Buildings and Places, People Spotlight

Our People Spotlight series gives you an inside look at our technical experts around the world. This week, we are highlighting a Cost Manager from our Buildings+Places (B+P) business line in the London office and providing an insight into their inspiration and work.

Bernard initially joined Davis Langdon, a legacy AECOM company, as a Year-Out Trainee Surveyor in 2000 and now leads a commercial sector cluster in London. Bernard qualified as a Chartered Surveyor in May 2004 and was promoted to Director in January 2010.  He has proven big project experience and has a broad base of cross sector experience.

Tell us about what inspired you to join the industry

I grew up in a family that had strong links with construction. Buildings, skylines and construction generally interested me from a young age. In my teens, I learned about Quantity Surveying (also known as cost management) and the role it plays in the process.  From there, I set my mind on becoming a QS and the rest as they say is history!

What is your favorite AECOM project that you’ve worked on and why?

I have been very fortunate to have worked on a very broad spectrum of projects in several different sectors, so selecting one project is extremely difficult! I have also worked here in London and abroad with some cutting-edge architects in Zaha Hadid, Frank Gehry and Sir Norman Foster to name a few.

I have always enjoyed seeing schemes flourish from the initial concept proposals through to delivery and completion. The two Frank Gehry buildings, that make up part of the Battersea Power Station development, stick in my mind as they are so unique and for many their shape and form tests the imagination. Seeing the concept unveiled in 2014 and being part of the delivery team has been very satisfying

I believe that it is this variety and the quality and diversity of the teams that I have been fortunate to work with is what defines the enjoyment I have had so far in my career.

Tell us a story of how your work positively impacted the community.

Commercial development projects for private clients can overtly focus on improved margins and returns, however the very best clients I have worked with also have a vigorous and unapologetic commitment to enhance the sites, neighborhoods and communities within which they operate. I am proud to have played a part in the regeneration of many underutilized sites in central London and the delivery of more than 500 affordable homes.

Within the business, I enjoy mentoring my team, enabling those coming into the industry to progress as I have done.

Share a piece of career advice

The industry we work in is very much people oriented. Invest in yourself by building and nurturing your network from the outset. It will create increased opportunities for enduring relationships which will be invaluable as you move through you career.

Originally published Dec 14, 2021

Author: Bernard Duffy