BAM Construction’s South East business – behind projects such as the Ashmolean Museum, the Laboratory of Molecular Biology for the Medical Research Council in Cambridge, and Network Rail’s National Centre in Milton Keynes, has appointed a new Regional Director. The firm is also behind several structures in the continuing multi-billion pound redevelopment of Kings Cross.
Adam Harding, 43, officially takes up the top role on 1 October in a business whose work spans 13 counties. He replaces Stuart Robinson, who is retiring.
Mr Harding trained in construction management at the University of Westminster and began working for BAM as an engineer in the early 1990s.
His first job as a project manager was the Manor Road Building for the University of Oxford, and his last job on site was at the £107 million Network Rail offices in Milton Keynes. In 2010, he was a gold medal winner at the national Construction Manager of the Year Awards for his work at West Herts College, Watford.
Mr Harding reflected on the changes the industry had undergone in the past two decades.
“Construction is a very different proposition even to when I started out; technology is allowing us to work differently, for one thing,” he says. “However the industry remains a people business – at the heart of successful projects you will always find strong relationships built on mutual trust.
“When I started as a chain boy working on a Tesco store in Osterley, the industry was in a recession and employment opportunities were scarce. Now we’ve in emerged into a rising market and there is young talent and the business has exciting opportunities.
“Also, young construction professional now are more open about their ambitions. One of our jobs is to nurture and retain our talented people. They need recognition and a career path.”
People are key to the business being successful, Mr Harding said.
“The future is a combination of utilising this experience with the technology and fresh ideas from young people, and fusing these together. Technological advancements have been remarkable over my career but this is an industry that will always need skilled people.”
Mr Harding is looking forward to getting stuck into his latest challenge.
“My attitude is that you should never stop learning, never be afraid of trying new things and developing your skills,” he said. “When you work properly as a team the greatest satisfaction is bringing everybody together and finding ways to solve all the problems.
“One advantage I have is that I have lived and worked in London and the South East all my life. I know the region and our people well, and I’ve seen us develop strong relationships with our clients and the consultants here.”
He also looked back fondly on his career to date.
“I’ve loved my time on site, and I’ve worked on buildings like Reading Crown Court, at Sun Microsystems in Fleet, and on West Herts College in Watford.
“The most valuable years of my career were the grass roots when I learned how to put things together.”
Mr Harding was born in Chalfont St Giles in Buckinghamshire, and now lives in Berkhamsted with his wife Jo and their three daughters.
BAM’s South East team is based in St Albans but works in Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Kent, Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire, plus some areas of Greater London. BAM has a separate team in central London.