Joaquim Caracas

  • Current company Impacto Protensão
  • Location Brazil

Impacto is laying the groundwork for a greener Brazil by developing reusable, sustainable, and easily-assembled construction products. Troubled by the low-quality of workmanship, excessive use of wood, and limitations on growth in the construction business, Joaquim began searching for more sustainable methods. He left Brazil in 1996 to receive training in an innovative technique called “post-tensioning,” from engineering consultants in San Francisco. This technique fuses recycled plastic concrete slabs into flooring and uses 85% less wood than traditional methods in the process. The slabs it produces are 35% thinner but equally as strong. Two months later, Joaquim returned to Fortaleza and founded Impacto. Now, over 90% of the construction firms in Ceará are Impacto clients.

Impacto reduces waste, speeds up the construction process by nearly 22 times, and cuts overall costs by about 30%. Joaquim has signed industry-leading Odebrecht and ArcelorMittal as clients and has registered 17 patents. Its 20% reduction on material and labor have enabled Impacto to win large contracts, including one 200 tons of steel cables for Fortaleza’s 2014 World Cup stadium and the 30,000-person Fortaleza Convention Center. The company’s sustainable method has won it five innovation awards from the Ministry of Development in Brazil.

Looking ahead, Joaquim plans to expand the company’s use of recycled plastic to new construction challenges. He has partnered with local business leaders in seven Brazilian cities to open small affiliate offices. He also plans to leverage cross-selling opportunities with its current clients and to develop new recycled plastic building options to drive regional expansion.

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