Building is possible even in difficult times

Interview with Dipl.-Ing. FH Klaus Schmitzer, Managing Director of Stotz Bau GmbH & Co.KG Civil and Structural Engineering

Stotz Bau exposed concrete walls in board formwork
Complexity in construction: exposed concrete walls in board formwork

Even in challenging times like these, construction projects can be realized. It is particularly important now to have a competent and reliable partner at your side. Stotz Bau GmbH & Co.KG has been an experienced partner in the construction industry for over 100 years. The company focuses on collaborative and economically solid solutions that meet current market needs.

Wirtschaftsforum: Mr. Schmitzer, under the umbrella of the Stotz Group, Stotz Bau and Stotz Massiv-Fertigbau come together. What areas of activity do you cover with both companies?

Klaus Schmitzer: Stotz Bau specializes in industrial and engineering construction, residential and commercial building, excavation and underground construction. Stotz Massiv-Fertigbau constructs turnkey supermarkets and specialty markets, industrial and residential buildings, and also undertakes expansions and renovations, as well as special-purpose properties. However, in daily operations, both brands come together, creating valuable synergies for our customers.

Wirtschaftsforum: In which areas are you particularly well-positioned?

Dipl.-Ing. FH Klaus Schmitzer, Managing Director of Stotz Bau GmbH & Co.KG Civil and Structural Engineering
Dipl.-Ing. FH Klaus Schmitzer, Managing Director of Stotz Bau GmbH & Co.KG Civil and Structural Engineering

Klaus Schmitzer: We are strong in industrial and commercial construction and receive many orders from the public sector, for example for schools and daycare centers. In civil engineering, we implement, for example, bridges or stormwater overflow facilities. In underground construction, we focus on special topics, especially canal construction. Housing construction is currently declining due to the economic situation.

Wirtschaftsforum: Please give us some examples of current projects.

Klaus Schmitzer: Currently, for example, we are realizing a large commercial building in the city center of Balingen with the local Volksbank, which houses, among other things, a Müller drugstore. Another example is the construction of a new sound studio. In the area of the staircases, exposed concrete walls with a board structure were executed. The production is very complex and requires a high degree of craftsmanship. At the moment, we are also taking on many school renovations. In addition, regional supermarkets are an important pillar for us. Throughout Baden-Württemberg, we realize turnkey consumer markets and industrial buildings.

Stotz Bau Blumental Bridge in Balingen-Frommern
A civil engineering project: The Blumental Bridge in Balingen-Frommern
Stotz Construction Industrial Construction for Bizerba in Balingen
Stotz is also well-positioned in industrial construction: here a project for Bizerba in Balingen

Wirtschaftsforum: The topic of energy transition is omnipresent, also in the construction industry. How do you face the new challenges?

Klaus Schmitzer: We observe that there is an increasing demand for timber construction. However, not all projects can be realized in timber. Solid construction is very durable. In the long term, the trend will develop towards renovation and retrofitting. There will be a move away from complete demolition. Oil and gas are dead, even though some people are still quickly changing their systems. In turnkey construction, the heat pump will prevail.

Wirtschaftsforum: What does your company do for sustainability?

Klaus Schmitzer: The issue is very important to us. We are a family business and plan for the long term accordingly. A large part of our roofs are equipped with PV modules. Starting this year, we will use synthetic diesel fuel from a regional supplier to reduce our particulate emissions.

Wirtschaftsforum: You have a broad positioning. Who are your main target groups?

Klaus Schmitzer: Our broad positioning is our strength and has carried us through various crises. We work for companies, the public sector, but also directly for end customers, mostly within a radius of 50 to 60 km. We also want to remain regionally positioned in the future, also for the sake of our employees. There is still sufficient potential here that we can exploit.

Wirtschaftsforum: Speaking of employees: How present is the shortage of skilled workers at Stotz?

Klaus Schmitzer: The shortage of skilled workers is an issue. Many of our employees have been with us for a long time, but we also have many young people on board, so the transfer of professional knowledge is secured. We offer vocational training. Currently, we have eight apprentices in the company. In the field of structural engineering, skilled workers can still be found, but construction managers or foremen are hard to get. Even in civil engineering, recruiting personnel is a challenge.

Wirtschaftsforum: You say many employees have been with you for a long time. What do your employees appreciate about Stotz as an employer?

Klaus Schmitzer: We maintain a very open and at the same time appreciative approach to each other, are communicative and transparent, and our management is always approachable. We invest regularly in innovations to secure our competitiveness in the long term. This gives employees security.

Wirtschaftsforum: The new year has just begun. What are your expectations for 2024?

Klaus Schmitzer: We are curious. The year will not be easy. We will be cautious and focus on staying stable in the market. But above all, it is important to us to be able to keep all our employees and to continue to be a reliable partner for the region.