BTDConstruct & Ambient is looking to boost its turnover this year and continue its digital transformation journey. Razvan Parvulescu, the company’s business development coordinator, spoke to Business Review about ongoing projects and making the transition to sustainable materials and operations in the construction industry.
By Ovidiu Posirca
What are your main financial targets for this year and what are the priorities of your business strategy?
Given our current construction projects and our plans to diversify and expand our portfolio, we expect to maintain the company’s growth level and reach a new turnover benchmark by the end of the year. In terms of strategy, we aim to remain resilient amid current market conditions and to complete the last phase of BTDConstruct’s digital transformation.
Which property segments are driving demand for BTDConstruct & Ambient’s services this year? Is there a split between Bucharest and regional cities?
The residential sector takes up to 95 percent of our portfolio and we focus mainly on the Bucharest market and its surroundings. We have solid partnerships with pre-eminent developers such as Speedwell, Atenor, Liebrecht & wood, NEPI Rockcastle or Hagag. Over the past few months, we have focused on the following projects: H Pipera Lake, Liziera de Lac, The Ivy, Vulcan Residence, Stejarii Residential Club II, Danielopolu, Up-site by Atenor, and the underground structure of the Promenada Mall extension, which goes beyond the spectrum of residential construction.
There is a clear advance in Bucharest compared to the other big cities, considering that this area alone generates roughly 30 percent of the 70,000 new dwellings delivered nationwide every year. At the same time, there are other aspects such as local market size and purchasing power which are fuelling growth in the capital at a more rapid pace than in other cities.
Is the disruption of supply chains still a challenge for construction firms in Romania? How are you managing this risk?
It is still a challenge, and in our opinion, it will be the new normal for a while, at least until all the mechanisms involved are recalibrated. For this reason, the supply chain needs to be shorter than it used to be, therefore less exposed to factors that may delay deliveries. In conclusion, it is now essential to identify suppliers in closer proximity, even if it may not be the best option cost-wise. Fortunately, our internal working model has provided successful coordination at each operational level, thanks to superior planning of each construction phase and the afferent material requirements for our construction sites, which has been perfected by our exceptional team at BTDConstruct & Ambient.
How can Romania increase its manufacturing capacity for construction materials? How can the private sector support such initiatives?
New private investments in the manufacturing field are very important for the stability of the Romanian construction sector. Domestic production can lead to faster supply, a limitation of speculative imports and major price variations, and an overall solid economic development that our country needs. For example, we have been very interested to learn about the latest developments in the local steel sector. I am referring to the acquisition and the plan to restart operations at the COS Targoviste steel plant, which represents a substantial step forward for the internal steel market. On our side, we believe we can support such initiatives by building our supply chains inside the country as much as possible.
What are some solutions that can boost the sustainability of the construction sector?
In our opinion, sustainability in the construction sector can only be reached after a profound modernisation of the entire industry. Progress has been made in the construction field in recent years, but the transition process is complex and that is why we expect the change in practices to take longer. A paradigm shift should be encouraged across real estate developments, namely the transition from a focus on construction costs to a project’s lifecycle or durability over time. Moreover, the concepts of sustainability and energy efficiency must first be mastered by real estate developers and included in the projects they intend to carry out. It is also essential to take action to limit speculative construction, as it does not meet sustainability standards and it is detrimental to the city and its inhabitants.It is important to mention that all the developers with whom BTDConstruct & Ambient collaborates have implemented the nZEB standards, and our company has also integrated them in all phases of construction.
In terms of evolution, it is very clear that sustainable projects will occupy even more of the spectrum of new construction, and BTDConstruct & Ambient strongly supports the industry’s move towards the efficient use of resources. In fact, for some time now, our projects have integrated sustainable solutions such as thermal insulation, waste management or measures to eliminate the negative impact of the site on its surrounding area. Moreover, we hope to soon witness the start of the industrialisation process in the construction sector (with prefabricated, integrated systems), which will lead to a higher level of optimisation.
How do you approach the topic of digital transformation?
If we were to make a comparison with other sectors of production or services, we must admit that the construction industry is perhaps the least modern. That is why the digitalization of internal processes is a permanent concern for BTDConstruct & Ambient.
As a first result, the company successfully uses the BIM system for day-to-day activities in architectural, structural, and MEP works, and by the end of the third quarter of this year, it will be fully digitalized.
New technologies available for the construction industry are making major contributions to streamlining operations, project planning processes, rational use of resources, waste management, and increased market competitiveness.
What kinds of specialists are in high demand on the local construction market and how do you attract and retain talent?
The labour shortage can be observed both in specialised site management positions as well as at the level of skilled craftsmen and workers.
In this context, attracting professionals and keeping employees in the company are key aspects of our business strategy. We run awareness and recruitment campaigns for key positions in site management. Moreover, we are seeking to integrate young talents and graduates of construction universities into the organisation through on-the-job development programmes. The company also promotes side-by-side growth programmes, which allow participants to gain knowledge and skills in several business areas.
Our aim is to train professionals with complex and complete expertise and to find the right role in the organisation for each employee, so they can reach their professional potential and have the best performance.