Holding the Reins of Industrial Construction

Holding the Reins of Industrial Construction

Industrial floors stretching across three million m² and up to 400,000 m² of construction – element construction founders Levan Beradze and Paata Chitorelidze, together with the company’s team of professionals, are implementing innovative approaches and maintaining a leading position on the market.

Element Construction has been involved in numerous complex projects of national significance.

The company’s calling card is the largest Coca-Cola factory in the South Caucasus. It was completed in nine months using the design-build system. The process of selecting the construction company and each phase of work was directly controlled by the Coca-Cola head office. “This project helped us prove that our own standards fully comply with international requirements,” Element Construction founder Levan Beradze says.

Levan Beradze graduated from the Georgian Technical University with a degree in Construction Economics and Management in 1996. He went on to study Construction Management at the University of Münster in Germany. Parallel to his studies, he worked in production for the German construction firm Rukwerk in 2000-2003 and later held the same position at Brefeld in 2003-2005. Having graduated from the University of Münster in 2005, Levan returned to Georgia and founded Element Construction two years later. The implementation of German construction industry disciplines proved to be a massive success. Element Construction has since designed several well-known civil, industrial and hydraulic engineering projects.

One of the standout projects in terms of its specificity and complexity is the Mtkvari HPP, where the company constructed a water intake tunnel and a fishing pass. “The high quality of our work is highlighted by the number of recommendations Element Construction has received from the international supervisory firm ILF,” says Levan Beradze. The list of hydraulic engineering projects implemented by the company also includes the Avani, Kintrishi and Bakhvi hydroelectric power plants.

“Each construction phase is controlled by our company’s environmental specialists through systematic supervision and lab research,” adds Element Construction co-founder Paata Chitorelidze.

Born in 1977, Paata Chitorelidze attended Public School N61 and Vladimir Komarov School of Physics and Mathematics. He studied commerce and marketing at Tbilisi State University and obtained a master’s degree in business administration from ESM. Paata is a well-known figure in the Georgian banking sector. In 2001-2018, he held various senior positions at TBC Bank, including Head of the Corporate Rehabilitation Department. In 2018, while holding the position of Deputy Director for the Corporate and Investment Banking Business, he focused entirely on Element Construction, which he co-founded with Levan Beradze in 2007. From the outset, the company’s central values were founded on quality and safety. This allowed Element Construction to establish itself as a brand in the construction market. A growing number of projects soon allowed the company to expand.

Paata Chitorelidze believes that Element Construction has become a platform from which even seemingly unimaginable construction projects can be implemented. The experienced team at Element Construction can execute projects of all difficulties while offering clients innovative construction solutions. According to Paata Chitorelidze, apart from continuous development and implementing novel approaches, Element Construction revolves around one invariable rule: The utmost responsibility to the client and the company’s own staff.

The McDonald’s building in Saburtalo is a standout project regarding occupational health and safety standards. Construction and renovation works were conducted while the restaurant continued to function. The McDrive was also actively operating throughout this period.

“By working in a fully functioning facility, Element Construction demonstrated the highest level of understanding of occupational health and safety issues,” Levan Beradze says.

Element Construction has been awarded the ISO 45001:2018 certificate (an occupational health and safety standard). According to the company’s founders, the occupational safety department of Element Construction was established at a time when this was not yet a legal requirement in Georgia. The company was also ahead of regulations on implementing GMP and GDP standards in the planning and construction processes. All of this helps develop innovative approaches.

Another notable project is the walnut processing plant built in the village of Chumlaki in two and a half months. This project stands out because the client saved substantial financial resources because of the construction solutions offered by Element Construction.

“Innovation is our speciality. We focus on optimal construction solutions that allow our clients to save money. We enable the implementation and dissemination of modern approaches. We promote energy efficiency and renewable energy. We constantly research international novel approaches and take them into account right from the planning stage,” Paata Chitorelidze states.

The company’s responsibility, quality and compliance with international standards also determine the profile of its customers. The extensive list of Element Construction’s clients includes leading Georgian firms from various sectors, as well as numerous international brands.

In the field of industrial construction, the company actively cooperates with the leading players in the logistics, distribution, food, wine, and non-alcoholic beverage sectors, including Coca-Cola, Borjomi, Binekhi, Wine Kakheti, Sarajishvili, Chateau Mukhrani, Telavi Wine Cellar, Noste, Libo Group, Eurotrade and LTB, as well as holding companies such as Askaneli, Tbilvino, Biu-Biu, Sante and Tolia. The company’s clients include pharmaceutical and medical industry leaders such as Impex and Medula. HoReCa giants such as McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Express by Holiday Inn and Best Western Gudauri have also entrusted their projects to Element Construction. Highly specialized projects with a narrow focus include brands such as Hilton Garden Inn, Radisson Red, Radisson Collection, Biltmore and Le Meridien Batumi. The client portfolio also covers the public and education sectors in the shape of Terminal and Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani University. Element Construction actively cooperates with the development sector (for example, with Archi, Krtsanisi Villa Residence and Binadari), while in the field of hydraulic engineering, the company’s clients include GWP, Energy Invest, Hydro Development Company and Bakhvi Hydro Power. Apart from construction, many clients (Coca-Cola, Wendy’s, Tserovani Logistics Centre, Shilda Winery, and others) also use Element Construction’s project design services.

Levan Beradze | Photo Credits to Khatuna Khutsishvili / Forbes

Industrial construction is currently the highest-demanded service offered by Element Construction. The company is linked with some of the most significant industrial projects implemented in Georgia in recent years.

Today, Element Construction is the author of many well-known industrial, hydro-technical or civil projects.

“Element Construction has been named the top industrial construction firm in Georgia by a survey that included state, non-governmental and business sector representatives, independent economic experts, managers, business administration specialists, consulting firms and university professors. Additionally, more than 2,000 consumers were surveyed. They collectively identified Element Construction as the market leader,” Levan Beradze says. It all started in 2007 with a single mortar pump imported from Germany by the founders. “It was the first piece of equipment of its kind in Georgia – it did not even have a customs code,” Levan Beradze recalls with a smile.

As a result, flooring underlayment became mechanized in Georgia. At that time, the company operated under All-P Group and actively provided innovative flooring and waterproofing technology to the Georgian market.

“The team that we assembled in 2007 is largely still with us to this day,” Paata Chitorelidze says.

The success achieved in these highly specialized fields in 2012 took the company to a new stage of development. The first steps in civil construction were soon followed by a cycle of exciting projects in the hydraulic and industrial construction field. However, the company has not abandoned its specialized fields at any stage of development – on the contrary; it has constantly developed and strengthened them. The Element Construction holding company currently unites businesses offering essential services such as flowing technologies, waterproofing, manufacturing and installation of metal structures, electrical work, production of dry construction mixtures, and various specialized repair work.

“The rapid growth of the companies necessitated the creation of a holding unit that provides centralized services and manages the subsidiary firms, helping to integrate them into the holding system and sharing the experience, expertise and organizational culture accumulated in each subsidiary. The holding company is run by a board of directors that approves the development strategy of the companies and monitors its implementation,” Paata Chitorelidze explains.

Element Construction has been awarded the ISO 9001:2015 international quality management certificate. “The company’s business processes meet the requirements of the international management standard. ISO 9001:2015 minimizes the number of risks in the construction process. This standard reflects the quality of construction, organizational structure, business process management and legal aspects,” Levan Beradze says.

One can confidently say that Element Construction withstood the difficulties caused by the pandemic. Proper risk analysis and risk management enabled the company to cope with the main task of maintaining the pace of project implementation and the number of its employees. The company’s founders explain that combining the resources of different subsidiaries increases competitiveness in terms of both price and quality and enables the company to overcome any challenges it might face.

Paata Chitorelidze | Photo Credits to Khatuna Khutsishvili / Forbes

Element Construction was one of the first companies to offer its staff the option to work remotely. Over a period of three months, all employees working remotely received their salaries and bonuses in total. “Not only did we retain our team during the pandemic, but we also actually expanded it quite significantly,” states Paata Chitorelidze.

Element Construction is a member of the UN Global Compact – the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative based on ten principles concerning human rights, labour rights and tackling corruption.

Education is the company’s focus in terms of corporate social responsibility. To support educational initiatives, the company cooperates with the nongovernment sector and private and state higher education institutions (promoting non-formal education, providing students with the necessary equipment and internet for remote learning, and undertaking training).

“Element Construction offers students not only the chance to gain experience but also gives them future employment and promotion opportunities. We believe that supporting the younger generation and startups is essential for developing the entrepreneurial sector,” says Paata Chitorelidze.

According to the company’s founders, there is still uncertainty in the market. The current situation is complicated by the war in Ukraine, and Element Construction tries to play its part in supporting the Ukrainian people. The company sponsored a charity event organized by the American Chamber of Commerce. More significantly, the company has expressed its readiness to employ Ukrainian citizens in accordance with their competencies.

“One of them now holds a top managerial position at Element Construction,” Levan Beradze says.

It seems that Element Construction will successfully overcome the challenges posed by the war. This can also be seen from the list of current and planned projects.

With regard to ongoing activities, having recently completed a construction project for Wine Kakheti, Element Construction has been commissioned by the company to design and build a new enterprise. Work continues on the Binekhi Winery complex, which is particularly interesting for the company due to its functional diversity and modern architectural elements. The construction of a new Noste farm is also in an active phase: Element Construction will build eight poultry farms, four auxiliary buildings and two offices across an area of 15,500m2. These buildings must be completed within four months. Construction of the high-tech pharmaceutical warehousing centre Pharma Solution and the Impex multifunctional complex is also nearing completion. The new Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani University campus will soon open its doors to the public, while a new Wendy’s restaurant is currently being built on George Balanchine Street in Tbilisi. In the development sector, Element Construction is carrying out construction work for Archi, Vista Development, Villa Residence and Dadiani Residence.

Regarding future plans, the company will introduce a technological novelty in the Georgian construction market in precast reinforced concrete structures. The company’s founders insist that this is the trendiest technology today. According to them, the system will allow the company to build faster and with better quality, while customers will also save funds.

“We will initially use this innovative technology in industrial construction,” Levan Beradze says.

The intentions of Element Construction remain unchanged: Maintaining their consistent innovation, holding the reins of industrial construction, and being equally in demand in the fields of hydraulic engineering and civil construction.

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