BVGroningen
Constructor: Feenstra Adviseurs, Duiven
Investment costs: around 80 million euros

Construction period

Start construction: December 2012
Completion foundation activities: March 2013
Completion first quarter of 2014
Occupation cheese factory: second half of 2014

Foundation activities

Foundation piles: Vroom Foundation Technology, Oosthuizen
Execution period: December 2012 – March 2013

Pile systems

Cast-in-situ vibro piles and vibro combo piles

Vibro piles
Amount of piles: 960
Pile length: 15 – 17 m
Diameter casing/base plate: 273 / 330 / 356 / 435 mm

Vibro combo piles
Number of piles: 309
Diameter casing/base plate: 457 / 520 / 406 / 465 mm
Prefab concrete element length: 13,50 – 19,20 m
Diameter square prefab concrete element: 250 en 290 mm
The pile heads are placed at around 6 – 8,5 m under working/ground level.

Vibro machinery
Hitachi CX600GLS
Shovel Werklust WG45D (682)
Concrete mixer

Vibro combo machinery
Foundation engine: KH300GLS (876)
Additional crane Van ’t Hek Hitachi KH150
Shovel Werklust WG45E (623)
Concrete mixer

Sheet pile wall

Execution: Gebr. Van ’t Hek
Renting period: 12 weeks
Sheet pile plank type: AZ-18, length 14,5 m
Basement length: 230 m
Tube tunnel: 111 m
Tank park: 173 m
Insertion method: vibrating (in and out)

Crane: Hitachi CX700
Vibration block type: 36RF
Powerunit Caterpillar Model: 700RF
Including brace.

Background information

Design new construction CONO Kaasmakerij
For the realization of projects on locations that are part of the Unesco World Heritage sites, alternative requirements apply that overrule other kinds of legislation. This was a new subject for Amsterdam-based architect agency Bastiaan Jongerius that will realize the winning design for CONO Kaasmakerij. Previously, this architect designed the whey powder tower, a notable building on the Beemster country side, realized in 2003 – 3005.

World Heritage

From 1999, De Beemster is part of Unesco’s World Heritage List. From that moment, rules have been highlighted, and a completely different regime applies when it comes to requesting a license. The State and the Province played a crucial role in the decision process and were directly involved in the planning and further development process.

Bastiaan admires the teamwork done with the clients as the big initiator: “For CONO, it is a big investment and a step into the future. It will always be special that we are permitted and able to realize such a large-scale project on a vulnerable country side. That we also owe to the fact that several parties were involved in the project in an early stage, and there was support for a new construction project on all levels.


From a 2009 contest, three designs were selected ultimately resulting into the winning design made by Bastiaan Jongerius. The multiple complex assignment included, in addition to landscape architecture disciplines, construction and installation technique, durability principles that have been involved into the development process from the very beginning.

Bastiaan: “I think our plan has been selected because it did justice to Unesco’s core qualities of World Heritage site De Beemster. For the design, we have paid attention to the landscape’s openness, the parcelling patterns and the Beemsterpolder’s geometric pattern. We chose one building, with its front side facing the Rijperweg and this results into a calmer view whereas it is better for the landscape’s openness.”

Geometrics and mathematics

Geometrics and mathematics are not only important elements for the dimensioning process for the Beemsterpolder’s design, but also for the constructional proportions of the archetypal building.

“The cheese factory’s design has a beautiful geometric structure with beautiful proportions. The new construction part is 220 m long, 56 m wide and 7 m high. The colonnade, a covered arcade, is made of laminated wood and has fixed square dimensions on the front side.”

This colonnade is in line with the recognizable Beemster tree lines. It is a contemporary geometric building that was designed referring to the windbreaks around the farm. However, the aim is not to have the trees withdraw the view on the building.

Partly underground

Unesco’s core quality involved in all cases that CONO Kaasmakerij had to be subordinate to the significant height dimensions of the church, the farm and the tree line. “The 7 meter height guarantees a view from passers-by on the Rijperweg on the horizon. The height limits imposed resulted into a part of the production process taking place underground. Additional costs for constructing underground remained on acceptable levels. Also, we needed to guarantee that moisture would not have a chance to have an impact on the cheese quality during the production process. If moisture appears, it will be ventilated out of the building through a hollow wall in the basement.

Durable construction

For the old cheese-making craft, wood plays an important role. Wood absorbs moisture that comes from cheese, and gets along well with relatively high humidity levels combined with temperature (changes). Originally, wood functioned as construction material for cheese factory as it plays an important role in the cheese-making process. Bastiaan: “The main construction is made out of steel. The surrounding colonnade is made out of durable Iroko wood that is finished off with Drywood Woodstain Equal Weathering. After that, the iroko wood can age.”

Durable construction goes beyond just wood. The transparent building allows daylight to enter freely and requires less artificial lights. For as far as possible, remaining power is reused for the cheese-making process. And energy management for one building is always more beneficial compared to that of multiple buildings. For the PVC roofing, a maintenance cycle of 30 years exists.

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