Monday, June 30, 2014

OCTAGON is working on a major infrastructure project: Piata Presei Underpass

OCTAGON has recently started the geotechnical works on one of the major infrastructure projects of Bucharest City Hall: Piata Presei Underpass. The company is building diaphragm walls- 9,950 sqm, 80 cm thick.
"Piata Presei" Underpass Project
passage is located at the junction of four high traffic roads – Bucharest- Ploiesti road, Kiseleff road, Mărăşti blvd. and Poligrafiei blvd. – an intersection crossed by approximately 12,000 vehicles per hour.

The purpose of building the underpass is to reduce the crossing time for both pedestrians and for vehicles. Studies regarding traffic flow improvement have shown that an underpass would reduce the waiting time for vehicles by 74%, according to Arena Constructiilor.
Works will be performed in stages in order to maintain traffic flow.
The investment value is 60.4 million lei and the delivery term is nine months from the beginning of the works.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Video: Octagon- Execution of sheet piles at OMV- Petrom Brazi combined cycle power plant

Sheet piles are geotechnical elements used to support the vertical walls of deep excavations, which go below the level of ground waters. Sheet piles can connect and form a water- tight wall, which protects the building undergrounds against water seep.

Watch the video to see how OCTAGON executed sheet piles at the project with the highest value in its portfolio so far: Combined cycle power plant 867 MW OMV- Petrom Brazi.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Agenda Constructiilor: OCTAGON- Geotechnical works worth over 6.5 million euro in Romania

Octagon Contracting & Engineering, one of the main players in the geotechnical constructions field in Romania, with a turnover worth 19.6 million euro in 2013, is currently working on national projects amounting to around 6.5 million euro.

Alexandros Ignatiadis
For 2014 the company’s management has estimated a 16 million euro turnover. "In the first half of this year we started works on three new projects.  In March we began executing the superstructure of building B within the office project Green Court Bucharest, developed by Swedish group Skanska on Herastrau Street, in the Capital. The works are worth 1.9 million euro. We also delivered the first building within the same complex.A project begun last autumn, on which we are still working, is an office building, PC Business Center, located on 7-9 A Bucharest - Ploiesti National Road, a 1.7 million euro contract", said Alexandros Ignatiadis, co-founder and shareholder of Octagon C&E. The company also continued to work on the rehabilitation of the National Road 6 (Domasnea - Caransebes, km 408+ 895 - 449+ 960), an investment started in 2011. The total value of the works performed within this project is almost one million euro. "We have two new infrastructure projects. One of them consists in the rehabilitation of the railway Brasov - Simeria, Coslariu – Sighisoara section, Micasasa – Coslariu segment, worth 260,000 euro. We have been subcontracted by Aktor for this project. Our most recent project consists in the execution of bored piles for sections A, D and E of the second section of Lugoj – Deva highway, a 5 million lei contract (around 1.13 million euro), granted by the general contractor Salini Impregilo", Octagon manager also said.
The company will start in the near future the geotechnical works on the underground passage from Piata Presei Libere in Bucharest. The general contractor of the project is Apolodor and the value of Octagon’s contract is 600,000 euro.

Expansion of the activity on Iraq and Kurdistan markets
Octagon is also performing construction works abroad, in Iraq and Kurdistan markets. This year the company will consolidate the activity of Iraq branch (open since 2011) and will continue works on 125MW Shatt Al Basra Power Plant, from Basra and of the residential complex Iraq Gate, developed by Iraqi investor Almco in Baghdad. Octagon is also in the negotiation stage for the construction of Bawanur dam din Kurdistan, a project worth 5 million dollars, bid in partnership with Hidroconstructia SA.

Negative conditions to maintain on the Romanian construction market
According to Alexandros Ignatiadis, 2014 will not be very different from 2013. "In the first trimester the sector contracted 3%, while the GDP went up by 3.8%, so the construction sector was not a growth engine for the economy. The private sector was revived by the construction of two malls in Bucharest and of several factories countrywide, but these investments have not generated profit yet. These results, combined with the activity decline in the public sector have led to the 3% contraction of the construction sector", showed Octagon manager. At the same time the elections have not influenced the construction sector positively either, due to political instability. "During the elections a large part of the investments for constructions are redirected towards public sectors that can generate votes, such as social protection, to influence the electorate", explained Alexandros Ignatiadis.

At the same time, according to the manager, the new public bid rules have not solved the major issues in the area. "Maintaining the lowest price as main criteria to determine the winner of a contract can significantly affect the quality of the delivered projects. A more detailed approach and deep changes in this respect are needed.” said Octagon shareholder.

You can read the romanian version of the article here.

Monday, June 23, 2014

CBRE & Jones Lang LaSalle: Two of the largest office schemes delivered in the Q 1 of 2014, built by OCTAGON

Hermes Business Campus - Structure 1

Total modern office stock reached in Q1 2014 2.17 million sqm,  split between class A : 0.823 mil sqm and class B: 1.347 mil sq m. In total there are around 230 properties. In addition there are over 300,000 sqm located in class C properties, without taking into account the office space within residential villas according to CBRE report “Bucharest Office Market View”.

The largest schemes due to open in the first half of 2014 were City Offices, Hermes Business Campus, Green Gate and AFI Business Park 2, which will add approximately 87,500 sq m of office space to the city’s modern office stock, according to Jones Lang LaSalle report “Bucharest Office Market Profile Q 4 2013” .

OCTAGON delivered the first of the two office building of the office complex Green Court Bucharest, located in northern Bucharest, on 2- 4 Herastrau Street. Geotechnical works performed by OCTAGON consisted in excavation, diaphragm walls D 600 and anchorages.  The Romanian construction company is now working on the execution of the concrete structure of building B. Green Court will be a green building, LEED Gold certified and will stretch over 52,000 sqm.

Hermes Business Campus- Blvd Dimitrie Pompeiu,  Nr 5-7, Bucuresti
After delivering the special foundation works in 2011, OCTAGON CONTRACTING & ENGINEERING became the general contractor of one of the largest office schemes in Bucharest: Hermes Business Campus. The office complex was built through top- down excavation method and was completed in the first quarter of 2014. Hermes Business Campus has a total leasable area of 78,000 sqm and is also a green office project, which will be audited for BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method) certification.

Q1 2014 brought a good start in terms of demand, as the total leasing activity was up 39% compared to Q1 2013, meaning over 66,500 sqm transacted office space. Pre-leasing activity was up, for the third quarter in a row, now with 40% of total take-up activity. As previously anticipated, during this quarter was registered the highest volume of pre-leases in the last 2 years – over 21,000 sqm, according to CBRE.

Hermes Business Campus- Structure 2
With an increase of demand q-o-q and low volume of new stock, vacancy rate registered a decrease from 15.1% to 15.0%. It is important to highlight the considerable difference in vacancy rate from one sub-market to another (from as low as 4.8% in West to 20.5% in Pipera).

Prime headline rent is stable in the past several quarters (18 € /sq m/month) and prime yield also stable at 8.25%.

Bucharest ranks among the least developed office market when compared to other capital cities in CEE. As such, the Romanian capital hosts just 52% of the modern office stock in Warsaw, but with an overall residential population below the one registered in Bucharest (1.7 versus 1.8 million people). By sub-market, Pipera and North sub-markets are home to 54% of the total modern stock, as these areas allowed for the development of rather big properties, on average over 18,000 sq m / property. Center area holds the biggest number of office buildings, around 74 properties, as on average a property has less than 5,000 sq m.

Green Court Bucharest- Structure A
Recovery is on the way for the Bucharest office market, but there are different speeds of recovery by sub-market, as evidenced by evolution of vacancy rate.
For 2015 CBRE anticipates new stock of less than 80,000 sqm, but at least another 130,000 sqm are in various stages of planning and could be delivered by end of next year.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Civil constructions- rehabilitation of culture and office center Bucharest Commodities Exchange

Culture and office center Bucharest Commodities Exchange, located on Calea Rahovei 196 is a historical monument, built in 1898, renovated by OCTAGON CONTRACTING & ENGINEERING in 2007.

The construction company was general contractor for this project and executed consolidation works consisting in: doubling of foundation beams, execution of exterior masonry coating, execution of interior supplementary columns, interior platforms, new enclosure walls and reconstruction of wooden roof framing.

Watch the video to see all the stages of the renovation process.

Monday, June 16, 2014

OCTAGON contracted four new projects in 2014, despite the decline in the construction market by 9%

Green Court Bucharest - 2014, Execution of the Building Structure

OCTAGON CONTRACTING & ENGINEERING company has not been affected by the decline in the construction market in the first half ofthe year. OCTAGON managed to contract three new projects this year and continue work on two other projects started in 2011 and 2013.

According to the National Statistics Institute (INS) the volume of construction works in the first four months decreased both as gross series and as adjusted series by number of working days and seasonality by 9.2% and 8.7% .
Regarding building objects, the volume of construction in civil engineering fell by 25.4%. Non-residential buildings and residential buildings volume of construction works increased by 20.7% and 12.1%. Volume of construction works, adjusted series by number of working days and seasonality, decreased by 8.7% , decrease that was evidenced in capital repairs (20.1%), maintenance and current repairs (11.3%) and new construction works (6.9%).

In March, OCTAGON began the building suprastructure works on building B, part of the office ensemble "Green Court Bucharest" (Str. Herastrau Bucharest). The construction company has finished the construction carried out for building A in the same complex, developed by the Swedish company Skanska.

Green Court Bucharest - 2014
OCTAGON is ready to begin geotechnical works amounting to 600,000 Euro for the "Piata Presei Libere Underpass"(Bucharest). The general contractor is Apollodorusthe year.
Two other new infrastructure projects started in 2014 are rehabilitation of the railway tracks
Brasov - Simeria, Section 2 Coslariu-Sighisoara-Coslariu, Micasasa section and sections A, D and E, lot 2 - Lugoj-Deva highway for Salini Impregilo contractor , for whom OCTAGON performs geotechnical work.

OCTAGON is also working on projects "Rehabilitation of DN6 Domasnea-Caransebes, km 408 + 895-449 + 960", started in 2011 and the PC Business Center office building located in Bucuresti-Ploiesti 7-9 A. 
Green Court Bucharest - Building Front