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Engineering sustainable cycles


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“There is finally a change in ideas and materials in the construction industry, and in supporting technologies and IT developments like virtual reality, Internet of Things and blockchain technology,” states Nicolas Vyncke, Owner and Managing Director of the engineering company Ingenium NV since 2005.

“With building information modelling, BIM, we make a digital twin of a building that functions in virtual reality, and this allows us to optimize the setup of a building before it is even built. Finetuning a digital twin allows for cheaper constructions, prefab components and less time spent in actual building with less mistakes.”

Ingenium was founded by his father in 1968 and Mr. Vyncke noted that they both loved to be in the epicentre of change as engineers: first, it was about energy efficiency, then about sustainable building, and now it is all about countering the effects of climate change. He welcomes the social relevance and the impact on the future that his work has. This also attracts great engineers to his company, who thrive in an atmosphere of entrepreneurial spirit where people feel free to stand up and try something new.

Ingenium offers special expertise in engineering services for exceptional and very complex buildings, like hospitals – where technology literally determines life or death – data centers, museums, laboratories and cleanrooms. The critical complexity it is catering to can be found in the clients’ need for 24/7 reliability, security or extreme hygiene, as well as in new developments like the infrastructure for smart buildings, down to the level of an individual contact person.

“It is all about sustainability and innovation: we push our clients, architects and real estate owners to walk the extra mile in order to make their real estate more sustainable,” Mr. Vyncke explains. “Paradoxically, looking at the total cost of ownership and the cost throughout the entire life cycle, the more sustainable a building is, the more cost-effective it becomes.”

From its expertise in engineering, Ingenium is concerned with all parts of the life cycle of a building: the job is not just about a new building or a renovation project, but also includes the cost of using and maintaining the building and recycling materials as much as possible.

“Customer focus and cooperation are very important to us, as we combine our expertise with theirs in an open relationship,” says Mr. Vyncke. “Similarly, we are a member of the First Q Network in Europe, cooperating and sharing expertise and experiences with selected engineering companies in other countries.”