Construction Enterprise Building a Better Future in Belgium and Beyond
Viabuild lives up to its motto, “Building your future”. This leading Belgian construction firm specialises in complex and extensive infrastructure projects, including road construction, civil engineering, sewerage systems and demolition. Viabuild has invested in the latest equipment and technologies to complete its projects to an exceptionally high standard, on time. In fact, the company’s guiding principles are quality, safety and protecting the environment. Viabuild has received VCA certification for employee safety and was recently awarded ISO 14001 certification for environmental protection.
General Manager Carl Van Den Eynde explains, “Viabuild has been operating for around 50 years but the name dates from around three years ago when several companies which were specialists in particular fields – such as demolition specialist Stallaert – merged to form Viabuild.” He adds that most of Viabuild’s current activities are in Belgium, particularly along the country’s major north-south corridors. He says, “We concentrate on Antwerp, Brussels and southern Belgium. Brussels has always been our core market. We handle anything to do with roads as well as sewage systems, asbestos removal, demolition – really anything involving infrastructure. We have around 750 employees and we achieve around €150 million in annual turnover. Viabuild is a medium-sized, family-owned business.”
Proven expertise in diverse fields
Viabuild’s diverse areas of expertise include demolition, asbestos removal, fireproofing, production of and construction with asphalt and mastic asphalt, soil decontamination, civil construction, excavation, production of concrete, recycling construction materials, installation and renovation of sewer systems, and special projects. Viabuild is especially well known for its road works and demolition projects. Two of the company’s most recent initiatives are the construction of a bridge crossing rail tracks in Ciney and the demolition of the AXA building in downtown Brussels.
As an infrastructure specialist, Viabuild mainly works for the public sector, which accounts for around 80% of the company’s current business. Carl Van Den Eynde believes that Viabuild’s infrastructure work for Belgium’s government will certainly grow, since the country urgently needs infrastructure upgrades. He explains, “Belgium comes in last among European countries in infrastructure spending, and the public is paying the price. Tunnels are in bad repair and sewer systems will begin to collapse. Politicians have been spending only on things which can be easily seen. The country cannot continue along this path.”
Expanding in southern Africa
While Viabuild will continue to operate in Belgium, the company aims to get involved in projects in southern Africa, particularly Zambia. Carl Van Den Eynde points out, “European companies have a good reputation in Africa because we offer higher quality than companies from many other countries, such as China. Belgium will always be Viabuild’s core market, but the Belgian market is not growing, while Africa offers outstanding potential.”
Viabuild also welcomes public-private partnerships in Belgium. Carl Van Den Eynde explains, “Public-private partnerships are a positive evolution and the right way to move forward. Belgium’s leaders need to invest more and improve the country’s transport infrastructure. PPPs can be the way to accomplish this. Viabuild is ready to help make Brussels the city it should be, the true capital of Europe.”
A company that lives up to its promises
Looking to the future, Carl Van Den Eynde’s goals for Viabuild are to continue to improve the quality of the company’s human resources and products, and to focus more strongly on expanding in Africa. He is very confident that Viabuild will reach these goals. Defining the company’s competitive edge, he says, “Viabuild is well known for living up to its promises and actually completing its projects and actually making an effort to expand in Africa. A lot of Belgian companies are talking about doing this but not doing it. Viabuild is all about doing things instead of just talking about doing them.”
Other advantages Viabuild offers are its cutting-edge equipment, its highly skilled team of professionals, its experience with a wide range of projects, and its lean, efficient management structure which allows for quick decision-making. Viabuild also has a strong track record in the difficult Brussels market. Carl Van Den Eynde points out, “It is not easy to work in Brussels, since most construction work must be done at night and on weekends. Viabuild has proven its talent and dedication to complete projects even when conditions are challenging. Whatever the job, if we have managed to do it in Brussels, we can do it anywhere!”
Five years from now, Carl Van Den Eynde predicts, Viabuild will be ranked the best infrastructure company in Belgium and will be very active in Africa. “We do not aim to be big. We want to be profitable with a strong reputation,” he says. He urges investors and the public sector to target infrastructure projects. He concludes, “People should not be afraid to invest in infrastructure because the returns on the investment can be phenomenal, and any money spent on infrastructure will create economic growth.”