KNOWLES TEAM | Q&A with Head of Structures, Jerry Fahy
Knowles is pleased to announce the promotion of Jerry Fahy to Head of Structures.
Knowles continues to work as a Super-Prime Main Contractor offering a complete construction service for our Clients, from initial demolition to final finishes. However we recognise and want to ensure that our expertise and reputation within Basements and Structural works remain as an imperative part of our business.
Jerry Fahy, with his experience and expertise, will ensure this portion of the business is managed and is continually developed, alongside full and main contractor contracts. This management will ensure a seamless continuation between phases and expertly delivered schemes for Clients.
Jerry has worked across a number of technically challenging projects at Knowles, including a super-prime residential scheme close to Regents Park, which involved the demolition of the existing property, followed by the open excavation of a 8,000 sq/ft double-depth basement. This phase was then followed by the re-build of a 7,000 sq /ft superstructure.
Jerry has also been leading the team at our Lancelot Place project, located opposite Harrods. At this project, Knowles’ scope of work included the excavation of a complete 9,800 sq/ft basement, of which will span the footprint across 5 new-build luxury townhouses which stand at 3 storeys.
We sat down with Jerry to find out more about him, his career and what people can expect from him as the new Head of Structures.
Tell us about yourself and your career history.
I have always had a keen interest in Construction and the built environment. I studied at Nottingham university for my bachelor’s before starting work on site as an Assistant Engineer setting out groundworks and RC Frames. From there I progressed through to Project Management and have enjoyed working on a variety of projects around London. Concurrently I have maintained my professional development achieving my MSc Civil Engineering from University of East London and I keep membership of industry bodies such as the ICE, CIOB and APM.
What projects are you working on at Knowles?
I am currently work across a variety of schemes all at varying stages of the project lifecycle. I have live projects in Randolph Road & Hamilton Terrace, both of which have required complex and intuitive sequencing to overcome various project hurdles. I am also working on some very interesting upcoming tenders, allowing me and the team at Knowles to build and develop a vision to present to prospective clients on how we can deliver their dream home or business development. It is this variety and appetite for the complex that I think really sets Knowles apart.
What other notable projects have you worked on in the past?
Other projects I have worked on include the Castle Club in Fulham, where I oversaw the structural programme of
constructing a new 5,000 sq/ft basement and RC superstructure in challenging ground conditions and within stone’s throw of the existing grade II listed building. In the coming months I am also looking to complete the structural works at our site in Lancelot Place. We have formed a 2.5 storey substructure occupying the full footprint of the site in a prime Knightsbridge location. We utilised a top-down method which removed the requirement for heavy temporary works and allowed us to commence the superstructure in advance of the basement formation completing.
What’s your project management ethos and what can we expect from a project led by you?
My project management Ethos is one of collaboration and communication. If all the various interested parties and stakeholders can maintain an attitude of collaboration and keep open lines of communication, then the project has a wonderful chance of success. From a project led by me you can expect the highest standards of safety, environmental consideration, and a strong duty of care to the site staff that make the project happen.
What expertise and skills are essential when working within the super prime structural sector?
You need to understand lifestyles and the requirements within super prime spaces, such as open areas for entertaining, bespoke leisure rooms and systems. All of these finishes impact the structure in terms of allowances for services and the possible locations of structural elements, and having a contractor like Knowles who is knowledgeable on this helps to inform decisions early in the project to save costs and reworking later down the line. Furthermore, I think within London, you need to understand its position as a historic city that has grown over centuries and the various structures, building techniques and quirks that come that. If working with existing structures you need to be proactive, adaptable and have the vision to see what the building can become and understand the various works, interfaces and sequencing that comes with that.
What excites you about Knowles?
For me the great excitement working with Knowles is the variety. Every day presents different projects and different challenges. I enjoy and relate to Knowles pursuit of the most complex and involved structural schemes, and I’m excited to help reinforce and hopefully build Knowles reputation within the super prime structural sector. I greatly enjoy working across both country estates and centre of London projects and they both bring different and exciting challenges.
Can you explain how Knowles Structures integrates with Knowles for complete construction contracts?
Knowles Structures is flexible in that we will interface, however, is best required to suit the project procurement route. In situations where a client is looking for a main contractor to take works from breaking ground to final finishes we will act as a subcontractor to the broader Knowles Main Contracting wing, providing our expertise and ability for fast and efficient mobilisation to give the main contracting arm the leg up on similar competition, this allows for a fast start on site and a maximised overlap between phases. Where the project is procured as structure only or shell and core, Knowles structures will run that project as main contractor, handing over to our main contracting wing or a suitable fit out contractor upon completion. We really can work however best to ensure the projects success.