Category Archives: Blog

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Diversity without adversity

I was invited to intend the Women in Property North West Annual Dinner which took place last Friday (20 April 2018) at the Radisson Edwardian Hotel in Manchester.  I’ve never attended the event before so was unsure what to expect but it was quite a feeling to see 240 guests, mostly women, gathered together to celebrate the achievements of women working in property and construction.

The most noticeable difference and something commented upon by many was the feeling of being in the majority. As women we were all used to going to events where we were in the minority, sometimes being lucky to make up 10% of the audience so it was a breath of fresh air to be in the company of so many other skilled and successful women.

The year’s event was made all the more significant by 2018 being the 100th anniversary of (some) women obtaining the vote under the Representation of the People Act 1918.  The chosen charity for the event was the Pankhurst Centre which is committed to tackling gender inequality and works to protect those suffering or at risk of domestic abuse. They had brought some of the Votes for Women banners with them which were displayed around the Halle Suite.

The guest speaker was Roma Agrawal, a structural engineer who had designed the foundations and spire of the Shard.  She spoke about a number of transitions in her life from India, to Oxford and the world of structural engineering and underlined the importance of having a clear goal if you want to achieve a change in the world.

It was a fantastic celebration of all the women who work in construction and property in the North West of England.


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Time is Precious

A recent study of client satisfaction by Glenigan found that only 4 out of 10 construction projects finished on time. With advancements in technology such as BIM one would expect performance on site to have improved over the years but it is still almost expected that a job will overrun.

As an expert witness in delay claims I see first-hand the ramifications of when a project goes wrong.  Claim costs can mount up quickly and the damage to reputation can sometimes be irreversible.

There are several common reasons for projects being delayed:

  • skimping on upfront design and consultant fees
  • an unrealistic programme from the outset
  • poor relationships between client, contractor and subcontractors on site
  • ineffective site management
  • a desire to pass all risk to the contractor

So how can the team work together to ensure the project is delivered on time?

  • Start with a fully logic linked programme which factors in time risks
  • Keep accurate records of progress and update the programme regularly
  • Communicate potential issues at an early stage so their impact can be mitigated
  • Embrace BIM technology so potential clashes are ironed out before ground is broken

These steps might not eradicate delays but they will place you in a much better position to deal with them as they arise and minimise their impact on the programme.

It’s in everyone’s interests to get the project finished on time because nowhere is it truer than in construction that time is precious.

Mary Cross, Director of Contract Services


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Shaping the future

As the new year starts we find ourselves with the usual reflections of what 2018 might hold for us.

We live in a world where change is common place whether that be in our home lives or in our professional work. Whether we like to admit it or not most of us generally resist change because we prefer to be comfortable, but we need to learn to harness change, go beyond our comfort zones and use it to our advantage. As quantity surveyors the landscape of the profession has changed dramiatically with the continued development of BIM and technology. From how things have progressed and continue to do so, the use of cut and shuffle and other techniques of the quantity surveyor of the past seem long gone with the use of information

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