Industrial development 2.0 by Tomas Buchal.

08. 06. 2022

Industrial development 2.0. Development of brownfields and revitalization of industrial halls

The dynamic development of the Central European industrial real estate market is reflected in the higher demand for professional consultancy services. Grinity has therefore set up a specialized team focusing directly on comprehensive services in the industrial sector, including project management, cost management, and technical advisory. The team is newly led by Tomáš Buchal, who has been dealing with this sector within the European market for the last five years.

Why did you decide to set up a team of specialists at Grinity within the project management department, which deals with purely industrial real estate?

The Czech and Slovak industrial and logistics real estate markets have grown in recent years and have not been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. We have always worked on industrial projects, but in recent years, we have won very complex and unique projects, and therefore, we have started to create a specialized team around them. The formal establishment of the team is the result of a practice that has been successfully performed for several years. We have gathered know-how on projects within the CEE region, gained the knowledge of the necessary legislation, created a database of cost benchmarks, and can prove ourselves with remarkable references. To a certain extent, establishing an expert team was a logical step going hand in hand with our strategy and growing client demand.

One of your most exciting references is the project of a central warehouse for Sportisimo in Ostrava. In this example, could you explain what services you provide to tenants of industrial real estate?

Sportisimo is one of the largest sporting goods sellers on the Czech and Central European markets. Concerning its regional expansion and interest in modernizing operations, including partial automation, this retail company has decided to relocate its central warehouse to the Ostrava region in cooperation with development company Contera. Grinity acts on behalf of Sportisimo as a technical consultant responsible for ensuring that the warehouse is adequately prepared in compliance so that unique storage technology can be installed and regular operation can be started without compromising the smooth running of their business and supply. Among other things, we coordinate the MEP of the building with storage and handling equipment, prepare the installation in operating and service areas, and perform testing and commissioning of HVAC systems. As part of cost management, we have used technical support to implement a concrete floor of almost EUR 2 million through the consolidation and rationalization of specifications based on our experience with a similar project in Germany. We are looking forward to the official launch of full operation planned for the Q4 of 2022.

Grinity also cooperates with industrial developers. What services do you provide them?

Although the industrial sector may seem considerably standardized and relatively straightforward from the construction-technical point of view, it is generally characterized by a very different complexity of the individual projects. Grinity offers a wide range of services for industrial developers, always tailored for a specific project and client. In addition, within all projects, we implement international standards and process management, which are required not only by foreign investors. As part of long-term cooperation with multinational and local developers, we primarily provide quality control services on the construction site and professional management support. At the same time, in the case of highly complex projects, we are often approached to perform specialized services in cost management and technical advisory due to the experience from relevant projects. A concrete example would be a cooperation with the Slovak Sihotpark, a member of the multinational SISBAN group, for whom we have been continuously providing all the services mentioned above since 2019. The revitalization of brownfields for industrial use is also an increasingly common topic. Such development increases the complexity and cost of projects, and therefore we help developers find optimal technical and economical solutions. The requirement for sustainability is becoming standard practice among the demand of potential tenants. The use of brownfields is one of the ways to meet these requirements.

What do you think awaits the Czech industrial market in the near future?

The Czech market is constantly growing, and the demand for new and high-quality areas is increasing year by year. Given the limited number of vacant land for new construction, this expansion has its limits, and developers or industrial property owners are partially redirecting their investment funds to increase the quality of the existing portfolio. The redevelopment of older projects will become an increasingly common topic. As we all know, the first waves of modern industrial parks have been serving tenants for a long time. Therefore, selected parts or HVAC technologies are reaching the limits of their technical or economic lifetime and will require complex modernization. We know from our negotiations with the industrial parks´ tenants that they are significantly affected by rising energy costs, so as I see it, they will initiate several so-called refits themselves. In my opinion, we will help with such projects - whether on the part of the developer or the tenant - more and more often. Last but not least, we talk about development in the field of BIM, which we have been encountering in almost all new industrial projects in the last year. More precisely, it is a form of implementation of parametric modeling. The level of utilization is still different, but many project participants are already able to take advantage of selected benefits. As soon as BIM is fully implemented in project preparation and management, it will be possible to put the already very well-developed benefits of this methodology into practice. In my opinion, we are no longer talking about a distant future before BIM significantly facilitates our project management.