Powerhouse Perspectives: In Conversation with Barney Whiting

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  • Building Services Maintenance

In our content series, ‘Powerhouse Perspectives’, we speak to key team members from across the Gratte Brothers Group to shed light on the hard work and varied approaches that are prevalent within the business. In this feature, we hear from Barney Whiting, Managing Director for our Facilities Management company, Gratte Brothers Building Services Maintenance (Also known as GBBSM). Barney has an impressive professional background, having started his working life serving in the Army.

“My early career after serving in the Army consisted of working in defence-related PFI Building Services Contracts working for Atkins, Sodexo and Skanska. The sites included MOD Main Building and the Old War Office in Whitehall, Colchester Garrison, BAE Systems in Farnborough and Leonardo Helicopters (then AgustaWestland) in Yeovil.”

This professional background has equipped Barney with extensive technical knowledge from across the building services industry. Since assuming the role of Managing Director in February 2022, he has been instrumental in enhancing GBBSM’s capabilities in delivering minor works and driving sustainability initiatives. His focus on replacing and upgrading end-of-life equipment underscores GBBSM’s commitment to operational efficiency and environmental responsibility.

GBBSM provides planned preventative and reactive maintenance services to the built environment (mechanical, electrical and public health) to a varied client base predominantly in central London and the Home Counties. The GBBSM scope of works includes the repair and replacement of existing building services assets in addition to the provision of core maintenance services.

In addition, GBBSM delivers project and minor works in the form of lifecycle plant and equipment replacement including plant upgrades with more sustainable solutions.

Our competitive Edge

We believe that what sets GBBSM apart is our steadfast commitment to engineering excellence, innovation and personalised service. As a privately owned entity, GBBSM can offer bespoke solutions delivering unmatched value while maintaining consistent service levels and compliance; delivered by an expert team. Barney’s emphasis on recruiting and nurturing top talent has cultivated a culture of excellence, setting GBBSM apart in the industry. As part of this focus, Barney has been the instigator of the Gratte Brothers Group signing the Armed Forces Covenant, and improving internal processes to attract service personnel with a wealth of transferrable skills into the business:

“As a veteran, one particular affiliation that I am proud of is that we, as a Group, have signed the Armed Forces Covenant to solidify our dedication to supporting service personnel (both former and currently serving). We continue to develop new partnerships to actively recruit and support those in the military and their spouses and those from the wider Armed Forces community seeking a new career with us.”

Recent Achievements

In efforts to advise clients on enhancing energy performance within their buildings, GBBSM has adapted to the group’s “Journey to Net Zero” initiative, aiming to reduce carbon emissions across scopes 1, 2 and 3 by 2050. Initiatives such as switching to renewable energy, investing in electric mobility, and implementing sustainable practices exemplify GBBSM’s commitment to mitigating environmental impact.

The Future of Building Service Maintenance

“Sustainability is a key element of our business approach in both our office and site operations. Our sustainability journey is headlined by our initiative “Journey to Net Zero”. This initiative encompasses all the efforts we are undertaking to support the United Nation’s climate target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees. Primarily, we have set the goal of reaching net zero emissions across scopes 1, 2 and 3 by 2050. To reduce our carbon footprint, we have ongoing initiatives to improve fleet efficiency and energy consumption in our buildings. We are already reducing our carbon footprint by changing the way we procure material and employing local people.”

Sustainability Practices in Facilities Management

Barney comments that “We implement sustainable practices across our operations and engage employees with our Journey to Net Zero initiative, for example, through the development of the Gratte Green Committee.

Furthermore, we have invested a great deal, both financially and operationally, in the continued professional development of our staff. This ensures they remain competent and safe in the workplace and are best equipped to maintain our clients’ assets to the latest industry standards in a compliant manner.

These initiatives are all an investment in the future of our business and are necessary to successfully support the expanding pipeline of work. It is a very exciting time and a privilege to be able to lead the team through this expansion phase as we continue our journey of profitable growth.”

Summary

Barney Whiting’s leadership at GBBSM exemplifies a commitment to excellence, innovation, and sustainability, driving positive change in the built environment and beyond. His transformative contributions continue to shape GBBSM’s journey towards a future of sustainable infrastructure.

To learn more about how GBBSM can meet your building services maintenance needs or to discuss potential collaborations, visit our Contact Us page.

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