BESA’s Behind The Built Environment Podcast with Remi Suzan

  • Featured,
  • Building Services & Engineering

Remi Suzan, the newly appointed Managing Director of Gratte Brothers Ltd, recently featured on the second episode of BESA’s Behind The Built Environment podcast. This episode, aptly titled Behind Gratte Brothers Limited, offers an insightful dive into Remi’s perspectives on the building services sector in the UK.

Main talking points

In his discussion, Remi highlighted the current state of the building services market and shared his vision for the current landscape and future of Gratte Brothers. The Building Safety Act and BIM are huge talking points within the built environment that Remi addresses. Remi brings to light his opinions on the two subjects and the implications of these in the industry.

Digitalisation also posed as a major talking point in the Behind The Built Environment podcast. We’ve taken an internal IT-based Operational Director and developed his role into Strategic Director, entirely focusing on new technologies and how we can integrate them into the business. He focuses entirely on innovation, providing continuous progression with our digitalisation projects.

Developing skills has always been a focal point for Remi, which he sheds light on in the episode. Remi cites limited routes to becoming a chartered engineer in the UK, with a major focus on the academic route currently. The academic route focuses mostly on design, with a lack of practical knowledge. To solve this issue, Remi introduced the graduate trainee programme three years ago, providing opportunities for blue-collar apprentices to move into engineering.

Off-site build

Of all the talking points discussed, off-site build takes centre stage in the Behind The Built Environment podcast. At Gratte Brothers, we have two dedicated facilities which form the heart of our off-site operations. The welding facility is based in Worthing, and the pre-assembly facility is in Chelmsford. Our Chelmsford facility builds an array of items, from full electrical risers to distribution boards, mechanical pipework, and pipe work. Our skilled internal teams perform all the works in the off-site facilities, so we can retain the highest standards of quality control. 

A main advantage of off-site production is the significant reduction of waste. Any off-cuts are kept in the facility as opposed to being thrown away on-site. Remi does make it clear that off-site build shouldn’t be about saving money, as cutting costs results in a drop in quality. The benefit that surpasses all is de-coupling the programme. When building on-site work cannot commence until rooms and floors are released to the M&E contractor. Off-site build, on the other hand, allows for whole rooms to be built before installation, enabling works to not be constricted to other builders’ works and significantly reducing the installation time when on-site.

Currently, as a business, we build around 30-40% of our projects in Chelmsford. Eventually, Remi envisions 70-80% of project builds to be off-site.

The podcast

BESA’s Behind The Built Environment podcast delves into the latest industry news in the building engineering sector. David Frise, CEO of BESA, hosts the podcast, providing insightful discussions and exclusive interviews with leading industry experts. With his guests, David explores the trends and innovations that are shaping the future of the built environment, assessing the impact they will have on businesses across the industry.

The first two episodes are available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and YouTube.

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