Arcardis subsidiary works to design new global headquarters in Netherlands

05 July 2017 Consultancy.uk

An Arcadis subsidiary has been recruited to assist in the design of the consulting firm's new head office in the Netherlands. CallisonRTKL, which will take the 20th floor of the building upon its completion, will work with Powerhouse Company and G&S Vastgoed to design and develop the space. The architectural firm has already released plans for “The Beacon” building, which will boast a variety of sustainability features, when construction begins in 2018.

Sustainable office space has been deemed as a must-have for executives seeking to boost their corporate responsibility profiles through making their operations sustainable, while improving their cost profiles - including Deloitte in Amsterdam's Zuidas and EY in Sydney. The move toward sustainable offices comes with a host of benefits, from a lower greenhouse gas and reduced environmental impact, to lower energy costs and facilities that encourage healthy staff behaviour. Several standards have arisen in recent years to audit efforts, including BREEAM and WELL.

While many organisations are keen to move into sustainable buildings to meet their needs, some professional services firms are taking a hand in designing their own future office space with sustainability in mind. One such effort has been made by design consulting firm CallisonRTKL, a subsidiary of Arcadis. The firm recently released its artistic rendering “The Beacon”, designed for a space in Amsterdam's Zuidas business district. The area – which is well known for its housing of key business headquarters in the city – will see a new 20 storey building rise.

“Beacon” – New global headquarters of Arcadis

In the development of its own greener headquarters, subsidiary CallisonRTKL will work with architects of the Powerhouse Company and developer G&S Vastgoed among others, to design and build the new space – and will become a 'launching tenant' in the building, filling the 20th floor with its personnel.

While no final decision has been made on the final features, current elements under consideration include a living roof, photovoltaic technology, solar fins and wind turbines. In addition, the design aims to maximally leverage sunlight, create healthy walking spaces and become BREEAM compliant.

Construction is expected to commence in 2018, with the building becoming operational in 2021. The building, aside from its office features, will include street level retail, residential units and a restaurant.

The goal is to create a unified, completely integrated development within the community, according to Jorge Beroiz ARB, RIBA, a design lead on the project. “We think the building strikes a traditional chord but is unabashedly contemporary in its geometry, use of materials and integration of technology.”

“Arcadis has been working on this development for quite some time, and I’m pleased to announce this project win and exciting development for the company so early in my tenure with Arcadis,” said Peter Oosterveer, CEO of Arcadis since Spring 2017. “This will be our global headquarters. The project must fully embody our core values as a global steward of the environment.”

Showing intent to expand its own sustainability advisory capacities, Arcadis recently acquired Environmental Strategies in Australia. 

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How data insights helped Network Rail improve the South-East route

11 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

Amey Consulting has leveraged data insights to assist Network Rail with the improvement of its South-Eastern route. Using the Quartz tool, which monitors train movement, Network Rail will now be able to commit to data-enabled interventions to quickly improve underperforming train stations.

With rail services in the UK coming under strain from the demands of modern commuter life, while the infrastructure and service delivery of the nation’s railways has come in for sustained criticism in recent years, a period of regeneration is on the cards at last. Network Rail is the owner and infrastructure manager of most of the railway network in Great Britain, and has subsequently tapped the consulting industry on a regular basis to help find areas of improvement.

The group recently drafted in consultancy BearingPoint to conduct a thorough organisational evaluation and advise Network Rail (High Speed) on attaining a ‘fit for purpose’ organisational standard – for which the consultancy was nominated at the 2019 MCA Awards. Meanwhile, ArupArcadis and Aecom have been contracted to help Colas Rail and Babcock Rail implement a decade-long framework for Network Rail, aimed at supporting the delivery of the next generation of rail systems, with the contracts said to be worth as much as £5 billion

How data insights helped Network Rail improve the South-East route

As Network Rail further aims to improve its performance and customer service offering, another area it has sought help from the consulting sector for is its South-East route. The network of railways connects London with the southern parts of the country, as well as with Europe, making it the busiest in the country, with more than 500 million passenger journeys per year. This crucial expanse of rail was plagued with small minute delays, which were impacting millions of passengers every day, while reducing the efficiency and capacity of the overall network – something Amey Consulting was selected to help solve.

Amey Consulting soon determined that with the sub-threshold delays to services only lasting for 1 or 2 minutes, most were not the subject of detailed root cause analysis, and this made their corrections almost impossible – with dire consequences. Without addressing these delays, passenger satisfaction would fall, while the capacity and efficiency of the network would be reduced, stinging the income of Network Rail even before a host of delay-related fines would hit the company.

In order to help the client gain a better understanding of where, how, when and what these small delays occur, Amey Consulting looked to demonstrate the value of data-led consulting, with a significant reduction in delays within the first month of rolling out changes to key stations. The consultants embedded themselves in Network Rail’s team, helping them learn the key skills needed to support and apply data-driven solutions.

Agile transport

This involved the deployment of the Quartz tool. The system utilises to-the-second train movement data to present the performance of individual stations across the South-East route. It allows users to effortlessly understand station performance with a high level of detail, and use this information to identify losses caused by small-minute delays. The granular data allows for targeted actions to drive efficiency savings and performance improvements. More importantly, it allows users to understand the impact of small process changes on performance. 

Steve Dyke, an Executive Partner at Amey Consulting, said of the project, “We looked to identify the physical root cause on the infrastructure, building a case for change then managing that project implementation and tracking the benefit/value.  In doing so we are working to define a data performance improvement service to the operational and infrastructure owners.”

Just as important for the project as the technology, however, was teaching the Network Rail team how to leverage it after the consultants were gone. The Amey Consulting team worked to develop an agile working culture within Network Rail’s South-East division, helping staff to be confident in using data to improve the journeys of millions of people per year by attacking the problem from the ground up.

Dyke concluded, “This is less about the tools and about the approach to managing performance.  It meant using by-the-second analysis, data science, and then agile development to visualise and identify areas where improvements can be made.  We then worked with NR to change the way they approached the management of the infrastructure changes.  So rather than pass the information down the value chain, any of which could have been missed, we managed the change end-to-end.”

The project was so successful that Amey Consulting was also among those honoured at the recent MCA Awards. The firm scooped the Performance Improvement in the Public Sector prize for its work with Network Rail, at the 2019 ceremony in London.