Lauren James

"The most enjoyable and rewarding part of the job is knowing we are making a difference; improving the performance, efficiency and sustainability qualities of our properties to enable owners complete control and comfort over their homes."

Job Title: Trainee Sustainability Technician

Employer: Redrow Plc

Job: Technical Co-Ordinator / Administrator

About my job

What does your department do?

Our department focuses on the sustainability and efficiency aspects of our homes, where we perform SAP and detailed thermal bridging calculations to analyse the fabric energy performance and carbon reductions of plot specific house types to meet building regulations and code requirements.

We work closely with Group Commercial and Technical teams to design specifications to meet emerging building regulations, and advise divisions in respect of further site energy and carbon requirements.

Code assessments are a focal area of our department’s workload, where we perform assessments and site inspections from pre development stage through to post construction stage across all of our regions developments. These assessments are carried out to ensure our sites meet their specific code requirements; be it code level 3 or 4.

Where developments are to comply with code level 4, we also become involved with the design and placement of photovoltaic panels (PV), where summaries are produced specifying each house types allocation and best orientation to maximise the efficiency and running of each dwelling.

Code is an extremely involved process as it takes consideration of the developments complete build process in addition to each plots fabric energy performance and carbon reduction.

We liaise with site managers and technical departments throughout in order to achieve consistency and precision across our sites. Drawings are analysed to ensure the correct design specifications are utilised prior to the construction house packs being issued, evidence is gathered to record the developments site specific requirements, reports are issued and managed, EPC’s are lodged, and once complete, we sign off the developments and issue the Code for Sustainable homes certificates.

What do you do on a day-to-day basis?

A typical day involves producing SAP’s, house type calculations, EPC certificates, reviewing our drawings, site visits, calculating thermal bridging/ Y values and researching up and coming products to incorporate within our designs.

What do you like about what you do?

I enjoy performing SAP calculations and examining the construction and fabric of our buildings to better their design, thermal bridging and energy performance in addition to site visits to inspect the dwellings once constructed. Also researching new innovative products; be it up and coming wireless devices, to incorporating sustainable building fabrics to improve the efficiency of our homes.

The most enjoyable and rewarding part of the job is knowing we are making a difference; improving the performance, efficiency and sustainability qualities of our properties to enable owners complete control and comfort over their homes.

Why did you choose this career?

I was attracted to the position from enjoying this particular line of work. I was previously an architectural technician and building surveyor; however I was drawn to Redrow as we are forward moving and focus on large new build developments. I was offered the opportunity to become part of Redrow from registering my interest online.

What qualifications did you need to get this job?

Our department is extremely wide ranging as it not only involves the technical fabric and energy performance of our buildings construction, but the environmental and biodiversity attributes of our developments too. However, I gained a First Class Honours degree in Architectural Design and Technology, advanced certification in AutoCAD and Revit, in addition to previous experience in practice, which has helped immensely in the running of my role within the department. Overall, having a thorough understanding of construction and fabric performance is particularly beneficial.

Is there any particular advice you would give to someone looking for a career in your area of work?

Passion, drive, dedication, an interest in ecology and environmental issues, determination to make a difference and a strong architectural knowledge are certainly good attributes to have if you were interested in a career within our research and sustainability department here at Redrow.

Questions & Answers

What hobbies or interests do you have?

In my spare time I enjoy making music. I have sang, played the drums and occasionally the guitar for almost 14 years, where in that time I have been involved with many bands, various genres of music, tours and radio interviews. The greatest achievement was being approached to play a gig live on air for BBC Introducing at Central Station. It was packed and the set went down a storm, it was such a privilege! Following this publicity, our song was aired on Radio1 which significantly increased our fan base. We were later invited for an interview in the BBC studios where we also performed tracks from our recently released EP live on air, it was such a buzz!!

In addition to this I enjoy off road biking, road cycling and any fast paced activities – I’m a slight adrenaline junkie… and a chocoholic!!

What’s your favourite type of music?

I enjoy all types of music, but more often than not I’ll be listening to the good old punk rock power pop Blink 182, Bowling for Soup, Paramore and Tonight Alive to name a few. However recently I have rolled back to enjoying Fleetwood Mac and the fresher recently established 1975 who are a brilliant band and really capture the retro grunge essence and sparkle of the electronic 80’s.

What’s your favourite film / film genre?

I have many favourites! However titles like the Da Vinci Code, National Treasure and action/adventure are always great ones for me!

Where’s your favourite place to go on holiday?

My favourite holiday destination to date would have to be Gran Canaria. There’s plenty to explore and the relaxed pace of culture is just fantastic – and of course the weather and delicious food!