Our latest edition in CABE featured Karl Guest and focused on his career journey into Building Control.
We caught up with him to discuss his new role within Stroma Building Control and his future plans as Technical Manager for the division.
Here’s what he had to say.
Tell us about your experience and what attracted you to the Building Control industry.
My construction career began as an Apprentice Bricklayer in 2003. I went on to undertake my Advanced Craft Bricklaying at Wolverhampton City College. Then in 2007, I undertook a BTEC national certification in Construction & the Built Environment with a view to undertake a degree in Building Surveying. I completed my degree at The University of Wolverhampton in 2015.
In 2014, I secured my first role in Building Control as a District Building Surveyor for Wolverhampton City Council, before joining an Approved Inspector business in 2015, known today as Stroma Building Control.
How has your career developed with Stroma Building Control?
I’ve been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to gain a great deal of experience working for an Approved Inspector business, and Local Authority Building Control – the variety of work is definitely a benefit of working as a Building Control Surveyor.
Since joining the business in 2015, I’ve been promoted from Senior Building Control Surveyor to Principal Building Control Surveyor – and now as Technical Manager.
I’ve worked in both public and private sectors, managing the building control elements of new-build, extension, and refurbishment projects – ranging from hospitals, healthcare buildings, mixed-use developments, offices and commercial buildings, residential and domestic premises. I’ve also advised on unique projects for the Ministry of Defence and taken a lead role in several large prison projects.
During my time at Stroma, I’ve had many opportunities to progress, including becoming an Associate Member of RICS and achieving my chartered status with CABE – something I’ve always been passionate about. More recently, I have completed my Level 5 Diploma in Fire Engineering Design.
Tell us about your role as Technical Manager.
As Technical Manager, I’m responsible for increasing the technical support available to our staff to achieve greater consistency for our clients and their projects. This involves regular technical group discussions on any upcoming changes to Building Regulations that impact the business. I also work to build relationships with professional bodies to progress standards across the industry.
A large part of my role is understanding recent changes to the Approved Documents, such as changes to Approved Document B last year, and how it delivers increased life safety. As guidance can be interpreted and applied differently, it’s my job to digest information and provide internal technical advice for our surveyors.
What are your plans for the future?
I’m keen to expand our technical committee further to include more surveyors interested in participating in regular discussions and understand where additional support and guidance are needed across the business.
The plan for the next six months includes producing and hosting regular internal webinars, and company-wide communications on the recent changes to the Approved Documents. Our technical forum aims to maximise our surveyors' support as a point to direct and discuss any technical queries with colleagues.
What do you get up to outside of work?
As a family man, I spend most of my free time with my wife and kids, but I enjoy weight training, music, and riding motorbikes.
Would you recommend a career with Stroma Building Control?
My career with Stroma Building Control has given me lots of opportunities to progress and challenge myself professionally.
Since joining the business in 2015, I have seen the company develop into the organisation that it is today. Stroma has invested heavily in technology to assist in the role of a Building Control Surveyor, and I’m excited about our future plans.
If you’re looking to join a progressive, forward-thinking business, who invest in their employees, I’d recommend a career with Stroma Building Control.
Join our team by applying via our careers page.