CS Nkechi, what made you set up the Construction Design Management Consultancy?
NC In our industry, Contractors often hire permanent Design Management professionals very late into the project.
CS That seems counter-intuitive?
NK Often there is uncertainty on the Contractor’s side with securing potential projects past the Pre Construction Services Agreement.
CS How do you define Design Management?
NK In a nutshell, it is project managing the design process, communications and co-ordination.
CS Is this a key role in the project?
NK Depending on the role we take on, we will oversee the design consultants and specialist sub contractors for the main contractor and ensure the design is “buildable”, as we say, and, of course, within budget.
CS How do you see the new HSE safety regulator working in the industry?
NC A quick look at statistics; in March 2020, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that the investment in roads, railways, housing and broadband will be over £600 billion.
Other measures include £12 billion for affordable housing.
CS In your opinion, will the HSE safety regulator get involved in almost all housing projects?
NK The fact is that CDM Design professionals will be needed on all those projects, not just the massive projects.
CS In the housing sector that will mean a significant expansion for Consultancies such as yours, and employment opportunity in your sector alone.
NC Yes, and with the loss of the workers from the EU, we need to look at how employment is structured.
CS Is that through the Section 106 requirement?
NC Yes. That requires property developers to take on local labour, however, the disadvantage is that once the project is completed there is no further obligation on the part of that Company to offer work.
CS There is a logic to that. In a changing world, how could someone in the construction industry switch quickly?
NC The communities which are built usually do have a community centre and recreation. However, the community centres could play a more significant role if they were designed in the right way.
CS What additional uses would you see in the design or function?
NC I would see the Job Centres being located there rather than centrally. More user-friendly, online access to new jobs.
CS Do you see that re-vitalising communities?
NC Yes, I think Housing Projects should be primarily built by the people in the area, and embrace the ethnic demographic. That could inspire a new stream of workforce who did not see an opportunity for success till now.
CS How do you see the future in the industry?
NC The campaign for the Better Business Act 2021 is a step forward. Essentially it means the Company is operated to benefit the members, wider society, and the environment.
CS Are details available?
NK Yes, just type in the Better Business Act 2021. Details of the new HSE regulator have yet to be announced.
For more information on my connections and business,
CS Thank you, Nkechi.