Elisa Ruggeri: The visionary entrepreneur at the forefront of disrupting the architectural industry in the Middle East

Elisa Ruggeri, Co-founder, and CEO of MATI Consult, a multi-award-winning service-oriented firm with headquarters in Dubai, is changing the construction and architectural industry in the Middle East with world-class sustainable solutions and structures made of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) and new concepts of modular construction. The visionary female entrepreneur owns the first firm to introduce this reliable and durable material to the region, setting new rules of sustainable development.

Established in Dubai in 2014, MATI Consult offers project and business consultancies, and has successfully managed an array of projects across the region, including their latest major activity at Expo2020, where MATI has secured the implementation of 12 pavilions. By providing sustainable construction, consulting services, and management services for a number of Expo 2020 Pavilions, Elisa has been at the forefront of introducing the game-changing material, CLT, into the Middle East, and has successfully managed the importation and usage of this material in the structuring of 4 different pavilions.

Developed in Europe in the 1990s, CLT is an engineered wood panel typically consisting of three, five, or seven layers of dimensional lumber and provides outstanding architectural qualities. CLT is a viable alternative to concrete, masonry, or steel, and a resilient material that will withstand all weather conditions without collapsing or catching fire at high temperatures, providing the best thermal insulation. Furthermore, CLT is fully sustainable as It doesn’t require the burning of fossil fuels during its production, and all cut-down trees are then replanted within certified forests.

“Winning trust in the local market and breaking the barriers of skepticism was nothing short of hard work and deep knowledge of CLT” – stated Elisa Ruggeri. “Clients were always doubtful about the use of CLT, as they considered it to be an unreliable material that can collapse or easily catch fire at high temperatures,” – continued Ms. Ruggeri. “One of my core missions is to debunk these beliefs. Timber might change color with age but will never collapse. Think of Venice, which was built hundreds of years ago out of wood, over water, and is still standing.”

Aside from Expo, MATI Consult is continuously partnering with suppliers that contribute towards a lighter environmental footprint and believe in CLT becoming the future of buildings all over the world.

“MATI was a pioneer in promoting CLT in the UAE, and Expo was the perfect stage to showcase these materials, but we will definitely not stop here” – added Elisa.

Ms. Ruggeri’s acumen for CLT is elevating architectural standards in the region, and she is determined to continue to establish the use of this material in the Middle East for the projects to come.