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Practice People - the fabric of our studio and our success

23-12-2022

Our series on Practice People is a chance to highlight the talent, often behind the scenes, of the work that we do. Our next commentary comes from architectural technician, Mark Montgomery:

How long have you been with Saunders? 33 years

How has your work evolved during this time as an architectural technician? Lots has changed! The early years were spent on drawing boards then technology was introduced that has had a huge impact on the way we work. Technology improves the production of information and has made the design process faster and far more efficient.

Today, we are more influenced by sustainability: a key driver in everything we build. Securing the future of the planet is integral in our work nowadays.

Whilst we are all constantly learning: keeping abreast of new construction methods and materials, there is also no substitute for experience. The knowledge you build up over the years and how you impart that to others is as important as ever.

What’s the biggest challenge? The next project. No matter how big or how small, how easy, complex or repetitive it may look, every new project has its challenges.

What is the most memorable project you have worked on, what you are most proud of? They are all memorable and rewarding for different reasons. Working from a well thought out initial design, seeing problems arise and being resolved, and producing quality end products. Seeing a completed building you have worked on brings real satisfaction.

What is your favourite Saunders moment? From day one to today, everyone who has been employed at Saunders (and this equates to a few hundred over the years), has made the office a pleasant environment to work in. Saunders is a very sociable company and there has always been a great social ethos alongside the positive work ethic. Sport has often been at the core of this, with lunchtime football matches and evening rounders being a regular team-building fixture. Then there’s the annual summer BBQ and Christmas events, which are always a highlight and bring lots of laughter. Where have those 33 years gone!

How has Saunders changed over the years? Materials and technology, and the rules and regulations under which buildings are constructed have all facilitated change at Saunders and across the industry as a whole. Yet our core purpose in architecture, to provide comfortable, good-looking, robust buildings, has remained the same. Saunders’ ethos is still to deliver functional buildings for our clients and be a happy team doing that.

Has the industry itself changed? The building industry has, in a number of respects, led to changes within our business. Product development and progressive thinking in construction methods and philosophies have all helped to enable manufacturers, suppliers, and contractors to become more efficient.

What advice would you give to budding architects and design technicians? Be creative. What you produce now can influence how people live and feel in the future.

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