GLM welcomes a familiar face back to the team

Posted by on Jul 30, 2018 in We Are GLM

GLM welcomes a familiar face back to the team

Aythan has re-joined Team GLM and we’re delighted to have him back. Ian McKee, Managing Director, said : “It is fantastic having Aythan back on the GLM Team.  With his unique ability to combine design sensitivity and understanding with the commercial imperatives of time and cost, Aythan’s approach to project delivery is in stark contrast to much of the cost driven project management on offer.  An attention to detail, a love of process and his engaging personality will help us drive the business forward in our current and future markets.

Here’s what Aythan had to say :

“After nearly four years away it has been a great experience re-joining GLM. As anyone who is connected with me on LinkedIn will have seen, in August 2014 I moved to Dublin and worked for another consultancy. During this period I gained a wide range of experience complimentary to that gained in the preceding eight years with GLM.

I originally joined GLM fresh from Heriot watt in 2006 having gained an honours degree in Building surveying. For the next few years I took part in the usual range of building surveying work – stock condition surveys, pre-acquisition technical due diligence, and small projects requiring consents, procurement and contract administration. I subsequently gained my chartership in spring 2009. Throughout this time I was moving more and more towards the management side of things – taking contract administration duties on several large townhouse refurbishments, and gaining a lot of useful insights while working on a data centre for the Scottish Government. These experiences stood me in good stead as I played a part in the delivery of the transformation of John O’Groats, which was a fantastic experience with a wide variety of specialists over two years. With Natural Retreats I also worked on Lews Castle and several sites across England and Wales.

My experience in Ireland helped me understand the requirements of large blue-chip multi-nationals and large institutional clients as well as helping me become more resilient as a professional. I led and developed a Building Surveying team working across the Island of Ireland delivering the full range of core building surveying services. I was fortunate to work with and learn from some fantastic professionals. Ireland has been an interesting place over the last five years as it recovered from the financial crash. There are insights to take from that which are applicable in many other environments, and lessons I’ll find useful for the rest of my career.

The reasons for moving back were mostly personal, such as a desire to be closer to friends and family. When looking at the options regarding where to work in Scotland, I felt there was only one choice: GLM. GLM is a unique company which provides a combination of professional disciplines and services in a way that no other consultancy in Scotland does. Delivering Building Surveying and Architecture from one office, intertwining project management, and specialising in private residential, tourism and leisure, rural and conservation projects gives a unique workload. The way the team is structured, and the way the work is delivered, is also different to other firms and is driven by the backgrounds and outlooks of the three Directors –  David, Ian and David. As a boutique firm there has always been the impression that every employee has a say and influence on how the work is delivered and how the office develops. With this sense of ownership and control, and delivering for clients who often have an interest in more than just the financial aspect of their projects, work rarely feels like work. I’m excited to be working with the team who are in place currently, and with the prospects to grow and develop the business. I’m enjoying getting out and re-connecting with people I knew before I left as well as meeting new people.

While in Ireland I also realised I’m now moving into the main part of my career, and this made me consider where the industry in which I work is at. The construction industry in all developed nations is currently dealing with some difficult decisions, trying to understand the legacy of the cost-at-all-costs approach which led to disasters such as Grenfell and the Edinburgh Schools fiasco, as well as the continuing legacy of the financial crash a decade ago. There’s a decision to be made around quality in the industry – how is design delivered, how is quality on site attained, what really matters in a project. This ties into the role of professionals and the choice of procurement routes, and how clients are advised. Anyone who believes themselves to have a role in the future of the industry has a decision to make about where in this discussion they stand. By joining GLM, I’ve established my position. GLM’s focus aligns with my own towards how we need to act as an industry and as professionals to deal with many challenges; those of sustainability, of quality, of truly delivering against what clients and the population as a whole need. It’ll not be a quick fix, but I’m looking forward to getting down to work!”

Aythan Lewes

Associate Director, Chartered Building Surveyor