In conversation with Charlie Laing

Kathy Basheva had the pleasure of sitting down for a conversation with Charlie Laing, the operations manager at CLPM to discuss construction, contracts, costs and other topics.

Below is an excerpt from the interview: 
Kathy Basheva: Hello, Charlie Laing.
Charlie Laing: Hello, Kathy, how are you?
KB: Very good to see you. So Charlie, you are the operations director of CLPM. Would you like to tell us what CLPM  stands for and introduce yourself?
CL:  We call ourselves very grandly a project consultancy. We have a QS team that looks after everything numbers and contract related. So tries to set initial budgets. And then that team will go on to find contractors to carry out the work. And then the bit that I head up the project management team, we try to control the works on site. So does the builder know what he’s doing?And is he then doing the work right? So trying to give you and your clients reassurance that actually you’re getting what you designed, and that you’re paying for the work that you should be paying for? Time management probably, you know, trying to make sure that clients making decisions as well. There will be a bit of that.
KB: Of course. Where are your projects located?
CL: So I have a team of eight project managers working with me. We cover a pretty decent geography up to Birmingham, and across we have one project manager living in Gloucester, including Greater London. So you know, each of our project managers we don’t like to travel much more than an hour. But that means that he can get into Wales and down to Bristol and bath. We want to get national Kathy, we want to get national.
KB:  This is the old Forge and Frank  Elliot, is your project manager dealing with a job on site.
CL: That’s a remarkable project, isn’t it? Because it’s not a it’s not a standard building by any stretch of the imagination.
KB: It is an old Forge and an old electrical substation which was converted now we are converting it into a two bedroom house due to be finished, hopefully by the end of the year. And it is still on on site. It’s just a beautiful project, taking advantage of an old edifice and all the building and developing that into a two bed house.
CL: And it’s in a conservation area, I think initially planning for it in the first place was interesting.
KB: Indeed, we needed to go through planning on two occasions for two separate extensions. And it had so many things and factors to be accounted for albeit being a very small building. It’s proved to be one of the most complex jobs I have looked at in the most recent years.