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Leviatan Group: projects and investments in the public construction market8 min. de citit

Leviatan Group consists of the companies Leviatan Design, Ubitech Constructions, eConfaire Immersive Design and Copraag Entrepreneur and offers complete services in the field of construction using the latest technologies. The projects that bear the Leviatan Group signature benefit from a high level of quality, being realized in BIM system, with high performance technologies and software applications, by a team of over 260 top professionals. The company’s portfolio includes a variety of highly complex design & build projects in fields such as defence, medical, education and administration. With 100% Romanian capital, the group has continuously strengthened its competitive position in the Romanian construction market, motivated by a vision of sustainable development through technology, innovation and adaptation to modern methods such as BIM, Digital Twin and Mixed Reality. With 12 years of experience in the construction industry, the group has completed more than 35 major projects in the last four years, with turnover in 2023 recording a 38% jump over the previous fiscal year. To find out more details about the current activity and development projects, Cătălin Podaru, CEO & Founder, Leviatan Group, was asked for his opinion.

– How did the construction activity evolve in the first part of 2024 and how do you think it will develop until the end of the year, as well as in the perspective of 2025-2027?

– The construction sector in Romania has generally developed positively in the first four months of 2024. Although residential construction saw a slight decrease, influenced by a number of factors such as delays in the launch of new projects and a significant drop in building permits, the engineering construction sector (motorways, bridges, viaducts, passages) showed impressive growth, driven largely by access to European funds. This dynamism in engineering construction highlights the sector’s ability to adapt and exploit the opportunities available for development. The construction industry enjoys an encouraging economic climate, with major investment in infrastructure and a strong focus on modernisation. Government initiatives and European funding for local infrastructure and sustainable development projects are important drivers of growth in the sector. Thus, further expansion and modernisation of critical infrastructure is expected, which could transform the urban and rural landscape in Romania. The outlook for the end of 2024 and for the period 2025-2027 is optimistic, as Romania is at a crossroads. With a considerable budget of €70 billion available for development through European funds, the Cohesion Policy, the National Recovery and Resilience Plan and the “Anghel Saligny” National Investment Programme, it is anticipated that these resources will significantly boost the construction sector. This infusion of capital is essential for the continued development of infrastructure at local and national level, promising stable and sustainable growth for years to come.

– What are the main public building projects you are working on at the moment?

– Leviatan Group has several major projects underway in Romania. Each of these reflects our commitment to providing innovative and sustainable solutions in different sectors. One of the major ongoing projects is the development of the airport infrastructure at Câmpia Turzii for F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft. This ambitious project, carried out by Ubitech Construcții, includes the construction of new hangars, workshops and administrative buildings to support the operations of F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft. The new infrastructure will improve base efficiency and support the operations of the Romanian Air Force and its strategic partners.

Also in the military project portfolio we are participating in the development of the 57th Air Base “Mihail Kogălniceanu”. The project, contracted by Leviatan Design under the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) procurement regulations, includes the design of new storage and maintenance facilities for military equipment, which are essential for strengthening Romania’s defence capabilities and supporting NATO operations in the region. In the same strategic area, we are building an Administrative Pavilion at Borcea Air Base 86. The new administrative building was designed using BIM methodology, ensuring a high level of accuracy and efficiency. Its facilities include conference rooms, offices and other spaces necessary for daily activities, the project being a design & build project carried out by group companies.

In the medical sector, we have started the preparatory works for the construction of the Regional Emergency Hospital (SRU) Cluj. The contract, signed by Ubitech Construcții for the first stage of the project, includes site organization works, rough excavation of the earth, diversion of utility networks and arrangement of temporary access routes, construction of a watertight enclosure of moulded walls, retaining walls made of drilled piles, as well as preparatory works for the extension of the site organization in the second stage of the project, to be put out to tender, for the actual construction of the hospital. Also in the medical sector, through Leviatan Design we are designing, within the new County Emergency Hospital of Reșița, a series of related buildings with different functions, which will ensure the smooth running of administrative and medical activities, technical spaces, garages for ambulances and parking spaces in a superstructure. With a capacity of 468 continuous hospital beds, the new hospital is expected to become a nodal point in the region’s healthcare system.

Also in the field of public works, we are participating in the consolidation of buildings at seismic risk in Bucharest, following the signing of a framework agreement with the Municipal Administration for the Consolidation of Buildings at Seismic Risk, with an estimated value of over 60 million lei (excluding VAT). Within this project, Leviatan Design will provide energy auditing services, elaboration/revision of technical-economic documentation, for the DALI, DTAC/DTAD, DTOE, PT, DE, AS-BUILT phases, as well as technical assistance for the consolidation works.

– How would you briefly characterise the public building construction market at the moment?

– The public building construction market in Romania is characterised by diversity and innovation, with projects aimed at improving essential infrastructure and public services. Efficiency and sustainability-oriented design is supported by the use of advanced technologies and BIM methodology to optimise resource management and functionality specific to each building type.

The medical infrastructure is designed to provide specialised facilities to support advanced care, including laboratories and critical areas, adapted to modern medical requirements. In educational projects, buildings are adaptable, supporting a variety of formal and informal learning activities, with a focus on technology integration. The sports infrastructure, designed for a high volume of users, includes durable materials and versatile systems, facilitating various types of sports and cultural events. Airport terminals incorporate state-of-the-art technologies for security and efficiency in managing passenger flows, focusing on comfort and sustainability. These modernization projects are key to improving connectivity and supporting economic growth.

– What are the difficulties and challenges you face in carrying out these projects?

– The construction of public buildings in Romania involves specific challenges, given that the time allocated for feasibility studies and design is up to 5 times shorter compared to other countries. This requires coordination and efficiency in complying with strict regulations on safety, accessibility and technology integration. Approval procedures can in some cases lead to delays in starting work, while budgets can limit construction options and quality of materials. Projects also need to minimise environmental impact, which adds an extra element of complexity. Efficient planning and technical expertise are essential when it comes to delivering projects to standards, on time and within budget, all within a compressed timeframe, unlike international standards. This accelerated process brings a unique set of challenges to the management of public construction projects in Romania.

– Specify the level of turnover achieved by the group of companies in 2023 and the first 3 months of 2024 and estimate its evolution in 2024.

– In 2023, Leviatan Group recorded a consolidated turnover of over 450 million lei, and in the first quarter of 2024, this economic indicator was over 60 million lei.At the same time, we estimate that by the end of this year we will exceed by at least 25% the results recorded last year.

The significant development of the activity will be supported by a total portfolio of projects worth more than 1.25 billion lei, which we currently have contracted. These will provide us with a working front until 2025.

– What investments and objectives do you have planned for the development of the business in the coming period?

– For the development of our business, we plan to expand and deepen investments in automation, a process that is already extensively implemented in our processes by eConfaire Immersive Design, our R&D division. Automation is currently present in all our work processes, from the rapid acquisition and processing of field data to advanced parametric design solutions that allow us to create efficient and accurate 3D models. One of our main goals is to advance automation in the preparation of estimates for public projects, which will improve the accuracy and efficiency of cost estimates and reduce the time required to prepare bids. We also want to optimise the procurement process through automation, which will simplify procurement and ensure compliance with relevant standards and regulations. Another important aspect we are targeting is to improve the automated reading and processing of invoice data to increase efficiency in financial management and accounting. Through these investments in automation, we aim to increase productivity, reduce operational costs and improve the quality and speed of delivery of our projects.

The initiatives listed above are essential to maintaining our competitiveness and responding more effectively to the needs of our clients in an ever-changing public construction landscape. As such, we are committed to using technology to optimize all aspects of our business and ensure long-term sustainable growth.”

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