Construction hubs (Bouwhubs)

The logistic costs in the construction industry are considerably high. It is also getting harder and harder to get deliveries to construction sites on time, due to increasing mobility problems. VIL, together with the research center of the construction industry (BBRI), is working out the project ‘Bouwhubs’ (which means ‘construction hubs’ in Dutch) to develop and test the concept of a construction hub.

status: Closed | theme: Hinterland Connection | type: Regional

This project is looking for solutions for the following problems: the inaccessibility of contructions sites (due to traffic, the ban of heavy vehicles in city centres, …), the increasing number of renovations (leading to more and smaller logistic flows), higher logistic costs and limited storage spaces of the construction sites.

A construction hub serve as a specific area where all the activities relating to transport, logistics and goods distribution for teh construction sites are carried out. One construction hub is meant to serve multiple sites, which makes it possible to achieve smart consolidation and economies of scale, not only on the construction sites also in the deliveries to the sites.


Construction hubs provide more efficient logistics, e.g. by decreasing the amount of shipments and fewer actions on the contruction sites. More efficient logistics to the construction sites also leads to decreasing costs,  e.g. by shorter waiting times. Less storage on the sites also prevents theft and damage.

Construction hubs create activities of value added logistics, like pre-manufacturing of materials.

From a social perspective, more efficient logistics can provide a positive effect on the environment and traffic. A contruction hub can also motivated companies to plan their deliveries in off-peak times.



  • A construction hub can be a smart connection between suppliers of construction materials and construction sites.
  • A construction hub is a place where flows of goods and materials can be centralized or possibly prefabricated before going to different construction sites in the area. It can offer services as storage, quality control, composition of construction packages, pre-assembly, just-in-time delivery, group deliveries and return logistics.
  • The biggest city in Flanders, Antwerp, was chosen as test environment of this project.
  • A simulation model calculated different scenarios for six construction sites in the city, comparing the situation with and without the use of a construction hub.
  • It simulated the total cost, as well as the CO2 emissions, the total transport distance, the number of transport movements in the city and the average load factor of the transports.
  • The results show that using a construction hub, the logistic costs can decrease with 42 %.
  • By using a construction hub, it is possible to organize the logistics more efficiently: the number of transport movements decrease and the average loading factor of transports increase significantly.
  • It also allows for better planning of the site activities.
  • Construction hubs also have a positive impact on the environment: 41 % less truck transports, which means less harmful emissions and less congestion in the cities.

Practical details

Start: april 2018
Total lead time: 30 months

Project partner

BBRI (WTCB in Dutch)

The Belgian Building Research Institute is a private research institute founded in 1959 by and for the construction industry. The organisation supports construction professionals in their daily activities.

Participating companies

Sixteen companies: Adimat-Bouwpunt, André Celis, Besix, Cordeel, De Rycke, Gyproc, H.Essers, Haex, Haven Genk, Kerkstoel 2000+, ODTH, POM Vlaams-Brabant, Shipit, De Vlaamse Waterweg, Verhelst bouwmaterialen, Willemen Groep.


Press (in Dutch)


VIL stands for strong logistics in Flanders


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