Drees & Sommer Co-Founder Hans Sommer Honored for Lifetime Achievement

© Foto(s) Wolfgang List -
© Foto(s) Wolfgang List -
© Foto(s) Wolfgang List -

Yesterday, Professor Dr.-Ing. Hans Sommer (aged 82) received the Founder Award 2024 in the Lifetime Achievement category from the Savings Banks Finance Group of the German Federal State of Baden-Wuerttemberg.

At yesterday's event, Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut, Minister of Economic Affairs of Baden-Wuerttemberg, and Dr. Matthias Neth, President of the Savings Banks Association, paid particular tribute to Hans Sommer‘s tireless efforts to promote more sustainable construction methods, for which he is a driving force to this day. “As an engineer, you were looking for comprehensive solutions at an early stage. You have created buildings that are not only architecturally inspiring, but also energy-efficient and functional – spaces in which people enjoy working together and in which ‘the climate is right’, in both senses of the phrase,“ said Dr. Matthias Neth in his laudatory speech.

Reconciling Ecological Progress, Business Success and Social Factors

Michael Fritz, Chairperson of the Board of Managing Directors of Kreissparkasse Böblingen, explained why the district savings bank nominated Hans Sommer for the award: “Our world needs people with vision. This is extremely important, especially during a very fast-paced period in which technologies are changing rapidly. Hans Sommer is such a person. At the helm of Drees & Sommer, he has demonstrated how ecological progress, business success and social factors can be reconciled. For people who want to build something on a sustainable basis, we are pleased to be the financial partner who goes along the path with them.“

Hans Sommer has shaped Stuttgart-headquartered Drees & Sommer SE, a consulting company specializing in infrastructure, construction and real estate, in various roles for more than 50 years: as founder, managing director, executive board chairperson, supervisory board chairperson and presently as honorary chair. He is popular among employees as an old school entrepreneur, without airs and graces or arrogance. Even today, his book on project management for large buildings (Projektmanagement für Großbauten) remains a classic in construction related study courses.

Agility Is Part of Drees & Sommer’s Corporate DNA

Hans Sommer joined the consulting firm Drees & Sommer in 1971. Since then the company has grown from a three-employee company based in Stuttgart to more than 63 offices worldwide with almost 6,500 members of staff and sales of around 900 million euros in 2023. “Major projects – such as Potsdamer Platz (Potsdam Square) in Berlin or the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart – bear Hans Sommer’s signature. In every project he has worked on, he has aimed to develop an innovative and economical building for each client. What is now referred to as ‘agility’ is something that Hans Sommer put into our corporate DNA and is still the guiding principle of our actions today,“ explained Steffen Szeidl, Member of Drees & Sommer’s Executive Board.

At the core of agility is the ability of a company to quickly and flexibly respond to new challenges and changing circumstances. “This attitude is reflected in a very wide range of areas at Drees & Sommer, from the tapping of new markets through the establishment of strategic partnerships to the targeted further development of forward-looking service profiles for our clients, and not least in the sustainable transformation of our own organization,“ Steffen Szeidl pointed out.

Here is a link to an interview with Hans Sommer and further details on his professional career: Interview Hans Sommer