Revolutionizing building in Brazil, this innovative construction company invests in introducing new methods to a booming industry. Reuben Ford analyzes a pioneering approach.
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Based in industrial capital São Paulo, Método Engenharia is at the vanguard of the Brazilian construction industry. The company plans, manages and executes commercial, residential and industrial projects.
Characterized by intricate architecture and excellent engineering, Método brings techniques from North America and Europe, operating throughout Brazil and Latin America.
Método belongs to a group of companies with over 40 years of experience, whose activities include oil, gas and mining, unified by the entrepreneurial spirit of the founding partners.
“Our objective is to search for the most modern and efficient solutions available in the international market in terms of equipment and methods and constantly raise the quality and standards of our construction,” says Development Manager, Armando Mesquita Netto.
Método was the first Brazilian construction company to introduce training for laborers. “Providing a basic education to employees was an initiative we introduced in the 1980s. As well as increasing the literacy rate among staff, we were the first to offer professional courses,” Mesquita explains.
The company was also a pioneer in the use of cranes in the preliminary stages of construction and techniques such as dry construction and off site construction, which are still used today. “Método brought Drywall and STAMP pre-fabricated building components to Brazil. Such methods were previously common in countries such as the United States, Canada and Germany,” Mesquita continues.
Another innovation promoted by Método was the use of metallic structures. “Our contribution to pre-construction methods is very important. Work that can be carried out – parts that can be assembled – before building work begins or off site, bring technical and operational advantages and solutions,” Mesquita says. The progress brought by Método made an enormous difference to building in the country.
Mesquita continues: “Método is always ahead of other construction companies, whether it be in quality of service, new technology, specialized staff or expertise in highly complex works. These characteristics make us stand out in the market. Método works in all areas of construction and has the know-how to compete for the most important of projects.”
Steps to Success
Método was founded in 1973 in São Paulo. Just seven years later the company moved to its current 3,000-square-meter facility in the Santo Amaro district of the city. During the 1990s Método consolidated its position, being elected Company of the Year by industry magazine Exame in 1992 and launching international operations (in Uruguay) in 1994.
Four years ago, Método began Building Information Modeling (BIM) – another significant innovation. The BIM process involves the generation and management of digital representations of the physical and functional characteristics of a project. Mesquita elaborates: “Our BIM nucleus develops research and implementation techniques for new construction technology – providing project support, planning and pricing.” BIM gives added value for the client, guaranteeing the most reasonably priced solution.
Método uses Autodesk three-dimensional design software, which Mesquita describes as a “huge innovation” in construction. The Technical Development Department is constantly in search of modern solutions.
Changing the Landscape
Recognized for its constructions in diverse sectors, Método constantly catches the attention. “Positioning ourselves in the national construction market is difficult, as it depends on particular projects at specific times, but our name is defined by special projects,” Mesquita explains.
The recently completed Infinity office building in São Paulo changed the skyline of the city’s financial district. The oval high-rise construction, with its curves and angles is a sophisticated and modern interpretation of contemporary commercial buildings.
Other commercial projects include shopping malls, distribution centers, aircraft hangars and education and entertainment buildings.
The company is also renowned in the hotel industry. Método built the first Grand Hyatt in Latin America in São Paulo, with 470 rooms in a 26-floor tower. The most well-known hotel construction is the Unique Hotel, also in São Paulo. Completed in 2002, the design-hotel has a semi-circular form and has become not only one of the city’s newest landmarks, but also a worldwide reference for architecture.
Método has built hospitals since 1973. Today, the number of completed buildings is 34, totaling 330,000 square meters. Hotels constructed by the company in Brazil and abroad cover a total area of 230,000 square meters.
“The hotel and hospital markets are similar and challenging because they require fast execution and have specific construction criteria, which require detailed engineering studies and customized solutions. Método has a deep understanding of these criteria and our expertise is confirmed by our buildings,” Mesquita says.
In the residential and industrial sectors Método has become a benchmark. “We have grown with the market,” Mesquita confirms. The company has also innovated in construction of modern paper and cellulose, pharmaceutical, chemical, agro-industrial and packaging facilities as well as renewable energy power stations. “Across the board, the projects unite architectural boldness, technology and sustainability,” he adds.
Método was the first Brazilian company to be a part of the United States Green Building Council and was the founding member of the Green Building Council Brasil and the Brazilian Sustainable Construction Council (Conselho Brasileiro de Construção Sustentável).
Método has also completed projects in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. However, Mesquita explains that demand from the construction boom in Brazil is causing the company to focus on domestic projects.
Recent investments in a second facility in Rio de Janeiro are part of the company’s plans to fortify its presence in the market.
Building a Future
Concentrating on an even brighter future, Método has many projects in the pipelines. Annual growth has averaged 25 percent for the last four years and foreign investment in construction projects in Brazil is catalyzing a fast-moving market.
“The international crisis in 2009 affected business, not because of the Brazilian economy, but due to reduction in foreign investment. The main client is the investor, so we are subject to the world economy,” Mesquita says.
With the recent growth in the market, Método has more than recovered. Each project collaborates with different partners, depending on the division. “New projects are discussed in an initial meeting, during which project, planning and commercial managers study their viability. If all are in agreement, we prepare a proposal,” Mesquita explains.
Método engineers the entire project, guaranteeing the innovative design and quality that have made its name.
The buildings stand out from the rest, not only aesthetically but structurally and technically.
Método Engenharia is a unique construction expert with an eye for quality and individuality – factors that override size and quantity, placing it at the forefront of the industry.