A solid partnership. That’s what it takes.

A solid partnership. That’s what it takes.

A look at the three-way relationship between UMCG, Visser & Smit Bouw and Wagenborg Nedlift

New construction UMCG

University Medical Centre Groningen (UMCG) has been adding to and renovating its complex extensively in recent years. For example, there is a brand-new, ultramodern UMC Groningen proton therapy centre, the first of its kind in the Netherlands. UMCG is also building a “hot floor”, consisting of the renovated surgery centre, the emergency admissions and intensive care unit for adults, and two hybrid operating theatres on the site of the hospital’s former courtyard garden.


VolkerWessels company Visser & Smit Bouw is one of UMCG’s partners and is making a major, long-term contribution to the building and renovation work being carried out within and around the hospital. Wagenborg Nedlift is responsible for the necessary lifting activities, among other things.

Fine co-operation

UMCG, Wagenborg Nedlift and Visser & Smit Bouw clearly have a close working relationship; witness the many excellent results that they have achieved in recent years. What makes this partnership so strong? To find out, we asked Wil Heikamp (UMCG Environment Coordinator) and Marcel Kramer (Chief Superintendent of Visser & Smit Bouw) a number of questions.

How long has Visser & Smit Bouw been working for UMCG?

“We’ve worked with Visser & Smit Bouw for three years,” says Wil Heikamp. “We selected Visser & Smit Bouw purely on the basis of their presentation and their unique capacity to tackle the hot floor project. And they’ve lived up to expectations. Every day, we’re very happy that we selected Visser & Smit Bouw.”

What’s been the highlight for you during the recent construction works?

“The fact that we cooperated constructively and on an equal level,” says Heikamp. “As a result, the most complex job, building the hot floor in the old courtyard garden, ultimately went much more smoothly than expected. I’m very proud of that.” “And,” adds Kramer, “in the end we built a structure no less 32 metres tall on a site the size of a postage stamp. I think that’s a real achievement.”

Why did you select Wagenborg as your partner?

“It’s a matter of trust,” says Kramer. “We’ve known eachother for a long time, and we chose to work with Wagenborg based on that relationship and our experience with them.” “The quality of the work, the professionalism, is embedded in the company,” Heikamp adds.


How do you get on with Wagenborg Nedlift and with each other?

“We have a three-way relationship that works very well,” says Heikamp. “But we also work well with all the other parties involved in our activities. We give a little and we get something in return. We are constantly investing in relationships. It’s the basis for all our shared successes. It’s the people who make the difference. I think it’s very important to invest in people and relationships.”

What are the unique features of Wagenborg Nedlift? How did you notice that in daily working practice?

“It’s unbelievable to see how Wagenborg Nedlift employees hoist heavy loads. Everything is completely under control and very stable. The employees are always on time and very well mannered. That’s very important. But I can say the same about Visser & Smit Bouw,” Heikamp adds. 

Safety is paramount at UMCG, Visser & Smit Bouw and Wagenborg Nedlift. Were the three companies a good match in this field?

“We’re used to working safely at Visser & Smit Bouw. It’s standard practice for us, as it is for Wagenborg Nedlift. We both have a lot of experience working in the oil and gas industry and similar sectors. Safety at work is crucial,” says Kramer.


“Our building projects always come second. Top priority are our patients. Without exception. Our work must take a back seat to our patients’ wellbeing,” adds Heikamp.


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