As we approach the end of the summer period, we took a look back at what our various commercial interiors teams have been getting up to around the globe.
Take a sneak peek behind the scenes of this open plan fit-out, currently being overseen and managed by our Italian team.
We can’t wait to see the finished product.
It was great to see another completion for our sports retailer client, Lids, this time in Amsterdam.
Sports fans will be able to browse displays of the latest merchandise and clothing in the Dutch capital.
There was no stopping the Amsterdam team in August, as they also completed the outfitting of Lululemon’s latest store.
Congratulations and job well done to all involved.
As a part of our ever-growing international team, each month we celebrate a colleague and put them in the hotseat to get to know them a little better.
In August, the focus was on our newly-appointed UK country head, Daniel Hunt, as he shared what his new role entails, who his dream client would be, and his favourite places in the world to have worked.
Get to know Daniel, here.
And with that, the last quarter of the year upon us, and we look forward to what’s next in store for the team.
We’ve worked hard to recruit some of the most experienced global talent from the world of design, build, construction, and project management.
And, each month, we put one of our colleagues in the spotlight so you can learn a little more about their role…
Next up, it’s our recently appointed UK country head, Daniel Hunt.
As the newly instated UK country head, I am responsible for growing the UK business and establishing a sustainable structure made up of happy and ambitious Agilité employees!
It’s early days, but I would like to think they already see me as a dedicated member of the team.
Its unwavering commitment to doing the right thing — whether through B Corp initiatives or the way we treat clients, colleagues, and partners.
It’s hard to pick, so some special places would be Monte Carlo, Skorpios Island in Greece, Tokyo, Abu Dhabi. If pressed for a favourite, it would have to be Sipan Island, northwest of Dubrovnik.
Maintaining a happy team that wants to progress and develop. Watching younger colleagues rise through the business to take on more senior roles has always given me particular satisfaction.
Liverpool Football Club calling to discuss a new fitout of the Kop!
Allow yourself time to do the due diligence.
Carshalton Athletic Football Club, watching my two girls play or train.
A number of exciting new projects and further growth opportunities.
There has been lots of environmental progress in the industry recently, however, some key challenges lie ahead.
Increasingly demanding legislation around energy efficiency in the UK will have a dramatic effect on existing office space and how usage is controlled in ageing buildings. This will hopefully have a positive impact, not only on energy consumption when the building is in use, but also the way spaces are optimised to perform as efficiently as possible. Agilité’s teams will be required to speak from an informed position on these matters, so high level training should be put in place to address this subject with authority.
And that’s a wrap — July is over and what a month it's been.
With projects won, others approaching completion, and everything in between, there’s a lot to catch up on from the past few weeks…
Our colleagues in Milan gathered under the summer sun to celebrate a series of successful project completions and enjoy a stand up comedy performance at WeWork.
The team recently wrapped up on this technical project for a well-known American athletic brand. The event presented a few challenges, but our colleagues worked hard for a fantastic end result. Well done all round.
Every month, we celebrate our international team by inviting a colleague into the hotseat to get to know them a little better.
July’s focus was Germany-based construction manager, Stephen Murray, as he shared a favourite place he’s worked, how he spends his free time, and a career highlight to date.
Get to know more about Stephen, here.
Congratulations to everyone involved with the completion of the interior outfitting for a well-known car brand in France.
A beautiful project for a pioneering brand.
The latest announcement in a series of project wins is a 650 sqm showroom in Milan, Italy. The Agilité team is very excited to get stuck in and begin work in the vibrant capital city.
Stay tuned for more updates.
Some of our Italian colleagues joined the team for a social gathering in France, and not even the rain could dampen their spirits.
Maria Luisa Daglia, country head (Italy), had the privilege of attending the esteemed birthday event at the duo of extraordinary venues Villa Mirabello in Milan and the rooftop of the Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas in Rome.
See all the highlights.
A new home for Hogan Lovells
Congratulations to the Agilité team for work on the recently-completed Hogan Lovells project in Brussels.
The modern 2,000 m2 office in the Belgian capital is all set to house around 44 employees. We’re delighted with the final result.
That’s a wrap, and with July coming to an end, we look forward to what August has to offer.
As we continue to bolster Agilité's global footprint across France, Germany, Luxembourg, Italy, and the UK, we are delighted to announce our newest appointment.
To find out more about our recruit, read the official press release below.
International commercial interiors specialist Agilité has marked its continued growth with the appointment of a new country head for the UK. The news comes in line with the company surpassing its fifth year of trading, with 2023 turnover expected to exceed €50 million.
Daniel Hunt will be stepping into the role of country head for Agilité’s UK division. As a former regional director of multi-disciplinary construction company Aecom, Daniel brings decades of industry experience working in the retail, leisure, commercial fit-out, public, and residential sectors, and has a proven track record of delivering successful budgetary control, project management, and quantity surveying services for clients across the country.
This recent appointment reflects Agilité’s commitment to bolstering its already established UK presence. Daniel will play a leading role in achieving these goals, where he will be responsible for cementing team structures, and managing UK delivery targets in a way that mirrors the Paris-headquarters’ operations overseas.
With other existing bases in Luxembourg, Milan, and Berlin, as well as a planned expansion into the US, the London evolution comes as Agilité chalks up its 235th project since its inception in January 2018 – delivered across 11 countries.
Agilité’s burgeoning client portfolio includes brands such as Lids/NBA, END., Lululemon, Big Mamma, Savills, LVMH, Booking.com, Deutsche Börse, and The Instant Group, as well as several major multinationals in the tech and finance sectors.
Enhancing the UK base marks a natural progression in Agilité’s international growth — offering a myriad of valuable opportunities to the organisation as it looks to secure new contracts, build new relationships, and continue to grow its diverse client portfolio in the English capital.
Commenting on his new role, Daniel said: “I’m delighted to be joining Agilité as the country head for the UK. I’ve always admired the business for its commitment to sustainability and an innate ability to deliver complex and dynamic projects — so it’s really exciting to be playing such a central role in expanding the organisation in the UK.
“Joining the UK business for the next stage of its evolution will help us take advantage of the numerous opportunities on offer and begin work on new projects for world-leading brands. I look forward to meeting the rest of the team and building upon what is already an innovative, pioneering organisation.”
Speaking on the announcement, Agilité’s founder and MD, Neil Coales, added: "Our vision has always remained the same — an unwavering pursuit of quality to support our clients’ growth plans. Part of this strategy has seen us establish a truly pan-European business that is operational in multiple locations for a range of customers — providing flexible and agile end-to-end service to meet the varying demands of our clients’ business needs.
“So, as we push ahead on our next chapter of success, it’s important that we focus on identifying locations and opportunities that best support our clients, and the strong supply chains we’re establishing along the way.
“I am delighted with Daniel’s appointment,” Neil continued. “And the bolstered UK base means we’ll have the means and resources to compete with other notable firms in our space.”The augmentation of the European company — which provides office, retail, and hospitality construction and fit-out work across the continent — follows 30% year-on-year growth and an increased company-wide headcount of 75.
With the first half of 2023 coming to a close, June brought us some summer sun and full schedules.
Take a look at some of the things that we’ve been up to over the past month…
It was time to put some of the Agilité team in front of the camera, as they journeyed to client McArthurGlen’s site in Dounais for a filming project — with the help of TimeLapse Go.
Operations director, Galia Minkara, project manager, Hani Benbrahim, and assistant project manager, Michale Nassar were in attendance along with construction managers Sébastien Benoit, and Aurore Lossier, all shared their experiences in working on the multi-space transformation project.
We’re very excited to see the final result!
Find out more about our other projects, here.
With an international team at Agilité, we like to give one of our colleagues the chance to introduce themselves.
Last month, it was accounting assistant, Fabio Duarte’s, turn to step into the spotlight — talking about his dream client, what he does outside of work, and the biggest challenge he thinks the construction industry is facing.
Get to know more about Fabio, here.
June 5 saw the annual celebration of World Environment Day, with this year’s theme being #BeatPlasticPollution.
Here at Agilité, we recognise that the construction industry needs to evolve to integrate more sustainable working practices.
Download our new manifesto, that shows our commitment to sustainability and environmental, social and governance (ESG), now.
May was a busy month for the whole Agilité team, with site visits, industry events and the recent launch of our guide, Conscious Construction: building a sustainable supply chain.
Take a look behind the scenes and see what we’ve been up to in May…
In case you missed it, we introduced our latest guide, Conscious construction: building a sustainable supply chain.
The whitepaper, which is free to download, highlights the impact that every business decision has upon our environment, both directly and indirectly.
With industry experts offering their insights, the report looks at steps we can take in fostering a greener future — paying particular attention to the supply chain.
To find out more — and download your copy — click here.
Agilité’s country manager for Italy, Maria Luisa Daglia, attended MAPIC Italy in Milan on 16-17 May, representing the company and participating in panel discussions around the real estate industry.
Bringing together fellow industry experts and professionals, MAPIC focused on the impact of global events — such as energy consumption, climate change and the aftermath of the pandemic — while encouraging further conversations in our commitment to a better future.
We can’t wait to attend next year to see what advancements the retail and real estate sectors make over the next twelve months!
Our design and consultancy project manager, Lucia Cuyun Prado, and junior project manager, Frederica Pisacane, toured the Skypark Business Centre’s development site at Luxembourg Airport, thanks to organisers, LuxReal.
With elements like green roofs and terraces — that are able to provide energy savings via heat storage — rainwater collection, and a photovoltaic system, it’s unsurprising that the building will boast an extremely low carbon footprint.
Set to be one of Europe’s largest wooden structures, with a scheduled completion of 2024, we’re excited to see the final result.
Following on from her master’s degree in architecture and interior design at Ecole de Condé Nancy, in France, Cécile joined the Agilité team at the start of 2022.
In this interview, we discovered what attracted her to Agilité, what she does in her spare time, and her favourite music genre.
Get to know more about Cécile, here.
In a survey conducted in October 2022, more than three-quarters of British consumers said they felt that environmental claims were misleading. The poll, conducted by Sensu Insight, serves to illustrate the wider dangers of greenwashing.
“Greenwashing is often a result of an organisation’s marketing department investing heavily in the appearance of being sustainable, rather than focusing efforts on a robust CSR strategy,” says Marcus Brew, managing director at UNTHA UK.
As part of his contributions to Agilité’s latest report, Conscious Construction: Building a Sustainable Supply Chain, Brew warns of the dangers of intentionally misleading the public. He cites the Corporate Finance Institute’s definition, which is:
“Greenwashing is when the management team within an organisation makes false, unsubstantiated, or outright misleading statements or claims about the sustainability of a product or a service, or even about business operations more broadly.”
Brew also notes that being “green” in construction is only as good as the client’s brief. This includes making key decisions from the start of a project, not just looking at the eco-credentials at the end.
Other things to look out for include:
Of course, not every organisation is out to deliberately mislead their customers. Much of the challenge comes from not knowing how to accurately measure or report our sustainability efforts. As such, it’s easier to make vague claims than provide facts and figures.
Compounded with ever-changing legislation and pressure from organisations like the UN, businesses may struggle to cope. The good news is that there are internationally recognised standards we can follow to assure a sustainable future.
A great place to start is to look towards these globally accepted standards for measuring your business’ impact. The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) sets out key standards to follow, including Universal Standards such as human rights, and sector-specific standards.
Likewise, the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board offers businesses and investors more information on the financial impacts of sustainability.
From a broader viewpoint, we can also follow the example of B Lab Benelux, who offer the following recommendations to avoid greenwashing:
1. State the sustainability benefits of your product or service clearly
“Promoting cleaner oceans” doesn’t cut it. Use concrete examples to explain the benefits, for instance, explain how switching to recycled plastic or investing in certain organisations has saved X tonnes from going to landfill.
2. Keep your claims up to date with facts
Every claim must be substantiated with a fact from a credible source, such as the UN. Keep in mind that legislation changes all the time, so update your policies and comms in line with this.
3. Be fair when comparing to other companies or products
Sustainability should never be used to attack other brands – we are all united in the same cause. If your product does use X% less, say so, but make sure you have the facts from both sides.
4. Use honest, specific language when talking about sustainability
Vague terminology will only alienate readers. “We’re passionate about the circular economy” tells us nothing. “We invest X% of our profits into biomass technologies” is clear and specific.
5. Make sure any certifications are genuine and not confusing
Research the best certifications relative to your industry, and make sure these are clearly communicated. A sustainability policy page, for example, can be used to outline the standards set by these awarding bodies.
Insights on how to avoid greenwashing and measure your environmental impact are available now in our new report, Conscious Construction: Building a Sustainable Supply Chain. Download your free copy today.
One core belief that we stand by at Agilité is that we are only as good as our supply chain. But what does this mean in practice? Every decision we make as business owners has some impact on the environment – whether it’s direct, such as greenhouse gas emissions, or indirectly through our suppliers.
We all want to do better for the planet. But one of the biggest objections to making sustainable change comes from lack of knowledge. How can we measure the impact of our carbon-cutting initiatives, and where does the supply chain fit into this?
A great place to start is by reviewing our suppliers. We need to look for credentials – real standards as set by organisations such as the Global Reporting Initiative – as well as solid evidence of change-making. This will require some degree of research and transparency between suppliers, for example:
Moving to a sustainable supply chain affects every facet of the business. In our latest report, Conscious Construction: Building a Sustainable Supply Chain, we discuss the wide-reaching benefits.
1. The climate imperative
At present, the construction industry is one of the biggest contributors to climate change – responsible for 40% of water pollution and 50% of landfill waste respectively. By reducing our climate impact, we can create a more sustainable future, while also improving our bottom lines.
Alexandre Loisy, pre-construction director at Agilité, says: “Reducing your business’ environmental impact can lead to huge savings. Not only will it reduce waste; it will also boost efficiency and create a positive culture within the organisation.”
2. Legislative concerns
An ESG conscience is not only a “nice-to-have”, says Cintia Procaci, founder of eco-conscious consultancy A Beautiful Green. Legislative changes can impact risk management, so it is important for companies to have full transparency over their supply chain.
Likewise, she notes, pressure from other organisations such as the EU will put the spotlight on reporting. “One EU proposal will demand that multinationals have clarity around human rights in the value chain, whilst another asks companies to produce non-financial reports that detail their sustainability efforts.”
3. Winning new business
Corporate social responsibility is now becoming aligned with other value-adding factors such as price or reliability. Procaci adds: “Ethically, stakeholders are becoming increasingly educated around the sustainable issues facing the global population.”
This means that businesses are increasingly incentivised to work with others who share their values. As Loisy notes, making our green agenda known can help to establish strong professional connections. Accreditations such as ISO 14001 only serve to strengthen this further.
4. Diversifying the supply chain
The events of 2020 and beyond have wreaked untold havoc on supply chains throughout the world. From a pandemic to conflict, stakeholders are having to source new means to deliver their products on time.
A sustainable supply chain is a diversified one – working with multiple suppliers to reduce mileage and deliver on schedule. This prevents downtime and protects companies’ reputations.
5. Improving company culture
A sustainable supply chain helps us to mitigate risk. These risks are not only about buying and selling, but about the workforce itself. Just as our clients are looking to work with more socially conscious businesses, so too are colleagues.
A global millennial survey by Deloitte found that 63% of workers in this age range donate to charities, while 43% volunteer. By weaving sustainability into the company culture, we can attract top talent.
Prioritising corporate social responsibility will have far-reaching, long-term benefits for your business. But how can we start to make the change? Our report, Conscious Construction: Building a Sustainable Supply Chain, offers actionable tips and insights to help you get started.
It’s no secret that the construction industry is largely responsible for the carbon footprint of UK businesses. In April 2022, sobering statistics from Bimhow revealed that the industry contributes to:
Of course, it doesn’t have to be this way – and the onus is on us as business owners to make better decisions. Much of this comes down to the supply chain, leveraging transparency and visibility, and working with sustainable suppliers.
It’s a topic that we discuss at length in our latest report, Conscious Construction: Building a Sustainable Supply Chain. Here, our senior project manager Antonio Borges shares his tips for sustainable store concepts and materials – without breaking the bank.
Construction projects aren’t running 24 hours a day – and neither should your power. Powering down temporary installations such as lighting can save up to 5 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.
Working with recycled or recyclable materials reduces our reliance on new production. Educating yourself on factors like the four main types of plastics and looking for credentials such as ISO 14001 will guide decision-making.
Not only should materials be sustainable; they should be robust. Consider the long-term impact of the materials you use. For example, investing in hardwood flooring once will have less impact than continually reflooring a retail store.
The space itself should be designed efficiently, with zones to encourage free movement rather than staying in one place. This will help to disperse energy equally, and without waste.
When signing up to work with any new supplier, always enquire about lean materials. A value engineering approach will help to use fewer materials without compromising the overall look and feel of the project.
By grouping deliveries, you can save on journeys and reduce emissions. Bulk ordering materials to the site will decrease mileage, as will working with local suppliers. According to the World Economic Forum, last-mile deliveries will contribute to some of the largest increases in carbon emissions by 2030.
Demolition is a huge factor in the footprint of the construction sector – contributing 0.004 to 0.1kg of CO2 per kg of concrete material. Reusing elements in an existing space will lessen our reliance on demolition.
Smart control systems offer a holistic dashboard of analytics to identify where energy is being used – and crucially, where it’s being wasted. Keeping an eye on these analytics will help to drive costs down and maintain lower emissions.
Lower temperatures work wonders for energy consumption. The UK alone has the potential to save 1.18 million tonnes of CO2 per year by turning down thermostats by just 1C.
With transportation accounting for 14% of all greenhouse gas emissions, it pays to use local suppliers. Once again, optimising deliveries in bulk will reduce mileage, while it’s also advisable to work with greener logistics teams where possible.
Creating a more sustainable supply chain doesn’t need to be overwhelming. Even making the smallest changes can have a huge impact – it all starts with education. For more insights, download our free copy of Conscious Construction: Building a Sustainable Supply Chain today.
Fluent in three languages and hailing from Morocco, our technical project manager, Ahmed’s role sees him working closely with subcontractors, as well as supervising all site activities.
Ahmed ensures the smooth execution of work – from the initial start of the project, to meeting the client’s deadline – alongside the safety of all sites, and adherence to budgets.
Here, he tackles ten burning questions about his background, experience, and favourite elements of his role…
1. Tell us what attracted you to Agilité?
I was ready for a new challenge in my career. Agilité is a growing company and I wanted to play a part in its expansion. In addition, many of the projects we work on are for prestigious, well-known clients – something that really appealed to me.
2. Can you share a little bit about your background?
My background is in MEP design, working on HVAC systems while supervising all technical elements of a project. Having spent five and a half years in a similar role to the one I have now, I was enticed here by the prospect of working on more office, retail, and hospitality developments for world-leading brands.
3. Describe a defining moment in your career.
In my very first role, I worked as an HVAC engineer. My fledgling project was 27,000 sqm in Algiers. Three months after completion, I became the main point of contact between my team and the client — a huge challenge for me, which advanced my career significantly!
4. What does your role involve?
Supervising all technical aspects of our projects while analysing complex documents for tenders — such as surveys and designs.
5. The phone rings and it’s your dream client… who is it?
I don’t have one specific client. But a project would be one that challenges us and incorporates beautiful features, luxury elements, and strong architecture.
6. When you’re not at work, where are we most likely to find you?
I like to cook. My specialty is Moroccan food, but I like experimenting with all cuisines. I also enjoy watching TV series’ and hanging out with my friends.
7. Which country or city is at the top of your ‘must-visit’ list?
Albania. I’ve heard it’s a beautiful, natural, and authentic place.
8. What’s your favourite productivity trick?
When I enjoy what I am doing, I never struggle to stay focused.
9. How would you describe Agilité to a relative?
A growing, vibrant company with a great energy.
10. As an organisation with sustainability at its heart, Agilité is dedicated to minimising environmental impact within the construction industry. What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the sector, and how do you think we can rectify it?
The challenge is to construct ‘smart’ buildings that are environmentally friendly, well-designed, and consume minimal energy. A key method is utilising local materials and products that don’t have a negative impact on the environment.
Cormac O’Sullivan is no stranger to the wider Agilité family, having been a part of our team since 2019 – when he joined as a project manager. Following his recent promotions to operations director (Rest of Europe), we caught up with him, to find out more about his new role – and his ambitions.
Under his new remit, Cormac assumes ultimate responsibility for any of our deliveries outside of France and Italy – which are led by Galia Minkara and Maria Luisa Daglia, respectively. Day-to-day, he will oversee our international commercial interiors projects, taking them from A-Z and ensuring our teams, partners, and suppliers are set up to do just that.
Having been an integral part of the business for the past four years, Cormac’s progression has been in tandem with Agilité’s own exponential growth. A civil engineer by training, and with a background in Cat A/B corporate real estate fit out projects, Cormac is our go-to for the ‘big’ projects that land at our door.
Challenges he enjoys because of the diversity within the team: “Bigger projects equate to more people and therefore a more diverse crew. You’re meeting individuals from all walks of life, with differing experiences and opinions – allowing for a truly collaborative build,” explained Cormac.
So, without further ado, we thought we’d put Cormac in the hotseat, and find out a little more about him...
Which one word would colleagues use to describe you?
Direct - I like to get to the point!
Why do you think Agilité stands out from competitors?
We get things done. By understanding our clients, we know how to get them from point A to point B – on a hassle-free journey. No matter what happens on a project, we’ll find a way to facilitate it, whatever it takes.
You have worked in some amazing places around the world. Which has been your favourite?
San Fransisco. It was prior to working with Agilité, and I was doing groundwork in civil engineering. If I had to choose somewhere in Europe it would have to be Lisbon – and project-wise, I’d probably say Booking.com, Kirkland and Ellis, and many of the confidential tech projects we work on.
What’s your biggest career highlight to date?
Having my own career follow Agilité’s growth trajectory – the genesis of it feels pretty special.
The phone rings and it’s your dream client… who is it?
What key piece of advice would you give to a client planning a commercial interiors project?
Proper due diligence is key – on the building or the space you’re taking – and underpins the success of the entire delivery, so don’t rush it!
When you’re not at work, where are we most likely to find you?
I live in Bordeaux, France, so much of my downtime is spent on the beach or in the water, surfing.
What’s next for Agilité?
That would be telling! What I can say, is that you can expect to see us exploring new opportunities and new geographies – both in and outside of Europe.
As an organisation with sustainability at its heart, Agilité is dedicated to minimising environmental impact within the construction industry. What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the sector, and how do you think we can rectify it?
That is such a hard question, because there are so many wider economic factors at play – particularly now. As an industry, we need to phase out old methods of choosing products, and manufacturers and designers should seek to collaborate to offer more sustainable options.
Those involved in planning a project would use ‘greener’ options if they knew where to find them, but if such a solution isn’t obviously on the market, people won’t go looking for it. I do believe that clients would buy into them, if they were readily available.
European commercial interiors specialist Agilité has expanded into Berlin, Germany – marking a natural progression in the company’s international growth.
The news follows several retail roll-out projects in the country – for clients such as NBA, Lids, Fred Perry, Lululemon, Instant, Facilitate/Zander, and TOG Berlin. Since its creation in 2021, the business has over-performed, with turnover in excess of €5m, six full-time members of staff, and a forecasted increase of 200% in both turnover and headcount by the end of 2023.
“Germany is a very important market for Agilité, and one that has continued to grow as we maintain our strategy of following clients into new territories,” explained Kirsty Shearer, Agilité development director.
“Due to its vast geography, it has quickly become apparent that we need to have people and a supply chain spread across the country to support the growth that we are seeing as a business – as well as that of our clients.”
As opportunities in Germany have increased, the local team continues to flourish and there are plans to recruit for further roles, including project and construction managers, as well as cost estimators in the coming months.
Neil Coales, managing director of Agilité said: “Given our ever-increasing order book in Germany, expanding our operational footprint has been a natural growth progression and will allow us to better serve our customers in the region. The Berlin bureau is important for colleagues and team building as our organisation grows, as well as to uphold our ambition of being a truly local delivery partner.”
It’s also loyal customers — who account for 65% of Agilité’s portfolio — that are the driving force behind its rapid expansion, as Neil continued: "When we decided to launch Agilité, the strategy from the beginning was to have a seamless pan-European business that could be operational in numerous locations for multiple customers.
“We don't want to have an office in every country, rather, we identify locations that best support our clients' growth plans and the strong local supply chains we are trying to build. The pursuit of quality is as much our goal as the overall expansion."
The expansion of the European company — which provides office, retail, and hospitality construction and fit-out work across the continent — promises further growth in all locations in 2023, as well as exciting new geographies.
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