INDUSTRY INSIGHTS | Q&A with Delta Membranes
An imperative part of any Knowles project is ensuring our waterproofing and drainage is exceptional, which is why we used DELTA. We sat down with David Symes, Delta’s Managing Director, who oversees key accounts, including Knowles, as well as Delta’s educational and training programmes.
David’s experience spans products and solutions incorporating structural waterproofing, damp proofing, flood resilience and ground gas protection systems. His expertise encompasses both commercial and residential projects.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
I joined Delta’s board of Directors in 2012, before taking on the Managing Director role in 2020. I entered the Construction Industry after leaving School, initially as a Damp Proofing and Timber Treatment Technician working with a small family concern in Northampton where I served my apprenticeship while attending College on a day release basis to study Carpentry and Joinery at Nene College.
From here I moved into Surveying for a National Company serving 20 years in this role to Senior Surveyor.
I was delighted to join the Delta Team and work alongside Delta’s then co-founders Chris and Brian where I acquired new skills, and the rest they say, is history.
I’m a Waterproofing Design Specialist and can be found on the WDS Register, hold CSSW qualification and the equivalent of a HNC in construction.
Tell us a bit about the history of Delta Membranes?
Delta Membrane Systems Limited provides a full range of waterproofing and damp proofing solutions for architects, specifiers, developers, contractors and homeowners on new, retrofit and refurbishment construction and in flood resilience. We also supply ground gas protection membranes protecting structures from harmful ground gases such as radon, carbon dioxide, methane and hydrocarbons.
We are proudly the Leading manufacturer of Type C Cavity Drainage Systems in the United Kingdom. We eat, sleep and breathe waterproofing solutions. We represent Quality Products, Solutions and Innovative Design.
We have a passionate team of professionals from a mixed and diverse background of disciplines, but we share the same goal and that is to develop sustainable long-term solutions in the sector.
Delta HQ can be found in Epping Essex, with smaller regional bases covering the whole of the UK, Scotland and Wales.
Delta is successfully lead by its Directors, David J Symes, Kevin Dodds, Christopher Burbridge and Brian Davison. With Kevin overseeing the operational, structured business development and personnel development and myself running the technical side of the business.
What makes your products different to those on the market?
This is a great question. Being incredibly biased we truly have some awesome products which are unparalleled.
Research and Development is incredibly important to us, we’re constantly looking at ways we can develop, design and enhance our products, services, techniques and processes.
Perhaps what makes Delta stand out in the market is we believe in offering value to our customers, we don’t just make a sale, we build relationships. The structural waterproofing industry is a very niche sector and a competitive market, we have an outstanding reputation for our Technical Team’s hands-on approach and knowledge which is backed by an equally impressive sale’s office.
Employee Development is deeply ingrained into our culture. It is not seen as a box to be ticked, or something to be done, instead, training, coaching and development activities are seen as continuous.
How long have you worked with Knowles?
We’ve been working alongside Knowles for over 10 years. During those years, I’ve discovered that one my favourite things is learning about Knowles and their values. Whether they are working on a small project to a large commercial project, they always provide a personalised service that exceeds expectations.
For anyone working in the structural waterproofing industry we are all amply aware that each project will have its own set of challenges because each project is unique.
Improving the collaboration from manufacturers to main contractors and sub contractors throughout the supply chain is a key element for project success. The success of the collaboration on a project depends on communication. Good communication can correct plan and specification flaws and reduce delays, we luckily have a great line of communication between the two companies, from planning to site meetings, it’s always a pleasure with Knowles’ teams.
What has been your favourite project to work with Knowles on?
Yet another great question. It’s a bit like choosing your most loved child, I am not sure I could name one favourite project. The great and wondrous aspect of Structural Waterproofing is no one project is the same and no one day is the same. One of the most interesting projects I have had the pleasure of working on with Knowles, has been a development in Oxfordshire. I have found this project incredibly rewarding because of the challenges raised and it’s certainly introduced me to new skills and approaches along with opportunities for creative thinking which has been exhilarating to overcome. It’s always a real joy to be able to see a project take shape from concept to finish. This project provided a great opportunity for teamwork.
When you create an open and transparent way of working, the whole process becomes so much more enjoyable.
Thank you to the Knowles team for the opportunity to work on the project. It has certainly been an enjoyable project that has provided both challenges and rewards.
Aside from the Oxfordshire development, some of the structural waterproofing projects that I find most fascinating are the historic ones, the upgrading old to new and knowing that we are preserving structures for future generations to enjoy.
Why should clients or professional teams feel confident when using Delta?
What defines Delta is our approach. We specialise in solutions, from the smallest domestic project to high-end residential developments, commercial structures and civil projects which can be tailored to even the most challenging environment – above or below ground. We consider the entire project process from concept to completion to the very finest of detail and can provide solutions for all project requirements.
We encourage best practice. Our step-by-step guidance on diagnosis, prognosis, treatment and preservation is updated daily using the robust evidence-based methodology, legislation and expert opinion.
We strongly believe that knowledge is power, therefore, we have developed a culture whereby best practices are identified and shared across all departments and we are committed to offering training and educational programmes to develop skills and knowledge within the sector and continually promote standards.
Keeping our customers’ trust and loyalty is particularly important to us and we strive to deliver a service that meets and excels expectations.
For Delta, sustainable development means adopting business strategies and activities that meet the needs of our customers today while protecting, sustaining and enhancing the manufacturing process of the future.
How does Delta keep up with the latest technologies and innovations when it comes to your sector?
Both myself and my fellow Directors are on various committees, with Kevin being at the forefront of developments within the Sector having been a valid committee member of the BSI BS8102 Review Committee 2009, BSI8102 Review Committee 2020/21 and the NHBC Task Group for the New Standards of Waterproofing of Basements and Other Below Ground Structures. Kevin continues his roles as Chairman of the Basement Information Centre, Technical Committee, Chairman of the PCA Structural Waterproofing Group Steering Committee and us all sitting as examiners for the CSSW qualification.
We are committed to our role in facilitating the transition to a more sustainable, low carbon, resource-efficient manufacturing process. By creating products that offer long term performance and protection for the lifespan of the structure, we can reduce the whole life costs and reduce the carbon footprint over the whole life of the structure.
The pace of change in the sector seems to accelerate at an ever-increasing rate, it’s a genuinely exciting era for structural waterproofing and really does provide me with the opportunity of doing something that I really love.