Who are you and what do you do?
I lead Cundall’s building physics, health, wellbeing and sustainability team. Specialising in low-energy sustainable design, I use a holistic approach to ensures spaces are healthy, comfortable, engaging environments whilst actively reducing a building’s energy demands and annual CO2 footprint.
What or who inspired you to be an engineer?
Whilst doing my A-levels in Maths, Physics and Design I had been considering becoming an architect. My dad is a civil engineer and he suggested that I look into engineering as I’d always been interested in the science and detail side of design. He even suggested the building services course I later went on to study at the University of Manchester. The course’s background in mechanical, electrical and architectural design put me in great stead for a career in the construction industry.
What made you decide to join Cundall?
I joined Cundall 12 years ago as a graduate when it was a very different company. At that time, we just had a few UK and Australian offices and sustainability was a new thing. What sold me on Cundall was their vison for the future, most of which I’m glad to say has been realised, including turning Cundall into a world leading consultancy, providing thought leadership in sustainable development across the world.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
The sheer range of projects I get to work on. One minute I could be developing a masterplan for a 100 hector site in Beijing for a zero carbon, zero water, zero waste development and the next working on the restoration of a grade I listed house in the City of Westminster.
In my time at Cundall I have worked on One Hyde Park, the most expensive flats in Europe and the design of an off grid museum and camp site for Scouts to mark their 100-year anniversary. I have designed low carbon energy centres for the MoD and a number of Universities and I am currently developing the design of what will hopefully be world’s first true carbon neutral, WELL certified visitor centre.
What are you most proud of in your career to-date?
A few years ago we helped to develop the new design standards for the priority schools programme for all schools in England and Wales. The aim was to provide exceptional learning spaces at affordable costs. In order to do so, we created new thermal comfort, daylighting, acoustic and energy consumption performance requirements. Not only was each design required to meet our new standards, they more importantly had to demonstrate them in use. While the rest of the construction industry was talking about a performance gap between design and construction, we were busy achieving it in one of the most economically challenging sectors. The positive feedback from teachers and end-users on the quality of their spaces has been amazing.
Tell us the most interesting thing you have learnt or experienced in your time at Cundall
What always amazes me is the wide range of differing user requirements for their spaces. Different user types and profiles can have completely opposite user needs for similar types of spaces. This has shown me the importance of stakeholder consultations and setting clear design briefs from the outset of a project. Recently we have been working with more and more clients before they have even selected a site; setting out their key targets and aspirations for a project. Through this, we have been able to develop bespoke sustainability frameworks for individual clients and projects.