Calford Seaden

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Calford Seaden's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Calford Seaden is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Highlighting best practice
Equity Partner Nigel Franklin
Recently completed senior living scheme
located at 1C The Drive in Walthamstow
Founded in 1941, calfordseaden LLP is a multidisciplinary
practice providing project management, surveying,
architectural, engineering, clerk of works and health
and safety consultancy services to the construction sector.
With a reputation for their professionalism and versatility,
calfordseaden has built strong relationships with numerous
repeat clients. Their commissions are UK wide with offices in
London, Orpington, Birmingham, Winchester, Cambridge and
Southend-on-Sea. Equity Partner Nigel Franklin elaborates.
At calfordseaden we provide a range of consultancy services to a variety of industry
sectors. A significant proportion of our work is linked to the housing sector,
although our commissions include many health, education, retail and commercial
projects. One of our key attributes is the range of skills offered by our in-house
teams, with over 100 project managers and surveyors, 20 architects, 65 engineers,
20 clerks of works and ten health and safety advisors working across our six offices.
As a practice, we work on a full range of housing projects, including private
individual homes and new build developments comprising up to 1,000-plus
dwellings. We work with landowners, housing associations and developers, and our
projects are delivering the many new and affordable homes that are so desperately
needed within our urban and rural areas.
Growth and advancement
I was a partner at surveying company, HBW Partnership, until 2013, before merging
my practice with calfordseaden. Both organisations saw the potential of cooperating
»Equity Partner: Nigel Franklin
»Founded in 1941
»Based in Southend-on-Sea
with offices in Orpington,
London Bridge, Winchester,
Birmingham and Cambridge
»Services: Multidisciplinary
practice providing project
management, surveying,
architectural, engineering,
clerk of works and health
and safety consultancy to the
construction sector
»No. of employees: 250
and this decision has been vindicated
by our growth in the past five years.
HBW offered calfordseaden extra
project management and surveying
skills, while HBW have benefitted from
calfordseaden’s wider technical skills
and extensive in-house resources and
capabilities. In this period, calfordseaden
has further expanded by setting up a
new office in Cambridge which is led by
my partner, Ben Furr. We have no rigidly
defined five or ten-year plan; instead,
we continue to develop our services
through investment in technology
and people. This helps build on our
reputation and expertise to secure us
new contracts and offer our services in
a way that best suits our clients.
We have grown organically, and our
services are constantly evolving in
order to meet the demands of the
market. Our current team of partners
want to maintain this approach by
remaining an independent, privately
owned professional practice. Our
independence allows us to offer a
specialised and personalised service
that clients have cited in the past. In
the future, we aim to establish more
multidisciplinary commissions whereby
our clients utilise more of our services
in an integrated manner to complete
entire projects. If we are able to
establish a reputation for providing a
comprehensive service, this will present
us with promising growth opportunities
going forward and help us to serve our
clients even moreeffectively.
Industry challenges
On an industry-wide scale, we want
to see the end of tick-box syndrome
with regards to compliance with
carbon reduction or renewable energy
technology. The government has
introduced new low carbon technology
targets and regulations, but there has
not been the necessary effort taken
to ensure these are fully functioning
and effective. Regulation should
be introduced to ensure minimum
standards of performance rather than
relying on certifications being awarded
based on theoretical modelling.
In response, we have published a
number of articles advocating a
new regulatory framework that
aims to guarantee energy efficiency
and performance in the future. Sustainability lies at the
core of our North West
Cambridge project
We continue
to develop our
investment in
and people
Highlighting best practice
Thereneedsto be an overarching
industry understanding of how they
should work in practice, and at
calfordseaden we are hoping to help
enforce this. This makes up part of
our drive to offer our expertise to
policymakers, who too often disregard
the input of those at the coalface of
their sector. If new technology is to
be continually introduced, there must
be systems in place that monitor its
output and realworth.
We often witness the results of
poorly supervised building projects,
which bring down standards and
lead to an unnecessary number of
building defects and, in turn, client
dissatisfaction. We seem to have
been brought in more regularly in
recent years to oversee remedial
works to completed new build
projects. Some of our site inspection
commissions often require only a
limited number of site visits. High-
quality site supervision, in the guise
of the clerk of works role, is essential,
although this role seems to have been
gradually diluted over time. Our belief
is that accountable, permanent and
highly trained clerk of works or site
inspectors should once again become
the industry standard.
Building information
modelling (BIM)
The government has pursued BIM
technology in recent years, declaring
that all public projects need to be
implemented through BIM. With the aim
of digitising the building process, BIM
enables better collaboration between
architects and engineers. It relies on
all designers of a project utilising the
same three-dimension computer-
aided design model, which would be
accessible throughout the project, so
various parties will have remote access
to the same “drawing”model.
We are one of the few consultants in
our sector to be accredited at BIM level
two and we aim to help push forward
the use of BIM across the industry.
Clients have been reticent to invest
in BIM projects up to this point, but
if it became an industry standard, we
would be able to complete far more
projects using the technology to help
reduce building defects and increase
building delivery efficiency. BIM not
only assists project delivery, but it
can also be used as a tool over the
building’s entire life cycle. This would
offer more control over maintenance
costs for clients and it would allow
them to plan for the future with
greater certainty.
Finally, we hope to rectify some of
the skill shortages that are visible
within the construction industry. We
are taking an increasing number of
students from college and school and
placing them in apprentice schemes,
and we have also sponsored some
students to study further, so that
they can then join our surveying,
architectural and engineering teams.
At calfordseaden, we hope this
forward-thinking approach will benefit
us and our industry in thefuture.
Our belief is
and highly
trained clerk
of works or
site inspectors
should once
again become
the industry
3D BIM model of
Prendergast School,

This article was sponsored by Calford Seaden. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.

In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.

We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.

And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.

As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy