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 senior project manager, Martina Mariani. 

1.Hello Martina! Firstly, tell us what inspired you to join the Agilité team. 

I was inspired to join the Agilité team because of its international culture, and its track record of delivering exceptional projects that leave a lasting positive impact on communities. 

2.Can you share a little bit about what you do, and the role you play in the delivery of Agilité's projects? 

I'm a project manager for retail and office projects. Day to day, this involves overseeing the design process, coordinating with clients and stakeholders, managing budgets and schedules, ensuring compliance with regulations, and leading a multidisciplinary team to deliver successful outcomes for our office, retail and hospitality projects. 

3.How would you describe our organisation and the work we do to someone who had never heard of Agilité before? 

Agilité is responsible for overseeing and managing the construction process of a project. Our role is crucial in bringing the architect's design vision to life through efficient and high-quality construction practices. We coordinate and manage contractors, procure materials and equipment, manage schedules and budgets, ensure compliance with building codes and regulations, and ultimately deliver the completed project to the client! 

4.What has been your favourite Agilité project to work on, to-date? 

I enjoyed working on project for a financial services client (who we can’t name) on a 1,300 sqm office in an iconic building in the centre of magnificent Milan. Witnessing the project transformation from plans on paper, to a functional workspace that enhances productivity and inspires collaboration was incredibly rewarding. 

5.In your opinion, what makes Agilité stand out from the crowd? And how do you put your own stamp on that distinction? 

I believe Agilité’s strength is in the prioritisation of clear communication, attention to detail, and a collaborative approach that fosters strong relationships with our collaborators. As a project manager, I strive to ensure that our projects meet these expectations by anticipating potential challenges, and proactively finding solutions to ensure smooth progress and outstanding results. 

6.Describe a defining moment in your career, and how it has shaped the work you do at Agilité. 

The first projects I ever managed taught me the importance of effective communication and collaboration, which are central principles in not only my approach to project management but one of the core tenets of the whole company. 

7.If a dream client were to call, who would it be and why? (please name a specific brand or organisation) 

If a dream client were to call, it would be Apple, known for its iconic design ethos, innovative approach to technology, and commitment to sustainability. Working with Apple would offer an opportunity to collaborate on cutting-edge projects that integrate architecture and technology to create transformative spaces. 

8.What one piece of advice would you give to a client looking to expand into a new country, drawing from your experiences and expertise? 

One piece of advice I would give is to prioritise understanding the local culture, regulations and market dynamics. Building strong relationships with local partners and advisors is invaluable when navigating potential challenges and seizing opportunities. 

9.What excites you most about the future of Agilité? How do you see your role contributing to this vision? 

I can see Agilité leading the way in creating transformative spaces that meet the evolving needs of our clients in a way which positively impacts communities and the environment. I see my role as someone championing collaborative approaches, advocating for sustainable practices in all our projects and fostering creativity and efficiency in project delivery. 

10.In what ways do you envision Agilité continuing to lead the way in sustainable practices within the construction industry? How do you personally align with Agilité's sustainability values? 

I envision Agilité continuing to lead the way in this area by integrating sustainability into every aspect of our projects, from design to construction. This includes utilising renewable materials, optimising energy efficiency, and minimising environmental impacts throughout the project lifecycle. Personally, I align with Agilité's sustainability values by prioritising resource efficiency and social responsibility in my work. 

11.What industry changes or trends do you think will have the biggest impact on our sector over the coming year? 

I think the biggest impact will be on sustainability: with increasing awareness of climate change and environmental degradation, there will be a continued emphasis on sustainable design and construction practices, such as renewable energy systems, green building certifications, and the use of eco-friendly materials. 

12.And finally, when you’re not at work, where are we most likely to find you? 

In keeping with the theme of sustainability, I love exploring the outdoors and enjoying nature! I also enjoy spending time with family and friends. Finding a balance between work and leisure activities is really important to me, so I make sure to prioritise activities that recharge my mind. 

The Agilité team is full of the most experienced global talent from the wide-ranging world of design, build, construction and project management. Every month, we spotlight members of our team, to share their passions, interests and ambitions. Closing out 2023 is Mohsen Layeghi, our assistant project manager. Read on to find out why he is obsessed with timekeeping, and where his country to work from is…

1. Describe your job in one paragraph.

Generally speaking, as an assistant project manager it’s my responsibility to help the project manager to achieve their day-to-day goals. This involves communicating with clients and subcontractors, ensuring every problem is being addressed, change orders are being placed and that no stone is left unturned.

2. Which one word would colleagues use to describe you?

If I had to choose, I’d say “caring”. Being a kind and considerate person to my colleagues is of high importance to me. It benefits all of us, in just the same way that working to a high standard does.

3. Why do you think Agilité stands out from competitors?

Agilité prioritises getting the job done in a given timeframe. Many businesses aim to work to tight schedules, but in practice, this is easier said than done, and something we can all be proud of.

4. You have worked in some amazing places around the world. Which has been your favourite?

Out of all of them, Amsterdam! It may not be the most exotic, but it is an amazing place to spend time and work.

5. What’s your biggest career highlight to date?

Definitely when I realised I was able to rise – and thrive – in the face of a challenge! Our project for Lululemon (in Amsterdam) needed to be delivered in under six weeks, and it was incredibly satisfying to see the team’s hard work pay off!

6. The phone rings and it’s your dream client… who is it?

We already work with my dream client, General Motors! And, while Agilité has delivered projects elsewhere in Europe for General Motors, the dream for me would be to work on something for them in Berlin.

7. What key piece of advice would you give to a client planning a commercial interiors project?

Three things: Firstly, make sure you’re in touch with local consultants about the local regulations and structural capacity of the building. Secondly, plan ahead with building materials, as some products may not be available in certain locations, or will have a lengthy lead time – so take advice from your contractors. And finally, expect changes! If you don’t, you’ll risk not delivering the project on time.

8. When you’re not at work, where are we most likely to find you?

Spending time with my wife.

9. What’s next for Agilité?

Agilité has made tremendous progress in attracting clients and projects in different parts of the EU. Going forward, I’d love for us to welcome repeat work for these clients, and be able to grow our team and in newer locations, such as across Germany.

10. As an organisation with sustainability at its heart, Agilité Solutions 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?

I think concrete is a big issue, as it needs a huge amount of water and energy, but using alternatives such as Pozzolan Concrete or fly ashes concrete can make a big difference. The second factor – which also can be used in non-structural sectors of construction – is limiting transportation by designing and sourcing building or fitout materials from local suppliers. It doesn’t make sense to source an environmentally-friendly material from hundreds of kilometres away, so a pragmatic approach is needed.

In a bid to manage projects more efficiently and provide an exemplary standard of work to our client base, Agilité began using cloud-based construction project management software, Procore in 2020. 

Here, we delve into the reasons why…  

Used in over 150 countries worldwide — and dispelling the notion that construction is one of the least digitised industries — Procore provides users with the building tools to manage risk, grow profits, and ensure data is secure, all the while boosting productivity and performance. Centred around one true, connected platform, all information is housed in a single app, granting users access and insight into everything happening throughout a project’s life cycle.  

Before Procore, we relied on traditional methods of project management, which were time-consuming and sometimes prone to errors. We also communicated with clients and subcontractors exclusively via email and telephone, which often led to misinterpretations and delays in project completion. As a result, we recognised the need for a more efficient and collaborative approach.  

Since this partnership began, Procore has not only helped Agilité to streamline our project management processes, it has also allowed us to improve communication and collaborate more effectively with clients and subcontractors alike. Team members are able to manage projects anywhere, at any time — a real bonus for our pan-European organisation. Benefitting from full visibility of a project, colleagues are permitted to swiftly identify potential issues and take corrective action before they escalate even further.  

Commenting on the transition, our project manager Zeid Shehadeh noted: “Today, everything happens on the platform — from the call for tenders, through to the final delivery of a project. We are now much more efficient, as all of the information we work with — both internally and externally — is stored and accessible in one place. 

"We try to use Procore for all aspects of the site project, and every day we go from strength to strength, thanks to the regular integration of new tools to the platform. For us, one of the major advantages of Procore has been to unite our teams around projects so that they run as smoothly as possible. We’re looking forward to our continued exploration of this powerful tool and its many integrations.” 

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.

We’ve worked hard to recruit some of the most experienced global talent from the world of design, build, construction and project management.

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 project manager, Federica Pisacane, who is based out of our Luxembourg office…

 

Describe your job in one paragraph

My role as project manager is to foster strong customer relationships while planning and implementing the design element of our developments.

I love taking the lead on projects and site meetings, as well as delivering top quality results — not only to meet the client expectations, but to bolster Agilité’s reputation as a trusted, professional partner.

 

Which one word would colleagues use to describe you?

I think ‘proactive’. I love to find solutions to meet the challenges of a project and really understanding the needs of the client in order to produce the best results — both in terms of quality and cost-effectiveness.

 

Why do you think Agilité stands out from competitors?

We always put the customer first and are human in our approach.

 

You have worked in some amazing places around the world. Which has been your favourite?

As an architect of interiors, Milan has been the key inspiration for my early career. The fairs, events, and fashion have motivated my studies and ignited my passion for the industry.

 

What’s your biggest career highlight to date?

I have been designing retail stores throughout the pandemic which has been a real challenge and encouraged me to think outside of the box when reimagining spaces.

 

The phone rings and it’s your dream client… who is it?

My dream client would be one that allows me to think to 360 degrees while experimenting with new methods of design. I thrive off unconventional projects — researching new ways of managing the space is what thrills me the most.

 

What key piece of advice would you give to a client planning a fit-out project on a budget?

A clear brief is the best starting point to get to the result in the most efficient way. Keeping the objective and priorities in mind throughout is key to ensuring you deliver the highest quality result within the budget.

 

When you’re not at work, where are we most likely to find you?

On my terrace taking care of my plants — and trying not to kill them! Gardening is something that really relaxes me and I’m happiest when I’m outside on a sunny day tending to the various leafy species.

 

What’s next for Agilité?

To become the number one trusted partner across Europe. We continue to build a strong team — leveraging our collective expertise to strengthen our reputation as competitive players in the construction industry.

 

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?

Waste is definitely one of the major topics in our sector, as it can turn into a serious issue for every construction project. I would say the biggest challenge is trying to incorporate reusable elements while minimising waste. This can only be achieved if everyone involved in the construction process plays their part. Ultimately, it’s about each person — from designers to tradespeople — having a more sustainable attitude, while working together to reduce our environmental impact.

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