15 Mar 2021

Royal HaskoningDHV and Heineken share a history dating back to 1886. In a special article commissioned as part of our 140-year celebrations we look back at the origins of this most enduring client relationship. We also look at the events that led to the start of engineering firm Dwars, Heederik and Verhey, one of the predecessors of our current company.

Around the turn of the 20th century these founders Heederik, Dwars and Verhey embraced the most innovative material available to them – reinforced concrete –, to realise the improvements and expansion of the Heineken Brewery in Rotterdam. 

Erik Oostwegel, CEO Royal HaskoningDHV on this third chapter: “What struck me is the similarity between their approach to the Heineken projects back then and our recent scheme, despite them being almost 135 years apart. I see talented civil engineers at the forefront of innovation, maintaining a good relationship with their client. Instead of reinforced concrete however, we now use fully-integrated 3D models and digital tools to support Heineken in its global expansion, including on a greenfield brewery project in Vietnam in the shortest timeframe possible.”

The story is also a celebration of a long-term client relationship, Royal HaskoningDHV grew alongside Heineken allowing a strong partnership approach to develop. 

The founders of engineering firm Dwars, Heederik and Verhey 

Oostwegel continues: “Strong, long-term relationships with clients enable us to anticipate their future needs and innovate as they grow, or markets change. The story of our relationship with Heineken demonstrates this and can also be illustrated by our work for the brewery in Vietnam. As time to market is key in our client’s sector, we are constantly finetuning our fast track coordination process. Due to smart project management, such as running parallel processes from different locations, we managed to realise the first brew close to one year after the first pile was driven.”

“The passion to develop, innovate and co-create to deliver the best results with our clients is a thread that runs through our DNA. It started with Van Hasselt and De Koning in 1881 and continued with the three engineers who’s DHV initials are still part of our name today.”



140 years of inspiring stories so far

In 2021 we’re celebrating 140 years of operation. To mark this, we are treating you to nine great stories from our archives. 

After introducing our founding fathers Johan van Hasselt and Jacobus de Koning, who set up the first independent engineering firm in the Netherlands in 1881, we followed De Koning as he travelled to Egypt in 1889 to design a railway bridge across the Nile. The third story about Heederik, Heineken, Dwars and Verhey shows how choices made by our founding fathers around the turn of the 20th century laid the foundations for the company we are today.