Evidence of how fast the world is changing is everywhere. In the middle of all this change, Implenia has embarked on its own active transformation process so that it can do even more to help shape the spaces where people live in future. “Built to Build” not only describes the result of the recent realignment, but also stands as a clear mission statement for each individual project: Implenia develops, plans and constructs buildings and infrastructure for future modern life.
André Wyss, CEO of Implenia, and Daniel Hall, Professor of Innovative and Industrial Construction at the ETH Zurich, give two perspectives on the challenges and opportunities presented by the new world of construction.
What excites me is the degree to which Implenia can influence how people live, work and move around in future.
André Wyss CEO
Daniel Hall’s academic work focuses on the nature of the upheaval within the construction sector as it moves towards a new way of building: “Reorganising Today for Innovation Tomorrow.” The construction industry has to be re-thought and become more digital, integrative and agile. It’s a huge challenge that brings huge potential. Modular, industrialised building, for example. “We now have predefined, standardised elements that we can configure and put together in all sorts of ways.” Implenia has already adopted this efficient and flexible way of building – especially in its Division Specialties. “We are already very successfully using prefabrication and a high degree off modularisation in wooden construction,”CEO André Wyss adds.
The transformation of the construction industry, driven by digitalization and new construction methods, is something we experience every day.
André Wyss CEO
Digitalization is changing project management, process structures and organisational models – especially for complex major projects. The decisive key to success is the ability to bring together different interests and processes in one tool. “Building Information Modeling” (BIM) is a way of integrating all the stakeholders that would normally be fragmented and that wouldn’t talk to each other even when working on the same project. BIM brings them together and helps them coordinate their work more efficiently,“says Daniel Hall. Implenia is already using BIM to plan, model and visualise new projects digitally in Divisions Buildings and Civil Engineering. This, together with the increasingly frequent use of”Lean Construction“on projects, is saving time and costs for Implenia and everyone else involved.
Megatrends are changing construction
70 % of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050. The shortage of space means we need innovative living concepts that align with new forms of networking and mobility.
Society is connected, and is never more than a click away from services and information. Spatial boundaries are dissolving, sharing concepts are coming to the fore. As urbanity becomes a comprehensive way of living and thinking, it needs to be given shape.
The trend towards pure self-determination is changing values, consumer behaviour and everyday culture within society. Freedom of choice is influencing what people want in terms of residential and work spaces, as well as mobility.
We are at the start of a multi-mobile age. The way people want to move around is becoming more individual, multi-layered and complex. Infrastructure has to be designed and built in ways that allow the new mobility to develop properly.
“Digitalization gives us an opportunity to shape the whole work process more efficiently with new methods such as Building Information Modeling and Lean Construction.”
Greater transparency, better communication, simpler cooperation and more secure planning, especially in complex projects: digital tools are among the most important growth drivers in the industry. They aren’t just a tool for greater efficiency and productivity; they are also the most important means to maximise customer benefits and fulfil society’s changing expectations of construction. CEO André Wyss:”We are influencing how people live, work and move around in the future. This is why I believe we have a crucial role to play, and a huge responsibility, especially with regard to social and environmental sustainability.”
Construction companies are becoming more agile and innovative. This will attract new talent.
Digital tools and new construction methods are also changing the skills required of employees. The talented young people being educated by Daniel Hall at the ETH are exactly who Implenia needs. As a construction company, Implenia must continuously transform itself if it wants to succeed long term in a changing environment. “We have to understand our customers’ needs in detail, and develop innovative solutions to their complex real estate and infrastructure challenges,”says CEO André Wyss. “Only then can we generate the added value for our customers that allows us to grow.” In 2019, Implenia positioned itself for the future with a new strategy: the company is now implementing its four priorities – portfolio, profitable growth, innovation and talent & organization – quickly and consistently.
We need to understand our customers’ needs in detail, and develop innovative solutions to the challenges they present. This is how we generate the added value that allows us to grow.
André Wyss CEO
And with its results for the 2019 financial year, Implenia has delivered on its promises. The fact that Implenia has chosen the right path is shown by the success of its projects – including the “Lokstadt”site development in Winterthur, the systematic digital planning of a complex infrastructure project in Sweden, and the third tallest timber-built high-rise in the world, which Implenia is planning and building in the Swiss city of Zug. André Wyss: “After a time of transition, we have now laid the foundations for profitable growth. We are on track to make Implenia a leading multinational provider of construction services. We are Built to Build.”
We are on track to make Implenia a leading multinational provider of construction services. Built to build – it’s what inspires us. On every project.