Intention: VDL and Van Wijnen join forces in the fight against housing shortage

Intention: VDL and Van Wijnen join forces in the fight against housing shortage

24 February 2021

VDL Groep and Van Wijnen intend to work together for many years. After going through the internal procedures, VDL will start industrially producing demountable modules for construction in Friesland from 2022. Examples include complete bathrooms, toilets and plant rooms. These modules will then be installed at Van Wijnen construction sites, ready to use.

The demand for homes in the Netherlands is high, but the supply of available and affordable homes is lagging far behind. To meet that demand, no fewer than one million homes must be built by 2030. The number of new-build homes to be completed this year is estimated at 60,000, instead of the necessary 100,000. VDL and Van Wijnen combine their knowledge and experience with industrialisation, innovation and construction to contribute to solving the housing shortage.



The production of industrialised building modules can significantly reduce the construction time of a home on site, from approximately 60 days to just 24 hours. Also, this industrialised approach contributes to sustainability: the number of transport movements on construction sites can be limited substantially, drastically reducing CO2 emissions. After completing the internal procedures, the current activities of VDL Bus Heerenveen will be transferred to other VDL Bus & Coach production companies in the course of 2022, in phases. This creates flexibility that will strengthen VDL’s bus activities. 



VDL’s new activity in Heerenveen offers employment to all 150 employees. After retraining, all employees at VDL Smart Spaces (the new company name) will carry out work for the building modules or, through secondment, work at the new housing factory of Van Wijnen, which is being built a stone’s throw from the VDL Bus Heerenveen site. Some of the employees will continue to work for VDL Bus & Coach in Heerenveen.


President and CEO of VDL Groep, Willem van der Leegte: ‘In a prosperous country like the Netherlands, everyone deserves an affordable roof over their heads. With this collaboration with Van Wijnen, we combine the strength between construction and innovation in the industry, we keep our employees in Friesland at work sustainably and we can contribute to the realisation of affordable homes through the industrialisation of the construction process.’


Industrialisation of construction

Van Wijnen’s CEO Peter Hutten: ‘The collaboration with VDL is the next step towards far-reaching industrialisation of construction. With VDL, one of the largest players from the Dutch high-quality manufacturing industry is joining the construction sector. The knowledge and network of VDL, for example, from the automotive industry and with automation and robotisation, can be used for the production of parts for our future-proof and affordable Fijn Wonen homes. This product offers comfortable homes that can be realised fast. Together, we make a substantial contribution to solving the housing shortage in the Netherlands.’


About Van Wijnen
Van Wijnen (1,900 professional enthusiasts, 24 locations) initiates, develops, realises and manages property in the domains of living, care, learning, working and recreation. We are committed to affordable housing throughout the Netherlands. For vital communities where everyone feels at home. And for a sustainable construction process with an eye for generations to come. That is why we are fully committed to innovation. Examples include our industrialised housing solutions from Fijn Wonen, our living lab at De Loskade in Groningen, participation in Project Milestone for 3D concrete printed houses and Fundahuis.

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