- Environment & Infrastructure
- Strategic consulting
- Specialist consulting
- The Living City
- Happold Consulting
No my family are from Birmingham – I was seconded out to Dubai for 6 months in 2009.
I’m a sustainability consultant and I also assist on mechanical engineering when needed. The job roles are fairly fluid here.
I joined 3 years ago after graduating from Fitzwilliam College Cambridge. I then went to work in the London office with Ian Pegg and Alasdair Young. I was there a year when the opportunity for a secondment to the Dubai office arose.
Well the major project that I have been working on is with the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council. I’ve been based in their offices for a large portion of the last 2 years.
We have been assisting the UPC in developing the Estidama Pearl Rating System.
Yes, that’s right. My role has been focused on the Resourceful Energy and Precious Water sections.
The Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) had already been developing the concept, in fact there were 10 Estidama Pilot Projects, and BH was involved in 4 of them. Following this, the UPC engaged us to assist with the further development of the Pearl Rating System making it more practical and implementable.
Version 1.0 of the Pearl Rating System was released in April 2010 and the minimum requirement of 1 Pearl mandated in June 2010 for all new Communities, and September 2010 for all new Buildings and Villas. We are still engaged with the UPC assisting now on the implementation side which is whole different ball game!
Yes these are basically homes over in the Middle East.
Yes absolutely. BH has a wealth of experience in sustainable design and this coupled with the extensive Middle East work we have done led to a system that could be adopted.
I would say that that was fair but the Pearl Rating System has been warmly welcomed. Of course we have had a lot of questions from local consultants but this has been a very positive experience. It’s really put BH at the heart of the issue, we’ve been able to influence policy and guide and steer the government. It’s been great for both parties; there is a mutual respect between us.
Yes there have been a few more secondments. There are some really exciting projects here and it’s great to be able to apply our knowledge.
I remember the first night I arrived, the plane landed at 02.00am and it was 34 degrees!
That’s nothing. During the day temperatures are reaching 48 degrees. I try to avoid being outside when it’s like that....you can only really stand an hour of it.
Unfortunately the car is king over here.
Dubai was built around the car, fuel is so cheap and cars are a real status symbol...so that’s going to be difficult. But we are working on a wide range of sustainable masterplans in the Middle East of which transportation plays a major role in street network design.
I think Gavin Thompson (Chairman) once said “a year in the Middle East is like two years in the UK” and I totally agree with him. You are thrown in the deep end here – it can be stressful, but it’s also exciting - I’ve learnt a huge amount. There’s a great community with lots of people to socialise with...the office has regular events and it’s good to catch up with BH visitors when they come over.
I’m taking it 6 months at time!