Interview with CEO, Iosif Arabatzis in the December issue of Fortune magazine.
A new, human-centric era in the construction sector.
– With over 600 completed projects, EPIKYKLOS reveals what is next in the construction sector.
(The article as published in Fortune magazine)
EPIKYKLOS was founded in 2008, in the midst of the economic crisis, aiming to create a contemporary, different reality in the construction sector. Without any capital, loans or funding but with a dream for the most beautiful buildings, the company made its dynamic first steps.
Fortune Magazine talked with Iosif Arabatzis, founder of this new engineering and construction company, about the current situation in the Greek market, but also about the changes EPIKYKLOS aims to bring about with its new buildings.
How could a Greek construction company handle the crisis?
I founded the company in a period in which the economy, but also our society, was falling to pieces. EPIKYKLOS managed to stand out and succeed while other businesses were shutting down and shrinking. The success of this company was based on the kind, inventive and giving relationship between its members, clients, and suppliers
What does EPIKYKLOS do?
EPIKYKLOS covers three basic project categories: It has a leading position in residence renovation for individuals or investors, while undertaking large-scale commissions for entrepreneurs and hotels. Additionally, it offers houses available for purchase in buildings that it has constructed or renovated.
What makes your company stand out?
We have always had a clear vision for the mark we wanted to leave as a company. We wanted to make the world a more beautiful place and the construction process a pleasant experience, so we developed the right conditions to achieve this. We support a contemporary way of construction through services that highlight the relationship between human psychology and buildings; in our research department we focus on the durability and the composition of materials; and we use innovative technologies, such as an online project monitoring system. We were the first company to offer pre-budgeted residence renovation packages on the market. We have completed more than 600 residence renovations. At the same time, we have created pre-budgeted hotel renovation packages, which allowed us to undertake hotel construction and renovation projects.
What is the role of the company within the new circumstances in the construction and real estate sectors in Greece?
EPIKYKLOS presents the new age of construction. We do not perceive our clients as owners anymore, but as users. People’s demands of buildings have changed. Older generations wanted a house to pass on to the next generations. Nowadays, the property is redefined by its quality, flexibility to adapt to different needs and the added value that obtains when it can easily change use or ownership. Under this perspective, we have created a new age of professional bonds and spaces that can change with the use of new technologies and materials easily, according to people’s needs.
How does the company ensure the harmonious relationship between aesthetics and functionality?
At EPIKYKLOS we realized early on that in order for a construction company to produce excellent results, it needs to be based on fine architecture. So we defined the following principles:
– To respect architectural design during the implementation stage.
– To guarantee a balanced relationship between construction company, designer and client.
– Absolute transparency in project management, from the early stages to delivery.
The emphasis we place on design can also be seen in that we are the only engineering company that has fostered official partnerships with 28 architecture offices in Greece and abroad.
In an age when climate change widely affects consumer habits, how do you ensure that your products are environmentally-friendly?
The carbon footprint of our constructions is something we think a lot about. The selection of certified and ecological techniques and materials is non-negotiable in our times. Our final goal, however, is to create sophisticated spaces that will need renovation every 25-30 years, instead of 5-10, as it is customary. We believe that this approach is the essence of environmental consciousness in the construction sector.
According to the Hellenic Statistical Authority, the data looks positive for the construction sector. What changes have you observed as an ‘insider’ of the sector in Greece? Do you believe that there are margins for development?
The new support measures announced were what was missing from the equation that will lead to a rise in the construction activity in our country. We are sure that in the next few years the Greek real estate market will be in constant development. However, we cannot forget the past mistakes in the sector; legislative procedures must be applied so that the new era of construction can be set on a solid basis. Our aim is that in 30 years, the next generation will want to build houses next to the ones we are building today.