Susan Cabeceiras is an experienced business manager and IPBN Board member with a demonstrated history of working in the architecture & planning industry through her 11 years as Founder and CEO of Konceptness, a Lisbon and Porto-based company specialized in the creation and urban licensing of the economic activities of retail buildings, health services, and industry with a view to making client's investments feasible and quickly profitable.
Mainly a B2B company with a few B2C projects in work, Konceptness has their sights set on going international with a new location opening soon in Canada, though for now, they are making waves solely in Portugal. The company's proven track record has been achieved through their work with many interdisciplinary professionals who know the Portuguese laws inherently. If that wasn't reason enough to put your trust in their services, they also allow clients to track their project's progress through their own mobile devices.
The BIM (building information modeling) infrastructure system allows Konceptness' clients to manage things remotely. “You can have all eyes on the project. The client can manage everything on-site from their tablet and see the status of the contractors, engineers and architects all together in one place.” According to Cabeceiras, it’s not only time you can save, but money, effort, and even waste to the tune of 30-40%, as you can catch mistakes almost as they are happening and redirect the team to stay on target. Obviously, sustainability is a key factor in the overall drive of the company. “If you plan the demolition and where the rubbish goes, the savings are attainable. We concern ourselves not just in the building of the project, but in making it sustainable. Planning is the key strategy to sustainability."
Cabeceiras hails from Canada, so she has a very different work ethic from her Portuguese counterparts in a lot of ways. “We are in a different world here. I had to learn how the Portuguese attain their goals because in Canada we want everything done yesterday. I am focused on staying on task so I am in a unique position to be able to communicate that to my Portuguese colleagues. That's why we are so good at receiving international clients.” Cabeceiras says.
Despite setbacks caused by cultural differences and the pandemic, Konceptness has seen growth over the past year. According to Cabeceiras, “We were nine people, then we grew to 14 and we are actively looking for two more as we had new projects that came in. We felt the market stop in March 2020, but in October it started up again with clients who are a bit more careful with their investments. That’s why it’s important to us that we lead the dialogue on our clients’ investments so that they can save time, money, and energy, and avoid problems in the future.”
With the help of a company like Konceptness, clients can understand the land and building conditions better than they would taking the leap on their own as the entire process has been curated for best results. “The worst thing you can do is invest two million in a building that you can’t use, or have to wait two or three years for the right permit. We have the capabilities to do the real estate search for you, as well as taking care of the project management, design, permits, and time frame so that we can help you find the best solutions and people to achieve the project goals.” Cabeceiras says.
When asked what her personal directives toward sustainability are, Cabeceiras says, “Whatever I do now, I ask myself what the consequences are for tomorrow. I always lean toward the financial part of things to see if I’m going to suffer in the future. I ask myself, ‘Is it worth it?’ If I’m going to spend my energy on something, I have to know the answer. It’s like buying a car. You need to know everything about it before you decide to buy it. What’s the gas mileage? What’s under the hood?”
The IPBN would like to thank Ms. Cabeceiras and Konceptness for being one of the sponsors of the IPBN Sustainability Conference from March 16-18. Registration is still open, so sign up and join us!
Moderated by former Chair of the IPBN Aoife Healy, the second panel focused on "How to Tackle and Create Disruption in the Hospitality Sector." In the words of panelist Sofia Almeida, the overall takeaway is that “We have to adapt. And COVID was proof of that.”