“...Pleasantly surprised that construction can be so unproblematic“
In the past, big construction companies had their own building yards. Then a new trend emerged, where construction companies would rent the expensive tools from leasing companies. “Banzhaf”, has been a dealer and leaser of “Potain” cranes and services since 1972, being based in Berlin. In this time, their numbers have gone up and up like the weights lifted by their cranes: in 1995 they had 100 cranes, in 2017 they have over 250. We asked the company's owner, Werner Haase, about the secret to his success, and about his experience of the construction of the warehouse.
Mr. Haase, you more than doubled the cranes you owned between 1995 and 2017. Why do construction companies value your services so much?
We supply crane logistics with an all inclusive service package. Our clients don't have to worry about anything. They give us a call, and it all starts there. We advise them, chose the best position for the crane, work out the best crane design for their needs, make sure it will stand steady, give them details about the foundation requirements, transport the crane using our own transportation systems, and offer commercial as well as logistical support. When the construction is finished, we dismantle it all again.
You built a new warehouse and workshop in 2014. Didn't you have enough space anymore?
We had rented a plot of land in Berlin Zehlendorf up to that point, but it had become too small. The amount of cranes we had had doubled, not to mention everything else. We don't just work domestically, but also internationally. That's why it was so important for us to find the right place to be, with the right logistical connections and a place with scope for the future. We finally found that place in 2010 and bought it.
What happened next?
We developed our new place slowly and steadily. We invited “phs”, a project consulting agency from Greifswald (north east Germany), to help us with the planning. We were also supported by an engineering bureau in Berlin who specialised in special ground conditions. After we had guaranteed the stability of our cranes, we made the building application for the new warehouse.
You asked HAB to carry out the work. How did you know the company? Why did you decide to go with us?
Our project consulting agency lead us to HAB. They said “That's a great construction company for building halls and warehouses”. That was enough to convince us.
What special requirements did the warehouse need to have?
First of all, it had to be big enough for us. We needed lots of entrances and roller doors. And it had to be built so we could make the most of the daylight available to us in order to save energy. That wasn't a problem for HAB. They did everything as we asked. To our delight, the construction manager on site patiently listened to the new ideas, which we had first had during the building phase, before getting his team onto it and quickly making them a reality.
On a building site, many trades work together. Good coordination is important. How do you think that went with HAB?
HAB coordinated work with the project consultancy agency as well as the construction company on site without a hitch. It all ran like clockwork. The assembly of the warehouse was perfectly prepared, there was always a competent construction manager on site, and the managing director, Andreas Pörsch, visited regularly to check on progress. HAB kept all their promises, and they worked in a way as not to hinder other groups who had to work on the site at the same time. In addition to all this, we received regular construction reports.
Where there any challenges to overcome during the construction phase?
If there were any, we didn't notice. We were pleasantly surprised at how unproblematically such a project can be carried out. HAB assembled the basic framework of the warehouse, then put its shell on. And then we had our tape cutting ceremony!
See the testimonial for »Banzhaf«