Earlier this year, the Practice partnered up with construction and infrastructure company Morgan Sindall to create a ‘job swap’ initiative aimed at giving graduates and employees a better understanding of how the respective professions approach a project.
The first round of participants, Luke Green from Morgan Sindall and Rachel Harmer from LSI Architects, received a ‘no holds barred’ experience of their counterpart’s organisation to get a greater understanding of the distinct roles, responsibilities and processes each company undertakes in the delivery of construction projects.
During his week working at LSI Architects, Luke, a Graduate Design Manager at Morgan Sindall, was given an insight into the concept design stage in order to become more familiar with the early stages of a project, prior to contractor involvement. While at Morgan Sindall, Rachel, an Architect at LSI, learned more about how the contractor teams manage programme and procurement, delivery and aftercare, and design throughout a contract.
Commenting on his involvement, Luke said: “This was a great opportunity to experience the inner workings of an architectural practice. Some practices take a very conceptual approach, but LSI invests heavily in technicians and technologists and it was really valuable to see this approach in action. It was fascinating to learn more about the work that takes place prior to the contractor coming on board on a project and it was interesting to discuss this with the team and learn more about the early stages of design and delivery planning.”
Rachel observed: “It was clear that at the heart of both businesses is a focus on people, both in terms of the way staff are treated, the opportunities available to them, and the service that clients receive. As a direct result of the job swap, we’ve been able to identify immediately actionable ways to improve communication between project teams.”
Gavin Napper, Morgan Sindall area director, said: “Better communication and collaboration between contractors and architects at an earlier stage in the project life cycle is key if we’re to improve delivery and operations in the industry – particularly as the projects we are working on become more complex and multi-faceted.
“Pooling knowledge and sharing insights at an early stage creates a joined-up, collaborative effort, which draws on the specialist knowledge of each member of the project team and I’m delighted that Luke and Rachel have had the opportunity to take part in this experience. I look forward to seeing more innovative job-swap schemes like this taking place across the industry.”
David Andrews, a partner at LSI Architects, said: “Not only is this a fantastic learning opportunity for the individuals, it is also an opportunity to promote the open, collaborative environment that is critical to ensuring that the industry can meet the challenges that it faces. Increased efficiencies and savings, as a result of advancements in technology, can only be realised if we, as members of the industry, are willing to work together to achieve better outcomes.
“This is the first scheme of this kind we have been involved in. We believe schemes like this can help us to better understand how our colleagues in the industry work, so that we might improve the way we work together. We hope to be able to replicate the ‘job swap’ with other industry partners and look forward to our future graduates and new recruits gaining further insight from construction partners.”