HOCHTIEF do Brasil is among the country’s biggest engineering and construction companies, operating exclusively in the private sector. Despite overwhelming demand sparked by success and surge in the need for infrastructure, this multinational leader remains focused on performance, reports Reuben Ford.
Specializing in pre-construction and construction (planning and development of projects) HOCHTIEF do Brasil has the capacity to attend all the private sector’s growing needs. One of the first in Brazil to operate in the entire construction project life cycle, the company defines common goals and optimizes resources to improve deadlines, quality and prices.
Part of a global group, HOCHTIEF do Brasil has access to an international engineering and civil construction structure that offers complete solutions, ranging from viability, to built-to-suit, project development, technical assistance and post-building support.
The company’s portfolio in Brazil includes integrated engineering and construction for the building, industrial and infrastructure.
Detlef Dralle, President of Hochtief do Brasil defines the company as “an influential model for modern construction in Brazil that prevents problems by emphasizing timing, planning, and performance.”
Founded on 22 August in 1966, HOCHTIEF do Brasil began by assisting in the construction of hydroelectric plants in Capivari-Cochoeira and Salo Funil in São Paulo state.
The 1960s and the 1970s were marked by an economic boom in Brazil. During this period, the country experienced significant growth and was the focus of considerable investment from German companies (like Hochtief). HOCHTIEF do Brasil became a strong player in the industrial market by participating in the construction of many of the nation’s factories.
During the 1980s and 1990s, the company diversified its geographic presence by expanding projects in other states (outside São Paulo) and new market sectors. From 2000 Hochtief had an even greater influence on Brazil’s macroeconomic performance through consolidated participation in building and industry (including energy plants).
Today, the company is one of the most important providers of engineering and construction solutions in the development of complex built-to-suit and green projects for private investors.
In the industrial sectors, HOCHTIEF has implanted and extended food and drink, electronics, automotive, pharmaceutical, chemical, steel, mining and cement factories. Building projects include shopping malls, distribution centers, hotels, office buildings, banks, hospitals, schools, residences and data centers.
Dralle cites the example of the Bank Boston headquarters building in industrial capital São Paulo, which was completed in 2002 and is “a worldwide reference in Green Building principles (environmentally friendly practices) that earned us substantial exposure in the field.”
Another landmark was the succesfull implosion of an old building and the construction of a 35-story high commercial building in one of São Paulo’s business districts. The project in 2011 was one of Brazil’s largest and is a reference in the sector.
HOCHTIEF do Brasil offers consultancy and services from the very start to the very end of the project; execution strategies are analyzed and developed together with the client (project owner). The company is ISO 9001 and 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certified.
HOCHTIEF do Brasil uses Building Information Modeling (BIM), an integrated process to explore collaboratively physical and functional characteristics of construction projects in digital format. The process involves the creation, use and updating of a working model during the entire construction life cycle.
Information gathered this way is used by all parties (architects, planners, consultants, financial professionals, operators and maintenance staff) to estimate, project simulate, visualize, produce, document, quantify, construct, operate and maintain the project. “BIM is not one technology but an application whose efficient use depends on certain technologies and tools,” Dralle clarifies.
The advantages of BIM are:
- early detection of possible obstacles;
- risk reduction (by virtual construction);
- increased productivity (planning and automation);
- timing and quality control;
- improved quality;
- reduced production and project costs;
The use of 3D Parametric Modeling brings simultaneous benefits, which allow simulation and analysis of energy consumption, acoustics, lighting air-conditioning, electrics, plumbing and ventilation.
“HOCHTIEF do Brasil has an integrated management system, whose application assures contractual commitments and balances economic, social and environmental aspects. The company invests in constant improvement of technology, management and staff, which are all important pillars in our ongoing success,” says Dralle.
HOCHTIEF do Brasil puts together teams for each project – through extensive know-how, the company can achieve the advantages it offers the market – operating around 30 sites at one time.
“As a German company in Brazil, it is important for us to observe and apply technology that can be used locally. We depend on our team performance, the offer for more work is clear, but we make sure that we have the qualified staff to carry out each project to international standards,” Dralle explains. With a noted lack of trained professionals available in Brazil, he stresses that HOCHTIEF do Brasil focuses not on growth, but sustainable growth.
HOCHTIEF do Brasil is the only company in its division to have international capital and such access to equipment. “Customs in Brazil can take up to six months to release imported equipment and even then, there is little guarantee that local technicians will know how to operate it. Our global presence eliminates bureaucracy,” Dralle says.
State-of-the-art machinery depends on staff performance and Hochtief is equipped with the knowhow, thanks to clients in diverse countries, international network and German technology.
HOCHTIEF do Brasil´s headquarters is located in São Paulo, with 120 employees at the office and 680 at the sites. As part of the growth strategy to increase regional presence, the company also has a branch in Rio de Janeiro, with 20 employees at the office and 700 at the sites. “Our locations consider the growth of the Brazilian market with the forthcoming 2014 Soccer World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games, as well as investment in pre-salt reserves,” Dralle comments. More recently, HOCHTIEF do Brasil has become the majority (88 percent) partner in TEDESCO Construction Company. Based in the south of Brazil TEDESCO has more than 60 years of experience in industry and building. The move adds a third service point for HOCHTIEF in Brazil setting it in an excellent position among the industry leaders.
Elected the 25th largest construction company in Brazil, by Brazilian Industry Magazine O Empreiteiro (September 4, 2013), HOCHTIEF do Brasil has seen volume of sales increase by almost 65 percent since 2010. “In 2010 sales reached $265 million, in 2011 $322 million and in 2012 $435 million,” Dralle affirms.
As well as exclusive focus on the private sector, international capital and international network, Hochtief distinguishes itself in Brazil through its reliability, adherence to deadlines, added value and competence.
Building in Brazil is not without its challenges. Dralle mentions “consolidation of the economy, level of investment, social changes, foreign investment, private credit and future infrastructure projects” as important considerations when deciding on plans. “Growing too fast can be dangerous and we don’t want to expand to the detriment of our clients. Our aim is not to triple income but to constantly improve performance,” he concludes.
Celebrating 50 years in 2016, HOCHTIEF do Brasil focuses on completing each project to the highest possible standards, satisfying existing customers and winning new ones.
HOCHTIEF do Brasil values the human factor, and believes that people are responsible for its achievements – the qualified team and its high standards are the reason for overcoming challenges and outperforming competition.