Structural draftsman Harrie Schoofs: 'Still having fun after 29 years'

Making construction drawings is a complicated task for many. For Harrie Schoofs (63), however, it is a routine task that he enjoys doing every day. Even after 29 years at Pellikaan.


After Harrie completed his construction studies, he started working at Pellikaan via an agency. From day one, this young construction engineer was responsible for producing so-called working drawings. In the early years, this was done in 2D on paper, using the AutoCAD programme. With time, this changed to Archicad; a programme that allows modelling in 3D. Harrie did not always find the development easy: ‘Sometimes I thought, how am I supposed insert the information to make it into something useful? Fortunately, I eventually got the hang of it and now I never have problems with it anymore’.



Harrie ensures that designs provided by architects are translated into drawings that the builders can actually use. This is why these should be as detailed as possible. Preparing the working drawings for a sports hall can take up to two or three months, but drawing out a swimming pool can sometimes take more than a year. At the moment, the draftsman is mainly working on sports halls. Currently in Dortmund where he is working on completing the building permit for a hall. Harrie would love to do more swimming pools again, because secretly he finds this the most beautiful work. An application has already been issued for a smaller swimming pool in Germany.


Working days

Why does Harrie work for Pellikaan Germany? ‘I rolled into it automatically, actually. I really like the German team and I still enjoy working for Pellikaan a lot. The work is varied and I’m never bored.’ Harrie creates as much variety as possible in his days, so he doesn’t spend a whole day doing the same work.

Of course, he does not tackle the projects on his own. He works closely with project coordinators, estimators and contract managers. For every project, these roles are filled by different colleagues.


Most exciting project

According to Harrie, everyone at Pellikaan takes their responsibility: ‘The things that need to be done are really dealt with’. This results in beautiful end products that the team is proud of every time. However, Harrie is most proud of one particular swimming pool project twenty years ago in Germany: Badeparadies Eiswiese in Göttingen, where you could look 100 metres into a swimming pool. He won’t soon forget the Freizeitbad Nass in Arnsberg either. But Harrie actually likes every project, each time in a different way.



According to the perfectionist, the biggest challenge is ‘getting everything right’. For instance, there must be no mistakes in the drawings and everything has to be right down to the last detail: ‘I don’t like making mistakes in my drawings. I just don’t want that. In any case, if a project becomes too difficult, you shouldn’t wait too long to get help. That way you don’t get stuck with a question for too long.’ If the deadline for an assignment gets dangerously close, Harry simply works an extra hour every day. It has never happened to this hard worker that he did not complete his task on time.


Recharging batteries

When Harrie is not at work, he often rides his bike. He has been doing sports cycling since he was 13, including 10 years of road races and later recreational road and outdoor cycling. Also, the bike always goes with him to Poland, the homeland of his wife, Małgorzata. A nice way to recharge his batteries after all his hard work at Pellikaan!



Gert-Jan Peeters

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