The TU/e spin-off B-invented has devised a way of building that is more efficient, more effective, and cheaper. Joost Huijgen and Gijs Schalkwijk are the original pillars of the company that now numbers 25 FTEs. Together with Associate Professor Faas Moonen, the pair developed a technique that makes the laying of foundations quicker and cheaper: B-smart. “It enables a considerable reduction in the total construction period.”

They realize profit mainly in the manufacturing of the girder. This happens back in the factory, leaving only the concrete to produce. This is poured only at the construction site, into the (steel) formwork. There are a lot of benefits to working in this way, says Huijgen.

“We can reduce the construction period by 75 percent. And bring down construction costs. It ends the dependence on a range of parties. Our company provides the entire process, from start to finish. Sustainability is the final benefit. Our approach needs 40 percent less concrete.”

Perfect girder

The entrepreneurial spirit was already alive during their degree program in Architecture, Building and Planning. “Associate Professor Faas Moonen had the idea. We tested it in the market. Is it feasible? What obstacles will we face? This is how we arrived at the perfect girder.” Today B-invented is a renowned company with dozens of employees. “Our company consists of three divisions: Engineering, Production and Realisation.”

Huijgen explains: “Our engineers calculate and design the entire concrete base-course, using software we have developed. The construction elements are produced in our own factory. Next, our placement team ensures that the foundations are rock solid. This is how we do everything ourselves. Which is not only much more efficient, it also diminishes the likelihood of errors.”