27 (122) 2016
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Real Estate & Construction

Optimising construction processes

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Tender manager Piotr Duda describes the process of optimisation at CFE Polska.

CFE Polska has been present on the Polish construction market for two decades. It’s part of the multidisciplinary Belgian group CFE, active in PPP concessions, construction, real estate, installations and marine engineering.

Each investment carried out by the company follows the highest architectural and construction-related requirements, putting strong emphasis on safety culture and attracting attention with its elegance, uniqueness and high standard of performance. CFE carries out various projects as general contractor, including shopping centres, hypermarkets, office, residential and industrial buildings as well as hotels, using modern technology and highest quality materials. The best example of a project completed with the use of high technology is the GreenWings office building (located in Warsaw on ul. 17 Stycznia 48), which was awarded BREEAM certificate with a ‘very good’ rating. The primary goal in the construction of the building was to apply innovative solutions that would minimize the operating costs and optimize the working conditions, also thanks to the environment-friendly approach to design. We applied individual control and monitoring of electricity consumption, heating, cooling and water consumption as well as biological ‘green walls.’

Optimisation of construction processes at each stage of construction is necessary to complete a project in accordance with the investors’ vision and expectations. The process of optimising a construction project depends on many factors, of which the most important is the client’s needs; user and technical requirements, the object’s visual aspects. To complete the optimisation process properly, we must ascertain how the object will be used after it’s put into service.

Most importantly, we expect each employee to adopt CFE’s fundamental values to the largest possible extent. The key principles in the case of project optimisation and flexibility and professionalism. Each person, particularly in the tender department, who’s supposed to evaluate project solutions carries out a parallel valuation or develops a substitute project, asking themselves the following questions: is that what the investor needs? Is that really the optimal solution with regard to the relation between price and quality? Is the design of the construction-related solutions (reinforced concrete or steel constructions, roads) optimal? So the way to achieve successful optimisation involves full cooperation with the client and an open mind full of ideas.

From the perspective of the entire construction process, optimisation is possible at every stage and in relation to any unit (the client’s concept, the design studio, the tender department, construction). Yet from my point of view, we can achieve most in the tender department. The team responsible for preparing tender offers knows most about the costs of individual technical concepts and has at its disposal the widest range of dedicated solutions, which – along with prices – may at any moment be presented to the client.  Further optimisation is carried out also in CFE’s construction units. That is where the solutions adopted at the stage of preparing the offer are verified and perfected. Additionally, further optimisations conditioned by specific aspects of the construction are designed.

Everything depends on the client. We always adjust to the client’s requirements. Over the last years, we’ve noticed a growing interest in environmental aspects. Almost all office building and shopping centre projects are designed in such a manner as to receive a positive BREEAM or LEED certificate. Our clients appreciate our commitment to sustainable construction. Some solutions that used to be perceived as expendable luxury have now become standard. That’s partly thanks to the growing environmental awareness promoted by the Polish Green Building Council (PLGBC). CFE Polska is one of the Council’s founding members.

While taking the environmental aspects into account, we pay attention to the costs of constructing an object. That is where the tender department finds its potential and challenge. Depending on the design we receive, we are able to reduce the costs of its completion by even several dozen per cent without lowering the quality or giving up on visually vital elements (such as e.g. the elevation and the fit-out works). For years we have supported the view that high quality is ultimately less expensive. That is why all solutions we suggest are derived from reliable sources, beginning with a reliable constructor, architect, contractor, and ending with the manufacturer of the materials we use.

Our openness to the clients’ expectations can be seen on the example of numerous projects completed by CFE. One of them was a project we carried out in Skawina near Cracow over the course of more than ten years. It involved several redevelopments of our client’s – Valeo Autosystemy – premises. The trust we won at the beginning of the century continues to act as the foundation of our cooperation: we recently completed another stage of extending the Valeo Chłodnice, factory, including a large building comprising a medical centre.

We’re celebrating the 20th anniversary of our presence in the Polish construction business this year. We plan to diversify our work to function across a wider range of construction sectors, where we intend to obtain clients. We’re going to put an even greater emphasis on winning contracts in the industrial buildings sector. We’ve gained the trust of numerous clients in this field over the last two decades. The list of CFE’s satisfied clients includes Saint Gobain in Dąbrowa Górnicza, Sempertrans in Bełchatów, and  TMS International (formerly Tube City IMS).

M. Bralewska, 'CFE Polska – optymalizacja procesów budowlanych', Polski Przemysł, vol. 34, no. 4, 2016, pp. 94-97

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