Could you give us an overview of Rockbuilding’s activities in the Portuguese market?

For over two decades, our core business has centered around integrated project management services in the real estate sector. We assist foreign developers across various stages, from acquisition and due diligence to urban planning, design, and construction. Our multidisciplinary team comprising architects, economists, civil engineers, and managers ensures comprehensive coverage through every phase of development. Leveraging my legal background, I guide Rockbuilding in assessing the viability of client acquisitions to minimize investment risks.

Besides sustainability, are there other innovative trends embraced by the local industry in Portugal?

Absolutely, Building Information Modelling (BIM) has emerged as a prominent innovation. We’ve witnessed significant progress using BIM, particularly in managing a major mixed-use project in Lisbon’s central business district. This technology has accelerated processes from design to construction, effectively balancing deadlines, budgets, and overall project quality, benefiting everyone involved.

What phases of the development process pose the greatest challenges in Portugal?

The licensing procedure’s complexity, particularly in Lisbon, remains a considerable challenge. This bureaucratic process often extends timelines beyond construction periods, dissuading foreign investments. Balancing permitting challenges with skyrocketing construction costs due to the pandemic proves demanding. As project managers, our role involves finding win-win solutions that maintain project quality amid these challenges.

How significant are foreign investors for your business?

While Portuguese developers manage in-house research and project management, foreign investors lack local insights. They rely on us to oversee all processes. Unlike many construction-focused firms, we offer comprehensive advisory services to foreign developers, guiding them from initial assessments to adapting business plans for the Portuguese market.

What opportunities do you foresee in the Portuguese real estate market for 2022?

There’s a notable scarcity of middle-class residential products alongside significant transformations in office spaces post-pandemic. We’re managing one of Lisbon’s largest office projects for the Fidelidade group, advising them on incorporating new office structures emphasizing employee well-being, such as lounge areas and open-air facilities.

What are your main objectives for the next two to three years?

We’re aiming for sustainable growth, particularly in substantial developments where we can offer our integrated services comprehensively. By 2026, our goal is to expand our service lines and potentially collaborate with GREENLAB, a sustainability advisory firm, to offer integrated project management services for sustainable projects. Adapting to innovative construction technologies prevalent in Europe but less so in Portugal is also a priority.

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