In this Q&A, Unispace Commercial Director Ryan Caffyn-Parsons shares the changes he's seen occur within the construction industry, the greatest influence on his career and his top 3 tips for project success.
What changes have you seen in the construction industry in the last decade?
Technology: This is probably the largest influence of change in the industry. Advanced equipment has revolutionised how projects are executed and managed. The use of mobile technology has improved work conditions, construction costs and completion times. Before technology, every piece of material was calculated by hand and slight changes would create hours of additional work. Technology has enhanced just about every fibre of the industry.
Safety and Health Initiatives: The safety regulations that were in place 50 years ago were a far cry from where they are now. Strict policies are now in place and supervised to ensure the safety of all employees and the environment.
Increase in Construction Demands: Today our clients, architects and investors strive for unique construction that helps them stand out. This wasn’t the case 20 years ago. Consumers also expect a much quicker lead-time on projects than in 2000.
Skill Base: The construction industry is less manually based and calls for more technology skills. Also, understanding how to deal with the complexity of building systems and infrastructure is now essential.
Qualifications: There is more of a push and focus on education in the construction sector than 20 years ago. With modern safety procedures, technology and initiatives for certified skills, maintaining and earning qualifications is a major change.
What are your Top 3 tips to ensure project success?
Maintain productivity: Being productive doesn’t mean that hammers must be swinging every minute of the day. It does, however, mean making the best use of the agreed project schedule, avoiding costly errors and delays, and staying focused on the most important tasks.
Know your suppliers: Reliable vendors and suppliers will prove their value many times over. When you know you can trust your vendors, you’ll be able to keep your focus on the job.
Use mobile technology: Make use of smart phones, tablet computers and other sophisticated electronics to maintain communication and project reporting with the client and project team.
Did you always want to be involved in the property industry?
Yes. The commercial real estate industry is a non-stop, exhilarating, evolving, dynamic industry - miss a beat and you’re left in the dust!
Who has been the greatest influence on your career?
As a kid, I spent vacation time and holidays working in my father’s construction business, which certainly influenced the path of my career.
Favourite quote: "A goal without a plan is just a wish." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Based in our Boston studio, Ryan leads Unispace's design, technical and project management capabilities across the Americas region. With more than 20 years of experience in the delivery of complex, fast paced, construction projects, he orchestrates national and local teams to guide a collaborative process that translates to a seamless client experience.