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Being Pick Everard

Emma Carter: Building Surveyor

31 Jan 2023

What is your role at Pick Everard?

I am a Building Surveyor with a focus on the Heritage and Cultural Sector. My work is largely project based and I split my week delivering major schemes on world renowned heritage sites.

What attracted you to your current role?

Knowing a few members of the London Pick Everard team from my previous employment at the National Trust, I was able to get a good insight into the work I might be involved with before applying. I was attracted to the large projects Pick Everard works on in the Heritage Sector in London, and particularly at the time, The Houses of Parliament. I was also looking forward to working as part of a multi-disciplinary team alongside engineers, quantity surveyors and project managers to name but a few.

What inspired you to pursue a career in Building Surveying?

Having completed my first degree in History and Archaeology at Edinburgh, I was unsure what career path I wanted to follow but knew I wanted a role that would give me a great deal of variety and would mean a mix of office/site work. I spoke to a few surveyors I was able to get in touch with, completed some shadowing days and signed up for the Building Surveying MSc with UCEM shortly after.

Describe working at Pick Everard in 3 words.

Fulfilling, Collaborative and Rewarding.

What is your Pick Everard highlight to date?

My highlight to date has been managing a capital expenditure project located in a UNESCO World Heritage Site, on a Scheduled Monument of international importance. With my love of history, working at a place which is not only intrinsically linked to our national identity but also plays such a key role in global history, it is a real honour to be able to work there. I believe passionately in preserving our heritage for future generations and working with clients who are custodians of these cultural and heritage sites, to bring the best out of these places, for everyone to enjoy.

How does Pick Everard support heritage and conservation?

We are developing a heritage team within Pick Everard to provide expertise to our clients and colleagues. The group aims to be a ‘first port of call’ for work on historic buildings or those in historic settings so that the appropriate approach can be taken from the very start of a project, putting conservation at the heart of projects impacting on our built heritage. We are running a Conservation Accreditation programme both within Pick Everard and involving external partners to enable more of our team to become accredited and help maintain best practice for our clients.

Why is heritage important?

Heritage informs our knowledge of previous construction techniques, that are still very relevant to current construction techniques. Approximately a fifth of the UK’s housing was built prior to 1919 and many of our cultural institutions, which remain as live, working buildings, are of traditional construction. All of these are the subject of maintenance and project work that we are employed on today. Our heritage is a finite resource so conserving it for future generations is of paramount importance.

What is an interesting/exciting project you have recently worked on?

The project I am currently working on is incredibly interesting. There are a number of constraints on the site, both statutory and stakeholder, and the site is made up of a number of historic buildings, not built for the functions they now serve. The site is a worldwide tourist attraction owing primarily to the site being the location of the Meridian Line and importantly remains as a working observatory to this day. The project is focused on improving visitor experience through new facilities, access to new parts of the site and the ability to share more of the stories and content in their collection.

What advice would you give to someone looking to get started in Heritage Building Surveying?

I would advise anyone considering Building Surveying to try to obtain some work experience or shadow a Surveyor at work. Beyond the decision to pursue this career I would advise someone to take part in as many industry groups or events as they can and critically to look for an RICS accredited University Course.