Daniel Cuervo Iglesias

Managing Director at ASPRIMA

“With CYPEURBAN, local council technicians will be able to get more work done in the same amount of time during planning permission validations”

“It does not seem logical that it takes three times as long to approve a project as it does to do it from scratch”

The association of property developers of Madrid, ASPRIMA, and CYPE have created a real estate program that allows the validation of urban planning regulations using the digital model of the building. This tool, CYPEURBAN, will allow companies to speed up the time it takes to grant planning permissions and provide more fluid communication between councils and businesses, as all the project information is stored in the cloud, which both entities can access. We spoke to the managing director of ASPRIMA, Daniel Cuervo Iglesias, about the development of this software and the impact it will have on the future of the construction industry. 

The time it takes to grant planning permission is one of the main problems in Spain today, as these setbacks lead to increased development costs and delayed property handovers. On average, how long does it take for these licences to be granted in Spain?

Nowadays, in Spain's major cities, such as Madrid, the average wait time exceeds nine months.

What period of time do you consider appropriate for the granting of these licenses?

We believe that the appropriate period of time should be about a third of that needed for the real estate project, so this would be approximately one month, given that the architectural firms are carrying out the projects in about three months. It seems illogical that it takes three times as long to approve a project as it does to start from scratch, which shows that we have much room for improvement.

To solve this problem, you have developed the CYPEURBAN digital tool in collaboration with CYPE. Apart from speeding up the granting of licenses, what are the advantages of this new solution?

Increased revenues for local authorities, hiring surges, lower housing prices, optimisation of the management's resources, management digitalisation, contrasting the project by passing two filters, taking advantage of technology to be more efficient, etc. These are just some of the benefits of using this tool.

What is the response from your partners to this tool?

A lot of hope and enthusiasm, since the deadlines we are currently facing are not sustainable for the model on which the sector is currently based, which, in short, is improving the quality of the product by reducing construction times.

Local councils blame the delay in the granting of licenses on the lack of technicians and workers. Can CYPEURBAN reduce the workload of these technicians and improve their work?

Indeed, this tool aims to optimise councils' staffing structures and one of its advantages is that technicians can carry out more work in the same amount of time.

Increased revenues for local authorities, hiring surges and lower housing prices are some of the benefits of using the CYPEURBAN program

This new solution will completely digitalise the construction industry and change the working and communication model for companies, technicians and public administrations. Is the industry ready for this "digital revolution"?

It is absolutely ready as it directly affects the income statement of the companies in the industry. More and more companies are working with BIM in their product designs and with virtual reality for their marketing. Also, many buildings are equipped with home automation, which optimises building management.

You have already presented this solution and are collaborating with different councils for the implementation of this tool in their municipalities. What has been your first impression?

It has always been well received, although it comes with the handicap of having to digitise urban planning and no other municipality has this.

What about architects and technicians?

They are very optimistic about this tool being available in councils and that they will be able to process their files in this format.

What should public administrations do to really commit to the digitalisation of the construction industry as proposed by ASPRIMA?

They should be aware that the use of this tool will place them at the forefront of public management and they should be able to demonstrate that it is an improvement in the service to taxpayers as it would favour business activity and increase the citizens' quality of life, as they would be able to enjoy their homes almost eight months earlier.

Are administrations afraid of working in the cloud?

Security is probably an important issue, but it has already been widely proved that the relationship between administrations and citizens can be managed digitally and smoothly. Every change always involves reluctance, but it is the only way forward; there are no other options and the sooner we take advantage of it the better.

This new way of working between the property development industry and public administrations is groundbreaking in the world. Does ASPRIMA plan on promoting this tool in other countries in the long or medium-term?

Of course. There should be no barriers and the more universal it is, the better for society in general and for our companies, in particular, as they have an international presence. I think Spain's image could benefit and it would improve our relationship with other markets.

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