Buoyed by an international health and wellbeing focus , fit-out contractor Summertown Interiors has seen its revenue rise by double-digits as its looks to the future of sustainable office design. Last year was a positive one for the company. It wrapped up a score of important commercial fit-outs for government entities and private firms, such as Daimler, Deliveroo, Mediclinic, and Dutch accountancy giant TMF Group.
Strong work on the ground was reflected in its revenue, too, which increased by 13% year-on-year. Revenue at Summertown Interiors is already 15% above the company’s five-year average and there is little sign to suggest growth cannot be maintained, as its forward momentum gathers pace.
While challenges in the fit-out market persist, as demands for projects that are competitive on price and uncompromising on quality rise, Marcos Bish, managing director of Summertown Interiors, admits 2019 has been “great” so far.
In May, the Dubai-based company strengthened its commitment to sustainability by unveiling a three-point sustainability strategy, which includes a trio of critical business goals. They are: to deliver projects that are 100% sustainable, improve workplace happiness, and generate zero waste by 2030. Crucially, Summertown Interiors’ Journey2030 strategy to deliver projects that are sustainable from start to finish includes a client offer of free LEED-certified level certification for all projects bigger than 2,000m².
“Sustainability is embedded into all of our fit-out projects,” Bish says, adding that Summertown Interiors adopts a LEED certification framework for all projects of this scale. When the project is smaller than 2,000m², the company has its own green standard known as the ECO Summertown Sustainability Initiative, or ECO-SSI for short.
Summertown Interiors has always focused on sustainability. But Bish believes clients are now increasingly looking for offices that emphases employee health and wellbeing. This bodes well for the business.
“We believe fit-outs that focus on employee health and wellbeing will continue to be a trend in 2019,” he says. “Employee health and happiness leads to more productive and high-functioning organisations, and as one of the UAE’s leading office fit-out contractors – at the forefront of delivering green and sustainable interiors – we can help our clients achieve this,” he says.
A review of the fit-out projects recently completed by Summertown Interiors suggests that this is the case. It has just finished the Royal Ahrend Healthcare Innovation and Inspiration Studio in Dubai Design District. Bish describes it as a “state-of-the-art studio” that lets healthcare providers experience an interior space compliant with all healthcare rules and regulations. It also “showcases the latest equipment and sustainable materials, reflecting the UAE’s journey towards becoming an innovative global healthcare hub,” he adds.
Summertown Interiors’ ongoing projects include fit-outs for a large government authority, a US-based multinational technology business, and an office for a quasi-government education institution in Abu Dhabi. While Bish admits the market is “very competitive” due to rising pressure on project cost and quality, the business is in a strong position. It has a good bank of projects, revenue remains healthy, and there is a clear demand for sustainable office space that it capitalise on.
“In addition to providing quality, price-competitive fit-out services, we seek to add value to all our projects from a sustainability perspective – more and more clients are realising the importance and social, economic, and environmental benefits of a sustainable fit-out. We anticipate that there will be a growing demand for ‘green’ certifications in the coming years.”