ConstructionsRethinking Construction Projects in Chania, Crete.

Rethinking Construction Projects in Chania, Crete.

Covid-19 and record-high energy price increases at the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022 brought to the fore the importance of systems working synergistically to support more resilient construction projects. It also showed us just how interrelated nature, property owners, technology and the built environment are.

In this issue of ARENCOS Research Review “Rethinking Construction Projects in Chania, Crete” we consider approaches to create better outcomes for property owners, developers, projects and the environment.

Rethinking Construction Projects in Chania, Crete.
In Search of Exceptional

Circular Economy

The term circular economy refers to a relatively new construction, development and consumption model that promises sustainable growth over time. With a circular economy model, construction firms, developers and contractors alike can optimize the use of resources, reduce the consumption of raw materials, and recover waste by recycling or giving it a second life as a new product.

As a waste-intensive sector, construction has the potential to greatly impact circular economy models and their successful implementation. ARENCOS promotes a ‘circular’ approach instead.

Why keep on searching for new materials and resources for new construction projects when most of what you need is already up for grabs from another project?
This is the question that drives our research in this field.

Our team has always got an eye out for low- impact sustainable materials that could be used to replace harmful additives.”

Meet the team of ARENCOS: Stavros Thomas - Architecture & Engineering Consultants in Chania, Crete, Greece
By Stavros Thomas
Leads ARENCOS environmental sustainability and net-zero projects to achieve energy autonomy and operational excellence through close collaboration with colleagues, peers, and external partners.
The ideas presented in this document are not about envisioning the perfect solution or describing accurate and reliable technical details or facts. Instead, they are a starting point for exchanging ideas, so that those involved in the design, development and maintenance of residential buildings, can better explore and identify the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

C2C: Paving Our Way to More Sustainable Constructions in Chania, Crete.

Cradle to Cradle (C2C) is a novel approach towards the circular economy, which provides a framework for designing products and buildings whose resources flow safely in closed loops.

The emphasis of the Cradle to Cradle (C2C) Approach in construction lies on maintaining inputs at their quality level to render the concept of waste obsolete.

Research finds that we are at the tipping point wherein, for the first time, human-made products have more mass than the total living biomass. Meanwhile, only 8,6% of resources are treated circularly, according to the Circle Economy’s Circularity Gap Report.

The Principles to Cradle to Cradle® design

The holistic Cradle to Cradle (C2C) vision of designing buildings that produce oxygen, sequester carbon and nitrogen, and distil water like trees, may sound intimidating.

Therefore, there is an evolutionary approach that guides us in the ways to design safe, sustainable, greener and circular buildings inline with C2C’s 10 Principle Criteria.

The Challenge

Since plenty of the material extraction processes generate unhealthy environmental impacts, the more circular economy, the lower will the carbon dioxide emissions and energy consumption be.

Based on the principles of the circular economy, ARENCOS contributes to mitigating the waste management challenges faced by modern structures and development projects in Crete, Greece.


  • Cement kilns are ideal for safely and sustainably disposing of non-recyclable waste, which can be used as an alternative to fossil fuels instead of being incinerated or landfilled.
  • Whenever possible we strive to use waste minerals as alternative raw materials
  • We also use construction and demolition waste as alternative aggregates.

Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation (DT or DX for short) is the process of embedding innovative technologies into all aspects of business, from daily operations to strategic decision-making. It involves not only a move from analogue to digital instruments but also a culture shift and rethinking of ways a business should work.

Digital Transformation can assist us to address longstanding issues, identify opportunities to solve issues, mitigate risks and revisit opportunities.

ARENCOS is one of the very few businesses in Crete, where Big Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence and Business Digitalization are at the epicentre of everything we do; from project design to management and from risk mitigation to investment analysis.


Seeing the future: designing and providing healthy, safe, comfortable and resilient buildings in Crete.

The Challenge

Business Digitalization has changed our perception of functionality, planning, biophilic responsive design, sustainability, services, fire safety, building height, and scale of the building. Spatial planning in particular is getting more sophisticated, mainly due to advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data analytics.


  • How Data Analytics and AI tools can help us design and deliver climate-responsive resilient building codes.
  • Understanding the relationship between data sets, decision-making, functionality and ethics.
  • Why smart system architecture development requires a combination of expertise across digital technologies, design, construction planning, and management.

Seeing the Future: Rethinking Construction Projects in Chania, Crete.

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Building Resilience in Chania - ARENCOS Construction Projects in Chania, Crete

Buildings Resilience

We have chosen the word “resilience” as a term that includes the design, planning and construction development strategies needed in order to meet the challenges of future construction projects. Resilient design is, in a lot of ways, an expansion of the definition of sustainable design.

However, for civil engineers, architects and designers, it is another layer in the design process. For property owners, it’s an additional cost, but at the same time, it is a necessary investment for their properties to adapt and respond to changing conditions while maintaining functionality.

It seems true that many of the strategies needed to accomplish resilience–such as really well-insulated homes that will keep their occupants safe if there is no power or if interruptions in heating occur–are exactly the same strategies we have been assessing and promoting for years in the green building design.

The solutions are mainly the same, but the motivation is one of life safety, rather than simply doing the right thing.

The Challenge

In spite of the term’s fuzziness the urgency to construct residential and commercial projects resiliently continues to grow.

As most scientists agree that violent weather events will become more frequent and problems or bottleneck phenomena in the supply chain will increase, code officials, governmental authorities and regulatory agencies respond with a slew of new terms, codes and regulations while people insist on re-building in the same places as if nothing had ever happened.


  • Low-carbon input materials, such as wood and low-energy input masonry can be exceptional solutions for resiliency planning.
  • Achieving narrower floor plates and internal courtyards for maximum daylight.
  • Flexible, multi-use buildings.
  • Use of local materials to mitigate development costs, increase durability and facilitate resilience.

Buildings in any geographic location are subject to a wide variety of natural phenomena such as windstorms, floods, earthquakes, and other hazards. While the occurrence of these incidents cannot be precisely predicted, their impacts are well understood and can be managed effectively through a comprehensive program of hazard mitigation planning.

Ongoing changes in climate patterns around the world may alter the behavior of hydrometeorological phenomena within our lifetimes. The frequency and severity of floods, storms, droughts, and other weather-related disasters are expected to increase, as is the risk from associated changes in the manifestation of other hazards such as wildland fires.

Make the Leap. Take the Lead!

Do you need help?
Contact us.


Project Management in Crete
Project Management in Crete by PMDE

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