People Case Studies

George Pleasance

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George Pleasance - Cast
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Pre-Cast Story:

I chose construction as a career after doing some work experience at a cost consultancy when I was at high school which I then followed up with further spells during holidays. I studied Quantity surveying at Reading University on a full time 3 year course. I graduated and joined an engineering led consultancy as a cost consultant where I stayed for 5 years and worked on various projects in both the public and private sector. My early career experience helped me to achieve MRICS professional qualification status in 2018. After a while I felt I wanted a new challenge in a sector where my experience was limited so sought out colleagues who worked on residential projects and Cast was always top of the list for recommendations. After being successful in getting an interview I started working at Cast in November of 2019.

Your Career Journey at Cast:

When I started at Cast I knew that a strategic goal set by the Board focused on applied innovation and that software and digital technology was at the forefront of our objectives. In my previous employment I had been the national training lead for a digital measurement tool used by that business and was responsible for training people on how to use this across their projects. One of the things that drew me to Cast besides their expertise in residential real estate was their approach to software and digital transformation. The goal was to build an automated software platform that was bespoke to Cast and allowed for the intricacies of the residential markets cost planning and viability appraisals to be met with the use of technology. When I first started it was a very small team of developers and we began story boarding existing ideas that had been presented and some new ideas that we thought could be brought together. We successfully completed a proof of concept phase and by October 2020 we had grown to a larger team from Cast and the software developer and had landed the Beta version of the software in January 2021. We are now in the 3rd iteration of the software and it is now our dedicated software used for measurement.

I was also part of the team that was tasked with producing Cast’s unique ‘PMV estimator’. This was a term that I had heard prior to joining Cast but knew very little about and to be involved in this process was a great experience. My personal development and understanding of PMV and MMC has grown from my project activities at Cast and through developing the PMV estimator that is now available on our website and being mandated through the likes of Homes England. The diversity of having both residential project delivery and strategic innovation tasks in my day-to-day responsibilities is one of the many things that drew me to Cast. As well as the innovation side of my role I have also seen and achieved added responsibility through my projects. I have been involved in later living, student accommodation, build to rent and co-living projects during my time at Cast. I have been a part of a team that has grown in size and has seen me taking more managerial responsibilities on.

Current Role:

I have been fortunate enough to have a mixture of pre and post contract work in my current role as a Senior Cost Consultant. I have two student accommodation projects that I have worked on for over a year now. We are nearing completion on these schemes with the next academic year quickly approaching and this will be an exciting period to hand over 1,000+ beds to the next generation of students. I am also involved in a complex and challenging project that is quickly approaching start on site. It is a mixture of mid-rise build to rent units and private sale townhouses in a prime location in Bath. I am also working with an exciting and innovative developer – manufacturer client where we have been tasked with getting their flagship development to site which will be delivered using their own MMC solution. Finally, I am involved in delivering a portfolio of co-living schemes. We have produced estimates and are helping the client to establish their brand standard across their portfolio. This new form of tenure has been a real experience for me to learn more about and through these schemes we have also been able to demonstrate the PMV score of the projects as well as assign targets to improve each of the project scores.

What are your ambitions:

I feel very strongly that digital transformation needs to be in place not just on construction sites but within the design, surveying and project management consultancies who help bring these projects to site. As a business we have been very vocal within the industry about the need for construction to modernise and that has been echoed strongly within our own business as well. Not only do we see the need for construction itself to modernise but for professional services to do so as well. Through my work on innovation at Cast I see myself as one of the people at the forefront of driving this change and helping to make the digitalisation of our services a success for us internally and for our outputs externally. Through the early adoption of the automated measurement software we have seen successful outputs to our clients and have been able to coordinate these outputs with the PMV estimator and I see this becoming the norm for us as a business in the very near future as well as expanding what our digital services can provide. I also see my role developing into one where I not only drive change within Cast but within the wider sector. We have already begun to host training sessions on the practical implications of PMV on projects and I see this educational service only expanding and me being a part of that service offering.

What would you say to someone thinking about joining Cast?

Be prepared to have key business initiatives strongly embedded in you from day one. Some businesses strive for change but very little physical change actually occurs through the workforce. That is not the case at Cast. If you come with an open mind and a desire to learn about new ways of delivering consultancy you will be provided with ample opportunity to effect real change within the industry as well as to drive your own ambitions for success. We are in a unique position where we specialise in residential real estate but have a wider impact and reputation across the whole construction sector. The organisational structure of Cast means that we are we are a very forward facing consultancy with board members and directors very much involved in project work and this offers a great learning experience and an ability to demonstrate your capabilities. The portfolio of clients only demonstrates the expertise that we have within residential real estate and the plethora of projects allows any member of staff a wide diversity of experience. We have specialist teams within engineering services, MMC construction integration and numerous opportunities across innovative delivery and technology applications which offer great opportunities for any member of staff.

05/20/21
 
 
 
 
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EC1N 8JH

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Black Bull Yard
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London
EC1N 8JH

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