Coima heading towards circular and off-site construction

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For a long time now, Real Estate has been seen as a sector that is little inclined towards the sustainability and innovation dimension, but the more conscious developers are already aiming towards buildings that are coherent with the principles of a circular economy, capable of overcoming levels of productivity and efficiency. This is what Stefano Corbella, Sustainability Officer of Coima says.

What are the Group’s development strategies? Which market segments do you consider a priority for future investments?

COIMA operates principally in the office, residential and retail markets in the major Italian metropolitan cities. The Group’s strategy, which has led us to becoming one of Italy’s leading operators, is that of focusing mainly on product and service innovation. Certain market trends are very clear and indicate a variation in the users’ expectations, in all asset groups. It will be important to find the right measure to create a balanced product with the new market expectations.

What is your point of view regarding innovation in construction? Which are the guidelines you will be aiming for?

The world of construction is undergoing a great transformation. New materials and new, innovative construction techniques are increasingly influencing competition between companies. These days there is a vast amount of competitiveness between builders, but it is innovation ability that will determine the future of the sector. Looking ahead, we believe that, in response to the sustainable development goals promoted by the UN, it will be necessary to focus on the aspects of a "Circular Economy." The real estate sector is the main consumer of raw materials and producer of solid waste, and so this principle must also change considering that the scarcity of resources and the excessive production of waste are already today one of the main risks for the real estate sector and for investors.

On these issues, there are several initiatives at European and global level such as "Level(s)" - a framework developed by the European Community that aims to index the "circularity" content of a property, and the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) for the assessment of the risks of investments in relation to climate change.

To the world of construction, to Italian entrepreneurs and to all those who contribute to real estate development, including us, we ask to be engines and promoters of change.

In the session at Riva del Garda, which challenges will the REbuild Community be faced with?

There are certain challenges that I would like to be taken up and which we believe could bring great added value: pre-fabrication led by building elements; construction designed and created for dismantling, not demolition and the use of cradle-to-cradle certified materials and products, based on the circular economy. These are the three challenges we feel we would like to launch and from which we believe that the real estate market could enjoy great benefit in terms of competitiveness and attractiveness.

What do you hope for as a result of an exchange of ideas with the Rebuild community? What were Coima’s expectations when deciding to take part in this meeting?

We look forward to great participation and interest on the matters of circularity in construction from all the sector’s operators. Our expectation is that there will be a sharing of intentions regarding the need to innovate the construction sector, which, historically shows a certain reticence to change, and which has become anachronistic.