Business case study featured in Australian Business News Source

From Suit and Tie to Sustainable Solutions

Really Group is a Melbourne-based building and construction company focused on sustainable solutions. The founder and director, Leon Hadj, left a career he had built as an investment banker in the UK to return to Australia and pursue his interest in environmentally-friendly developments.

With a degree in risk management, Hadj combines his financial and construction expertise to build homes and commercial projects with sustainability, efficiency, and investment returns as its core philosophies.

“I got sick and tired of the office atmosphere,” says Hadj, and began as a concreter, progressing to framing shortly after. He gained experience onsite as well as through construction education courses. Hadj took a particular interest in the recycling of, or finding a new use for, excess building materials, such as building bookshelves and other furniture from leftover fence posts. ”I see myself as being on the creative side, and it’s that creativity that pushes me to create cupboards or tables from recycled timber.”

This creativity and ability to think out of the box has helped Really Group grow in a competitive market. Placing a priority on innovation, the company aims to supply a growing end user demand. “I think the end user is really becoming more educated in the design and build stage,” says Hadj, “And I think once you start showing the consumer that you’re educated about that, and that you can educate them about it, and you’re actually implementing it on site, they’re actually more attracted to your product.”

Recently, increased demand for materials in the industry has led to price inflation but Really Group has stuck by its values of sustainability and efficiency, both for construction and the end user. “I don’t think there’s enough emphasis placed, in Australia, on sustainable construction,” says Hadj, “And it really should be driven much further over the next ten years… That’s what Really Group is all about; spreading the message and building towards a future whereby we can be sustainable.”

Environmentally friendly developments that perform

With both a domestic and commercial branch, Really Group’s clients range from individual homeowners to network investors. Hadj also offers a consultation service to help landowners capitalize on their property.

Really Group constructs townhouses and multi-unit developments featuring efficient water retention and water recycling technologies that free up space in living areas like the backyard by doing away with water tanks. His focus on green living helps make Really Group unique. “People have more choices now,” explains Hadj. “And with choice, you’ve got to have a point of difference, and that’s where Really Group is going, we’re looking for that point of difference that other people don’t offer at the moment.” Commercial services include shop fit outs and apartments up to four stories tall, and other business developments.

Really Group’s primary goal for the future is the procurement of new, innovative supplies and influencing the way Melbourne as a city is built. He is aware the increasing amount of construction projects in the suburbs has begun to cause major congestion and strain on the infrastructure of the city. Hadj feels that a major adjustment in Melbourne’s infrastructure is the only way to allow the city to expand in an efficient manner. “Cities like London have got different railway systems that can cope, and I think that that’s where Melbourne needs to go towards, creating high density living,” says Hadj. “Such things as increasing freeways are just a Band-Aid treatment of all these problems.”

One step ahead with modern trends

In addition to providing eco-friendly solutions and developing projects based on sustainable city planning and design, Really Group stays up to date with modern trends by promoting his business online to reach out to new clientele. Doing away with conventional methods, a blog is also in progress, with the intention of displaying examples of Really Group’s green living initiatives, including Hadj’s recycled furniture. “We’re moving a lot towards a blogging and Instagram type of network,” says Hadj. Social networking tactics will gain Really Group impressive word-of-mouth publicity through open communication with potential clients.

To keep up with what’s going on in the industry, Hadj is a member of the Master Builders Association of Victoria, as well as the Master Builders Green Living Program. Memberships such as these supply companies with the latest information on green building initiatives and the different heating climates throughout Australia, and new insights into innovative construction techniques. “It’s always changing;” says Hadj, “What was acceptable five years ago is definitely not acceptable today. It’s important to get that experience and be a part of these associations.”