Casais Group and Cree Buildings have always shared a common goal: to spearhead a green transition in construction while solving some of its wicked problems. Now, three years after becoming a Cree license partner and successfully implementing Cree in Portugal, Casais will further strengthen its strategic partnership by becoming a key shareholder.
The task of transforming an industry is no easy one, but both firms have shown the rest of the industry the way forward and collaborated on some landmark projects. With forces united and heading firmly in the same direction, future prospects now look even brighter.
Knowledge sharing and mutual growth
Cree’s innovative construction methods have a clear growth curve, with the past years full of new partnerships, projects, and over 200,000 m2 built. The company now enters an exciting scale-up phase, with significant growth and new projects expected from 2023 and beyond.
Casais therefore come in at the perfect time, joining Rhomberg Group and Zech Group as a shareholder to help shape Cree’s future and boost its rollout in Portugal and beyond. In turn, Casais will benefit through even deeper involvement with the Cree global network and the incremental improvement of solutions across geographical boundaries. Likewise, Casais’ innovations such as Blufab are an invaluable addition to Cree’s existing prefabrication approach and component supply chain.
This consolidation of knowledge and resources was a key factor, says António Carlos Rodrigues, CEO of Casais Group. “Competitiveness depends on access to a strong network of suppliers, especially in the period of inflation we are currently in,” he notes. “We need to constantly offer clients reliability on costs, to diminish any potential quality disparities, and to help meet deadlines.” For this, the supplier networks and digital capacities developed by both companies are a powerful combination. “We are now able to offer the capacity to execute the same type of building technology everywhere, giving as many tools as possible for partners to achieve solutions more rapidly.” adds Rodrigues. “We feel we need this type of construction and approach for providing a better solution to clients.”
Big plans ahead
For Cree’s founder Hubert Rhomberg, welcoming Casais as a shareholder is a logical step in more active strategic involvement after successful years as a license partner. It is also an opportune moment, with the scale-up of projects and the digital platform showing a strong upwards trajectory for the coming years. “This is a clear signal that companies are paying attention to what we are doing,” says Rhomberg. “It is a further confirmation that we are on the right path, and that the most innovative companies are becoming part of the Cree family.”
Casais made headlines with its first Cree-based hotel in Guimarães, Portugal, which will be completed next month and praised as an “example of a new generation of sustainable buildings” by Ambiente Magazine. The two 4-storey buildings are the first Cree project for B&B Hotels, but the next one in Madrid is already under way and has attracted the attention of hotel developers and operators from all over Europe, looking at the potential of using the Cree System in other countries.
According to António Carlos Rodrigues, such interest underlines the upscale potential of the Cree method. “Right from the outset, we were attracted by Cree’s collaborative mindset and knowledge-sharing. When we got the opportunity to participate more deeply as a shareholder, we see that there is a lot of potential not only in Europe but worldwide,” says Rodrigues. “We are at a tipping point in terms of engagement with global companies. As we grow more partners, capacity will increase too.”
It is clear that Rhomberg Group, Zech Group, and Casais Group are on the right side of history with Cree Buildings and their sustainable approaches growing exponentially, and pooling their expertise will help speed up the green transition the industry badly needs. “With the growing importance of ESG impacts, we are now at a point where things are speeding up – some things are simply unstoppable,” concludes Rodrigues. “This is the future and the sooner everyone starts to engage, the sooner we’ll get across the mountain that we are facing.”
The Casais Group was founded in 1958 and is today one of the biggest construction companies in Portugal while keeping its family character. In 1994, it started its internationalization process in Germany. Currently the Group operates in 17 countries: Portugal, Angola, Germany, Algeria, Belgium, Brazil, Spain, USA (Texas), UAE (Dubai and Abu Dhabi), France, Ghana, Gibraltar, Netherlands, Morocco, Mozambique, United Kingdom, Qatar, but the history of its internationalization includes other countries such as Russia, Kazakhstan, China and Cape Verde. In 2022 it won the Construir Award for the 5th time for Best Structure in Portugal, and also 3rd place for Best Place to Work. It ended 2022 with an aggregate turnover of more than €682m, with international markets accounting for €440m.
Cree Buildings is an international construction collective for regenerative building solutions. Founded in 2010 by Hubert Rhomberg, Cree Buildings is dedicated to sustainable and healthy buildings using prefabricated timber-based components and has developed the Cree System: proven, reproducible, and constantly evolving solutions for multi-story timber-hybrid buildings. By licensing this unique system, their global network of partners builds smartly and sustainably, sharing knowledge and collaborating through the Cree Platform. From Europe to Asia to North America, together, they are revolutionizing the construction industry.
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