Speaking at BR’s recent Environmental and Sustainability Summit 2021 about the role of developers in building and maintaining sustainable communities, Constantin Sebeșanu, CEO of Impact Developer & Contractor, believes that by creating viable, eco-friendly residential projects will increase life quality not just for the people of those communities, but for the entire city as a whole.
“There are two ways through which we develop large and sustainable communities. On one side we have communities that we have started years ago, like Greenfield Baneasa, which is our core project, and we need to transform them in sustainable communities. And then we have the new developments which we are planning, and from the start, we already have all the sustainability criteria that we are committed to”, Sebeșanu started his intervention.
Sustainability, a trend, a fad, or a must?
“I am often asked if sustainability is a trend or it’s a fad. I say it’s a must. We need to create viable communities, and enhancing the lifestyle of the people is not something that we need to push. It’s coming anyway. We just need to stay ahead a little bit.
We have just finished a research within the Greenfield Baneasa community which will be published next week, and in one of our focus groups a question was how did you experience the pandemic in Greenfield? About 85 percent responded that the only place where they would want to live during these times was their house in Greenfield, which for us is extraordinary.
Building sustainable communities is not easy. From mobility, to waste management, from the near-zero emission buildings that were planning, to the BREEAM Excellent standards to be implemented. Coming back to Greenfield Baneasa, we just got the permit to implement geothermal energy that will not only bring down carbon emissions but will also reduce costs and turn us into a more affordable community. We are also probably the first real estate developer to build a public school and a public garden within our grounds.
A year ago, we also brought public transport to Greenfield Baneasa. We have two lines coming there to reduce traffic within the community. We also plan to have a magnetic train within the community. But just by bringing the school there, imagine how much time our residents are saving. You give quality time to the family. They can spend with their kids the two hours they would have spent in traffic. And through this, you reduce traffic in the whole city not just in our community.
We are funding now a research for waste management and we have a department of R&D where we are looking for sustainability solutions. For the new projects like Greenfield Copou in Iasi, we are already implementing solutions like photovoltaic panels, for example. They are already a standard in our new developments. Personally, I am very committed to this, as is the whole company, and as I said, this is not a trend or a fad, it’s a must, and we all need to go in this direction.
It’s important for us to get smart financing because this is the way through which we can implement our solutions. And also I think that the end user, our client, should have access to smart financing also if he’s going to come in our neighborhoods. This will cut costs for both sides and we’ll be able to use the excess money for more such projects”, explains the Impact Developer & Contractor CEO.
Watch Constantin Sebesanu’s intervention during the Sustainable Communities panel at #ESS2021
Thorough research when choosing a new project
“We’re doing very thorough research when we start a new project, we’re not just finding a new land and develop it. For example, when we started our newest project, Iasi was chosen out of seven other cities and I can tell you that within our company everybody was betting on Cluj or Timisoara. But Iasi was the winner because we are doing thorough research when we made this decision. Our developments are big, between 10 to 50 hectares. We feel comfortable around 25 to 30 hectares, so we are actually building small cities, therefore we need to plan them well and we need to plan ahead of us. It takes 3 to 4 years to plan and develop a project like this. It’s not something that you do overnight based on an opportunity. We are with our customers for a lifetime” Sebeșanu says.
What’s next for Impact Developer & Contractor
“We are planning a new project; it will be probably announced soon. We are trying to shift things a little bit and move to the lease area and create affordable housing for rent. We are trying a diversification of our core business and I think soon we will announce a big project in this direction”, concluded Constantin Sebeșanu.