Richard is a Fire Engineer based in our Sydney office and is a very valued member of the team. After dedicating ten years of his working life to Holmes Fire, we asked him some questions to get an insight into the culture at Holmes Fire and how Fire Engineering has developed for him over this time.
Why Holmes Fire?
The best thing about Holmes is definitely its people and its culture. When I met Glen, Holmes Fire Australia’s CEO, back in Christmas of 2007, I felt straight away that Holmes Fire was the kind of place that I’d like to work. It was soon after, I met some of the staff, many of whom are also still here today only confirming that this was a team I would work well with and ultimately learn a lot from and time has proved that!
What is your greatest achievement at Holmes Fire?
From a project perspective, It would definitely have to be finishing V by Crown in Parramatta, which will be completed construction in the next couple of months.
Personally however, managing to keep a work life balance is also a great achievement for me, considering when I started at Holmes I had a very different life, sans kids! But maybe ask me that again when I have to start doing the school drop offs and I may have a different response!
What have you seen change at Holmes over the last 10 years?
Pleasingly, not much. Holmes has kept a consistency in how they practice and their culture. Apart from the increase in staff numbers as the company has grown, noting it has now doubled in numbers, it is still the same place I started at 10 years ago.
What makes Holmes a great place to work?
That one is easy! The people.
Reflecting on your work, do you have any key projects that have been important and particularly influential for you, since you have been at Holmes?
As mentioned prior, V by Crown as it had a bit of everything from a Fire Engineering perspective, so I definitely learnt a lot.
Top Ryde City Living would also be up there. As one of my first major projects with Holmes Fire, this will always be memorable, and as a bonus the team on the project were great, always making a project more rewarding to be a part of. Despite some late stage hurdles, it was a great project to complete.
What have been the biggest changes you have seen in the industry?
The housing boom in Sydney which has affected the growth of high density living, this is seen through the increased level of high-rise residential projects we have worked on over recent years.
A great positive change for me would be the culture shift of Fire Engineers within a project team, being recognised as a value add for a project rather than a necessary evil. The shift of including Fire Engineers within the early developments of a building is growing and we are noticing the positive role this has on the overall management of a project’s fire safety strategy through both the design and construction.
Finally, social media has created a wider conversation and platform to share ideas and innovation within the engineering environment as a whole. This, for us is shrinking the gap between disciplines and improving innovation within design, engineering and construction as a whole.
On behalf of Holmes Fire and the wider Holmes Group, we would like to thank Richard for his contribution over the years, not only to his projects but to our company. Congratulations on this great achievement!