Designing with ANT: more impact through digital working

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Thema’s als duurzaamheid, circulariteit en biodiversiteit zorgen voor toenemende complexiteit in onze opgaven, zoals het realiseren van infrastructurele kunstwerken. Meer disciplines, meer data en complexere integrale ontwerpopgaves zijn het gevolg. Meer datagedreven en digitaal werken in projecten stelt ons in staat meer impact te maken. Dit is ook de focus van onze gezamenlijke digitaliseringsopgave voor 2024. ANT, het  online ontwerp- en procesbeheersplatform ontwikkeld door CollaborAll en Witteveen+Bos, is een mooi voorbeeld van hoe we dit al doen.

Marc Taken, group leader for BIM coordination and process automation, tells the latest developments around ANT. Together with Gert Karrenbelt and Jan Willem Katouw (Collaboral), Marc is one of the initiators.

Data flows

'We identified many opportunities in integral design projects of infrastructure structures to improve cooperation and connection in the chain.' The originally 'vertical' data flows were a major cause, which left data exclusive to one technical discipline or department. 'The ANT platform with its linked tooling allows data to flow 'horizontally'; between different chain partners and/or between different disciplines. This makes it a thing of the past that changes by and wishes of parties in the chain were not noticed by the other stakeholders or were noticed with a delay'.

Succesful implementation in big projects

The introduction of ANT makes it possible to set up the design process quickly and flexibly and to monitor quality and progress during both the design and realisation phases. The online platform has now been successfully deployed on major infrastructure projects in the Benelux. Examples include the main Lemmer-Delfzijl waterway, ViA15, Zuidasdok, BAAK (Blankenburg connection) and the Oosterweel connection. The software is continuously refined and extended by developer CollaborAll and our experts and is now ISO 27001 certified and thus 'cyber secure'.

The core of ANT

The core of ANT lies in managing, streamlining and unlocking all data used in infrastructure projects such as roads, tunnels or bridges. The online tool facilitates a central location for this data with access for all parties involved. Marc: 'As a result, every specialist - both internal and external - works in real time on the basis of the same up-to-date data. Think of calculations, drawings and design. This means there is a single source of truth, which ensures better designs, which are also created faster and at lower cost.'

Integration with different software

Automatic links (APIs) with commonly used software or sources such as SCIA Engineer, Plaxis, Excel, Python, Revit, Relatics and the MKI database enable the integration of data within ANT. Where necessary, new APIs are developed with other software.For users, ANT also provides in-depth functions such as dashboards for progress, tasks and the status of these tasks, to monitor and improve processes in terms of content as well.

The power of parametric design

The further development of ANT ensures that users can also harness the power of parametric design when working on artworks. This ranges from retrieving and visualising with BIM 360 and GIS, to generating fully substantiated designs.'The integrated traffic bridge tool is a good example.It guides the user through calculations, calculation report and calculation model, drawing and drawing model.Moreover, the module learns continuously based on knowledge from previous projects,' Marc emphasises.

Generative design

Currently, an in-situ bridge and a bridge with precast girders can be automatically calculated and generated. In future, wood and steel will be added, allowing all design variants to be generated quickly.'Generative design saves time and makes room to make better choices, for example by giving more weight to the CO2 impact or MKI and/or by looking at how to boost biodiversity in the broader context of the design task. It is also a powerful tool to better include the client in the design process and in making choices.You can literally show the effect of choices on the design, for example in execution or budget.'

Digital maturity

It is great developments like these that allow us as a company to grow in our digital maturity and that flesh out our vision of working digitally a little more every day.


Infrastructural projects are very complex. Data is exchanged among all parties involved. ANT makes it possible to improve this process.
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Marc Taken Groupleader BIM modeldevelopment and coordination