Van Kaam offers synthetic solutions to real-life challenges
TEXT: EVA MENGER | PHOTOS © VAN KAAM
From ice rinks to tiny houses made out of drain pipes: in addition to being the Netherlands’ top resource for hard PE (polyethylene) plastics, Van Kaam is known to be rather ingenious. Specialising in synthetic pipes, they offer just about everything needed for building an underground network – and if there is anything they cannot get their hands on, they will happily produce it themselves.
“When my father started this company back in the early 1990s, there wasn’t very much competition,” Bastiaan van Kaam tells us. Underground pipe networks used to be predominantly made out of concrete, which only lasts up to about 30 years. On the other hand, hard PE plastics are much more durable and can last up to 120 years. All pipes, fittings and attachments offered by Van Kaam are either PP (polypropylene) or HDPE (high-density polyethylene), so their clients will never have to worry about the unexpected release of chlorine, which can occur when using PVC.
They excel at creating tailor-made solutions, too. “We’ve worked on plenty of exciting projects over the years,” Van Kaam says. “From creating the entire cooling system at Thialf, one of the Netherlands’ largest, below-sea-level ice arenas, to developing solutions for a cleaner, safer and more sustainable environment with engineering company Tauw.” The latter is a particularly impressive project: the hard plastics supplied by Van Kaam have allowed Tauw to build an installation that prevents irresponsibly disposed of, single-use plastics from entering the sea.
The so-called ‘dirt trap’ is placed in the Lekhaven port of Rotterdam, where it catches plastic debris right where it enters the water. It is an innovative and effective solution to a very timely problem, and to prove its success, the local authorities of Friesland have also requested the development of a similar solution.
It is these kinds of projects which make Van Kaam stand out. “We like to take on a challenge every now and then,” Van Kaam confirms, “and in doing so, we’ll always support our clients with new ideas.” Another thing worth mentioning is that they offer extremely fast delivery. All national orders are delivered within 24 hours, and throughout Europe, they will get it to you in no less than 48 hours. “Now that is what we call service,” Van Kaam concludes.