Jo is a building surveyor in our Bristol Office, working cross the South West of England and Wales, we recently sat down with Jo to discuss her career so far and find out a bit more about some of her standout projects.
What does a typical day look like for you and what are you currently working on?
There’s not really any such thing as a typical day. In the South West we do a reasonable amount of project monitoring for banks and developers, project work for design and specification, party walls, project management and surveys. So a typical day could be anything….it will involve tea drinking at some point though.
What is your favourite building in the region, and why?
Clifton suspension bridge. Brunel’s engineering design was radical for its time, and the cynics said it would never work. It’s a practical, function-led design and not about the aesthetics, yet is extremely beautiful. It will be stood for many more years yet, even when more modern buildings have become obsolete
Tell me about one of the standout projects that you have been involved in.
I think one of my achievements ought to be Wiltshire Council’s Shurnold Offices. From an initial meeting in February to discuss turning a redundant secondary school into the Councils decant space, I’d surveyed, bought my team together, got statutory approvals, negotiated on a 2-stage contractor’s tender and delivered a £2.2M project to enable occupation by Christmas. The scheme included partial demolition, asbestos removal, car parking, complex M+E alterations, structural work, offices for 450 desks, archive and ancillary facilities such as catering kitchen and canteen – definitely one I am really proud of!
What would you change to influence the future of the industry?
More collaboration. The construction industry understands and gets the benefits of collaborative working. The property side of our industry has a long way to catch up and is currently losing out on collaborative working benefits.
If you could give one piece of business advice to your younger self, what would it be?
Don’t worry about what people think and just do it.
Name three people, dead or alive, that you would pick to work in your team.
I’d have to have Brunel (although I suspect he’d be quite a challenge to manage!); Dr Who would be useful to pop back in the Tardis to gain some more time when we need it (and visit cool alien territories); and Victoria Wood for her excellent observational comedy and northern wit – she’d be a great asset to any team.