Effectiveness, quality and a cooperative office culture were pillars of the company from the beginning. Even after four decades this Drees & Sommer spirit is very strong. The ownership structure of Drees & Sommer AG – which was founded in 1992 as a holding company – comprises exclusively former and active partners who today manage the company as the Executive Board members and Managing Directors. The shareholders are organized as a consortium, which is represented in the Annual General Meeting by the Chair of the consortium.
The foundation phase in the 1970s
At the beginning of the 1970s, Drees & Sommer used the new method of critical path analysis to establish much more exact scheduling, thus allowing more reliable and economical construction processes to be planned. This was supplemented by precise cost and budget planning using the cost element method, which has been enshrined in DIN 276 since the 1980s.
The team was still small and operations were easy to coordinate.
Offices in Dusseldorf, Munich and Cologne, and project offices in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
End of 1979 >> 30 employees, sales DM 3 million.
1980s: Company organization
The competitive edge provided by software-based schedule and cost planning led to considerable growth in the 1980s.
The engineers now took a closer look at building operation and optimized the so-called building utilization costs. This resulted in the Facility Management Consulting service. The increased awareness of energy costs led to profitability consulting.
In 1988 a system was introduced that is still current today, whereby Partners at the individual regional offices act as entrepreneurs in accordance with standard rules –adapted, where necessary, to regional practices. In this context, a bonus system was developed for all employees, as was a company philosophy containing rules for interaction with clients, internal cooperation, self-image and core values, and employee’s personal responsibility.
Regional offices in Hamburg and Frankfurt
End 1989 >> 180 employees, sales DM 20 million.
1990s: Accelerated growth
Drees & Sommer undertook user consulting, coordination with authorities and organization of architectural competitions for increasingly complex projects. Increasingly, the requirements of as-yet-unknown users and for the usability of properties by third parties had to be anticipated and integrated into planning. Development Management and Project Management for infrastructure projects were created as new services.
Drees & Sommer AG was founded in 1992. All previously independent limited liability companies (GmbHs) were affiliated to it and the former Managing Directors became Partners and shareholders in the new AG (stock corporation).
Regional offices in Berlin, Dresden, Erfurt, Leipzig as well as Vienna and Bucharest.
End of 1999 >> 560 employees, sales DM 85 million.
The new millennium
Since the turn of the century, international investors have increasingly been taking the place of ‘conventional’ principals. The focus on Return on Investment and trading with large property portfolios increased dramatically, triggering a boom in technical due diligence. In addition, PPP projects required the determination of Life Cycle Costs across a building’s entire service life.
In parallel to this development, sustainability became a key issue. Drees & Sommer was one of the first players in the marketplace to conceive comprehensive and economical solutions in the areas of sustainable building, reduction of energy consumption, and energy optimization of established buildings. Here, Dreso has undertaken pioneering work in the area of Green Building – including as a founding member of the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB).
Currently, the focus is on optimization of the profitability of established properties and on how the property industry responds to the consequences of the energy transition: Principals and investors will have to take measures to bring their property portfolios up to the ‘state of the art’, thus improving their marketability. For the future, Drees & Sommer is working on ‘industry solutions’, that is, on processes and management and consulting services specifically tailored to the needs of individual sectors.
Regional offices in Bremen, Hannover, Kiel, Nuremberg, Dubai, Peking, Shanghai, Budapest, Warsaw, Kiev, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Barcelona, Basel, Brussels, Istanbul, Copenhagen, Milan, Munsbach sowie in Rome und Zurich.