Dutch National Police digitizes real estate with BIMcollab Twin

In 2023, the Dutch National Police took an important step in setting up a future-proof digital real estate file using BIMcollab Twin. Over the past four years, all real estate has been fully inventoried and digitally mapped. And the police has quite a bit of real estate: 1.9 million square meters in over 1,000 buildings. The building information is now uniformly stored and centrally accessible via BIMcollab Twin. Ronald van Woezik elaborates on how BIMcollab Twin has improved the Dutch National Police real estate management.

Ronald van Woezik of the National Police

The Dutch National Police owns a lot of real estate that has to be maintained and renovated on a regular basis. Ensuring the correct building data is available is crucial in that respect. Ronald van Woezik was responsible for that in his role as Coordinator Cartotheek at the Dutch National Police. Over the past four years, he and his team have uploaded all real estate drawings and documents into BIMcollab Twin. His vision on the use and care of data are the basis of an interesting discussion about the experiences of the National Police with BIMcollab Twin.

Why the Dutch National Police chose BIMcollab Twin

The Dutch National Police already selected BIMcollab Twin in 2019. The implementation process was the start of a study led by Van Woezik into the question of how the platform could contribute to a future-proof digital real estate file. “The National Police wanted to manage all building plans centrally. And there is no less than 1.9 million square meters of real estate spread over more than 1,000 buildings, including police stations, offices and training facilities. So, it’s not surprising that the Cartotheek has grown in these years from two to eight central document managers. Together we ensure the optimization of data in BIMcollab Twin to create a successful implementation.”

Mapping out the real estate portfolio

Good decisions require good information, Van Woezik knows. Under his leadership, the team started measuring all real-estate in 2020 in order to accurately map out the entire real estate portfolio. “Basic information is needed about the square meters and functions of spaces in our objects”, he says. “The measurements were carried out in accordance with the applicable NEN2580 standard. We opted for a type A measurement, which means that all objects in all areas have been physically measured. The measurement of objects larger than 500 square meters was done by TEC partners. The smaller property objects were done by our team from the Cartotheek.”

With the architectural drawing, a universal underlay has been created that functions as a basic document for electrical engineering drawings, escape route plans that are necessary for all stakeholders like Facility Services, Sector Housing, contractors and suppliers.

Implementing BIMcollab Twin

Van Woezik was the connection between the internal organization and BIMcollab Twin during this implementation process. He describes some challenges he faced at the start of the process. “Monitoring the agreements made and the internal processes has been one of the team’s main tasks from the start. We also wanted to get BIMcollab Twin installed on our ‘on-premise’ solution. We managed to do this with some extra support from our ICT department and the advisory role of BIMcollab.”

Nationwide document management

The National Police chose BIMcollab Twin to set up a nationwide management process and make data available everywhere. During this inventory, a uniform method of managing drawings was also designed and implemented. All information is centrally stored at one location and made accessible via the document management system BIMcollab Twin. “The cloud solution provides a quick and easy up-to-date view of our floor plans and BIM models. In recent months, more than 100 Facility Services people have already been trained to use Twin and agreements have been made about updating the data.”

Extensive inventory results

The extensive inventory had a very concrete result when Van Woezik felt in 2020 that the existing information was not entirely correct. “But we didn’t know how much data would differ. In a pilot we had investigated 19 locations and it turned out that we had 7 percent less real estate under management than we thought. This significant difference confirmed that we had to look into this nationwide.”

Completing the implementation of BIMcollab Twin

The onboarding of BIMlink at the Dutch National Police is nearing completion, so training and workshops, among other things, are planned. Another next step is to process the collected data in the space management module and in Planon, the maintenance ticketing software available via an API on the BIMcollab Twin platform. “We have taken a big step with the measurement,” says Van Woezik. “Now we just have to put in the details. For example, we are working on a BIM protocol that will be the guideline for renewal and renovation projects. Project management is eagerly waiting for that.”

Setting up and making the enormous amount of the National Police real estate available on the Twin platform was quite a task. “We regularly want to optimize the platform and are pleased to see that BIMcollab Twin continues to develop with new features that are even better suited to our internal processes. We have now laid a good foundation for quickly finding our property information. Twin has many valuable features, but personally I find the 3D viewer very useful. It will also help us manage the BIM models that we hope to have for all our real estate soon.”