Pablo Bertolín and Andrés Perales are the founders of Designable and forerunners of ‘crowdbuilding’ in Spain.
This concrete for construction is flexible and sustainable
The Valencian startup Designable has taken a further step in its introduction of crowdbuilding in Spain with the Palleter Building in the capital of Turia, whose construction is expected to be completed in about 30 months.
It is a real estate co-promotion platform where the traditional figure of the developer disappears, which through its technology facilitates contact between neighboring communities, landowners and architects.
This initiative differs from the two buildings already undertaken since 2016 under this new construction modality in that it involves a joint venture, and opens the door to small investors from a minimum of 1,000 euros.
In this way, the Palleter Building activates the joint venture in the property, since the money contributed is not destined to the capital of Designable but to construction.
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Crowdbuilding has been gaining weight after the bursting of the real estate bubble in 2008 and represents a highly developed formula to guarantee the success of real estate projects. The Netherlands and Germany are leading the way in its application.
The Designable platform enriches this process with its financial structure thanks to its technology and allows neighborhood communities, landowners and architects to undertake it with guarantees of success.
Along these lines, the tool responds to three challenges in the real estate sector. On the one hand, its buildings achieve energy self-sufficiency. The Palleter Building produces renewable energy with photovoltaic solar panels and uses aerothermal energy to condition and heat the water in the houses.
On the other hand, the production model is based on crowbuilding that avoids speculative construction, since only the buildings that are needed are produced. It is a production on demand.
Lastly, the client has the possibility of personalizing what will be his home, a difficult maxim to achieve given the scarce supply of quality new construction in consolidated settings such as city centers.
Designable leads this new ‘anti-speculation’ construction model, customizable and respectful of the natural environment in Spain. It creates neighborhood communities and connects them thanks to its technology with landowners and local architecture studios.
In its commitment to local talent, Designable surrounds itself with local architects since it is these professionals who best know the neighborhoods and the regulations of the area. From the platform, they are only offered an orientation to be able to adapt to their technology.
Thanks to this, citizens have access to quality housing in city centers, landowners can sell quickly at fair prices and architects get projects with profitable and secure contracts. Everyone wins.
“The biggest difference of Designable compared to the original housing cooperative models is that in our case the people who want to build their house do not have to know each other beforehand,” explains Andrés Perales, co-founder of the platform.
The Palleter Building is the third project that Designable’s technology develops under the crowdbuilding modality and its main innovation in investment is the entry of small investors.
“We give the option of small investors to invest to grant bridging loans to families who buy their houses. It is a joint venture. In exchange, they obtain a 5% profitability during the time the building is built,” says Perales.
The benefits for home buyers are clear: “You do not have to contribute 40% of the initial cost, but about 15% less, which makes the initiative very attractive,” emphasizes the co-founder.
In this way, crowdbuilding works in a similar way to a loan in the Palleter Building: it is invested at a fixed annual interest rate (5%) over a period (approximately 30 months), which ends when the houses are delivered. With the capital invested and the payment initial owners buy the plot.
A thousand buildings in 3 years
The future is ambitious for Designable. The Valencia-based crowdbuilding tool that saw the light of day in 2016 will land in the second half of the year in Madrid, after having carried out three properties in the capital of Turia.
According to its most immediate calendar, the startup foresees the launch of two projects in Madrid until the end of the year and finalizes its national expansion during 2022 with buildings in Alicante, Malaga or Barcelona, among other cities.
Designable has a human team made up of around twenty professionals divided into two groups: architects who address technical issues related to construction and software experts who are in charge of digitizing the platform’s tools.