‘Sharing knowledge whether you’re working in Dublin, Dundee or Dubai’

Paul Avery

My name is Paul Avery, and I’m a construction manager at BAM Construct UK. In my 20 years with BAM I have climbed through the ranks from site management through to construction management, and I’ve had the pleasure of working on a great variety of projects. The one I am currently working on is the 19-storey, £100M Three Snowhill office development in Birmingham’s financial district. As we speak, it’s all systems go for the team and myself, as we are just weeks away from completion.

A history of growing communication

Previously on this project, we took part in the first wave of testing some of the documents for the Uniform Project Approach. The subjects of those documents were ‘lessons learned’ and ‘knowledge share’, and I like to think we were selected for this because these things are already very much part of our philosophy.

I believe that as a Group, in the past few decades, we have come a long way in this respect. When I joined the company, there would be little visible communication between the UK regions let alone between different BAM countries. Now, on the Three Snowhill project, we are benefitting from lessons learned in recent project in the London and Northwest regions. And looking at Group level, we are looking to share knowledge between people working on different continents and different countries.

The psychology of belonging 

There are probably two sides to how UPA is impacting this development: on the one hand there is the practical aspect of having a database that contains this vast amount of knowledge we have within BAM. On the other hand, there is the psychological thing of knowing you are part of a Group and the information is there to tap into whether you are working in Dublin, Dundee or Dubai.

To give an example, I read in the press this week about the Silvertown Tunnel being taken on in joint venture by BAM Nuttall and Wayss & Freytag. I think UPA is playing an important part in this type of collaborative and joined-up thinking and we will see a lot more of it.