Bolidt from Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht, the Netherlands, as a specialist in antimicrobial and hygienic floor systems, has been awarded a major international assignment from Oxford University. In the coming months, new laboratories will be set up at the prestigious biochemistry faculty. This increases Oxford's capacity to conduct research, including into a vaccine against Covid-19. The university is currently busy conducting studies into the spread of coronavirus and a potential vaccine against it. Family business Bolidt has been asked to install its hygienic floor systems in the new laboratories. Given the strict safety and hygiene requirements of both the UK and Oxford University, this is a complex task.
The laboratories of Oxford University's biochemistry faculty are among the largest and most important in the world. The Biochemistry Building was built 12 years ago to a design by the renowned architectural firm Hawkins\Brown. The faculty is being expanded due to the strong growth in biochemical research. The delivery of the new faculty and the expansion of its research capacity are very welcome; the university aims to make full use of its research capacity, especially given that studies into Covid-19 are in full swing.
Biochemical research requires strict measures in regards to hygiene and safety. Public health studies demand the highest quality. For that reason, Oxford University, Hawkins\Brown and Bolidt partnered 12 years ago to install hygienic flooring systems in the Biochemistry faculty. The university is still very satisfied with the performance of the floors. It was therefore clear to Oxford that Bolidt should also supply the floors to the extension of the Biochemistry Building. The family business will carry out the work in the coming 4 months with its own application teams – specialists in applying anti-microbial and hygienic Bolidt floors.
That the quality of the floors was decisive for Oxford is evident from the extra efforts they have made to enable an overseas-based company to do the work during the coronavirus crisis. “Because of the requirement for the highest quality and experience with cleanrooms and laboratories, the selection of a Dutch company – Bolidt - was decisive, despite all the difficulties of travelling to and from the UK with our own people and materials,” says Maurice Steijn, Director Export Division of Bolidt. “In the preliminary phase, we had to arrange numerous things relating to both safety and quality. Could we get our people and equipment into the UK? Did employees first have to be quarantined? Which coronavirus protection measures applied at the construction site? Ultimately, there were no entry and exit restrictions at the time of the contract signing, but in these times we must always anticipate all possible scenarios. Naturally, the coronavirus rules on construction are taken into account and our people work in a safe and healthy way.”
Because Oxford wanted to expand its research capacity as quickly as possible, Bolidt was subject to extremely high time pressure, according to Steijn.
“There were only 4 days between the final order confirmation and the start of the job. Normally this would be a period of 4 to 6 weeks. Because the accelerated delivery was so important, we did everything we could to help Oxford. Our own production department has produced 45,000 kilos of material at full speed. The logistics department then immediately transported the material. A day later it was already at the construction site. Our application teams were able to get started right away.”
According to Steijn, Bolidt's business strategy has been decisive. When founded in 1964, the family business chose to keep the entire value chain in its own hands. Production, purchasing, logistics, R&D, sales, marketing – everything is done from the company’s head office in Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht. Steijn: “It is only possible to react so quickly if you, as a company, can rapidly respond to each other, if you can immediately consult one another and prepare a job in detail. Because we have the value chain in our own hands, all parts of a project are very closely linked and our employees can react extremely quickly. Bringing in, preparing and executing the assignment for Oxford is a real team effort.”Ask a question
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