ZIN Openminds

ZIN Project – MIPIM Awards & a novel approach for the management of Joint Ventures / Design & Build


80 employees sharing over 100,000 documents - all without learning a new platform. Cooperlink’s futuristic approach to communication helped the ZIN project on the road to becoming a finalist in the “Best Futura Project” category at the 2022 MIPIM Awards.

Cooperlink’s open document sharing platform allowed construction teams in the joint-venture to share documents without learning a new system.

The two primary contractors needed a solution which would facilitate information sharing, but without the risks associated with duplicating files or learning new environments. Cooperlink proposed their solution, which formed a bridge between the contractors’ existing systems to make the sharing invisible.

As an additional bonus, the contractors were able to provide the sub-contracting teams with access to a subset of the documents through the Cooperlink web interface.

Source: Befimmo

The ZIN project in the North district (Brussels), developed by Befimmo with the architects Jaspers- Eyers Architects , 51N4E, AUC and produced by the CFE group and the contractors BPC, Van Laere and engineering office VMA, is a bold project both in terms of its architecture and its design. It should come as no surprise that the teams involved in the joint venture took an equally innovative approach to managing the project communications and construction materials.

More info on https://www.befimmo.be/en/portfolio/zin

Key figures

3 partners
Partners in the Joint Venture : 2 contractors + 1 design office
Engineers who benefit every day from Cooperlink in complete transparency
Documents that are exchanged in the Joint Venture
15 min.
The time needed to set up Cooperlink
Anytime you have more than one organisation involved in the project, you run a real risk of having teams using different software in their normal way of working. Sharing information in manifold through non-connected systems is difficult to keep up to date. Despite the best efforts and manual operations, the situation is chaotic. As for imposing something new? Let's not talk about the learning efforts required.

The challenge: sharing files within the Joint Venture

For Joint Venture (JV) / Design & Build projects, collaborating, communicating, exchanging and validating information, in compliance with the BIM methodology, across organizations is a major challenge. The complexities include:

  • Different organizations & independent actors
  • Multiple tools
  • Risk of errors or approximations

Traditionally in a Joint Venture, the lead player in the project imposes a common platform on all the partners. While this makes it possible to manage the information of the project, it fails to take into account different ways of working. This seemingly simple approach often provokes resistance, frustration and errors from partners who choose to keep working on their own tools and, above all, have their own copy of the project data.

The solution: Cooperlink EMPOWER

The teams at BPC and Van Laere were already familiar with Cooperlink’s solutions, having previously used them on a project. They came to the startup for a solution which would allow for collaboration on a construction project without the traditionaldifficulties.

Cooperlink proposed their EMPOWER solution, which enables JV employees to work the same way as normal, while sharing the needed information and materials invisibly. Cooperlink connected the systems of the different contractors to each other through a common, secure data network. The 80 employees on the ZIN project continued to work in their respective standard environments with the software they knew well.

And as a bonus, Cooperlink offered the JV team, its partners and subcontractors access to a web interface where they could share a subset of the documents without having to integrate further systems who had limited needs to collaborate.

The BPC and Van Laere teams experienced less frustration, less necessity to oversee change management, and better productivity. Cooperlink guaranteed everyone involved always had up-to-date data, and provided better traceability of the evolution of the project.

Each partner has real-time data at their fingertips. This real network organization connected to everyone's tools, centered around a common project, makes it possible to keep a central, coherent and panoramic view of all projects, while respecting the independence and habits of each company involved in the project.

Key features

Seamless B2B network
A common workspace shared between the tools of the 2 primary contractors.
Secured & resilient
The Cooperlink technology ensures encryption and real-time connexion.
Web app for users
The users benefit from a web application to get notified about updates.
Web app for guests
Non connected partners can securely join the workspace via a user-friendly web app.

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