MEP Awards 2017: Meet last year's winners

Cathy Christer, partner at Godwin Austen Johnson, talks about the company winning the Sustainable Project of the Year award last year


How was it winning the awards last year? How has the journey been since then?

Winning at last year’s MEP Awards was a very good experience and a much appreciated recognition of the client’s vision in developing a sustainable building product. The client’s ambition fused well with our own team’s drive to provide a sustainable and robust solution and it was a pleasure to have this recognised in the award. 

At Godwin Austen Johnson (GAJ), we are very fortunate to have architects and engineers side-by-side who naturally offer the opportunity to develop very well integrated and sustainable solutions. We have used the award to build awareness within the practice and within the team as to the importance of sustainability, and in that end the award has had a legacy of its own.

Thank you MEP Middle East magazine for the opportunity to showcase our projects; it was wonderful to have the recognition, especially in such an important area as sustainability. 

What are some of your current projects?

We are currently developing designs across a range of projects, including the education, hospitality, commercial office and residential sectors.  We are also busy as a team with many projects onsite that are at an exciting stage of commissioning and handover.  We try to ensure that the design engineers are given site experience as this is the stage at which a design will be proven and so it is an invaluable experience in their skill development.  

What are your company’s future plans? 

Speaking for the GAJ MEP team, it has been a very busy year and we are looking to the future to continue our development in BIM and are continuously seeking to improve the team’s skills and move forward. In addition, we are implementing further sustainable designs and have the pleasure of working with existing clients on repeat projects as well as getting to know new clients.

How is the market shaping up? What market trends have you noticed this year? 

Clients are looking for good quality solutions with optimised costs and so it is important to work with the client and understand areas of emphasis early on so that the designs can progress in the correct manner.  It is all about developing an informed and integrated product. It is not only about working closely with the architects, structural engineers and the design team to develop a well-integrated product, but also continuously monitoring the project costs and quality to ensure that these will be in line with expectations.

What are the main opportunities and challenges in the market?

I believe that one of the main opportunities today is to develop the team’s skills and make full use of the technological solutions that provide us with an efficient design process. Additionally, this also presents as the main challenge. 

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