The head of major projects has been visiting building sites since he was four years old. He is a keen cyclist and plays two instruments 

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Andy Jones is head of major projects at Mace

Why did you choose construction as a career?

It was really my father who paved the way for me. He set up his own construction and plant hire company and, from the age of four, I accompanied him on site visits. My ambition to work in construction has really developed from there.

What has been your biggest career challenge to date?

Covid has been one of the biggest challenges I have experienced in my lifetime. Almost overnight we had to close all of our sites and made some difficult choices. But we came out stronger and retained some of the lessons learnt.

The mental health and wellbeing of our people has become a top priority. Many people faced difficulties during the pandemic, and it is important that everyone feels confident they can share their experiences and get the support they need.

If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?

Diversity. I think the industry has come a long way from when I started, but there is still a lot of work to be done, if we want to become a more diverse and inclusive company, especially at senior level.

I am part of the steering committee for the Women at Mace programme and a male ally, together with some of our fantastic women leaders and it is truly eye opening, when you hear some of the experiences and barriers that people still encounter.

It is important for me to understand these challenges so I can be part of the solution. Too often people listen but not enough take action.

What have you worked on that you are most proud of?

I am extremely proud in equal measure of the safety culture that we have developed across our projects and how we are leading on the net zero carbon agenda with our clients. We achieved net zero carbon as a business at the end of 2020 with the help of offsets and set another target of further carbon reduction of 10% year-on-year to 2026.

We are taking clients on the journey with us, transforming the way we deliver major, iconic projects with our vision for a sustainable world.

As for projects, Battersea Power Station has been a really rewarding experience. It is a unique project, both in terms of scale and scope.

Royal Opera House Muscat1

Favourite building: the Royal Opera House, Muscat

Most helpful advice you were given?

What other people think of you really isn’t any of your business: it’s best to not let other people’s opinions prevent you from being the authentic version of yourself.

What is your favourite building in the world?

The Royal Opera House in Muscat, Oman. It was the first project in the Middle East that I was responsible for delivering, before joining Mace. The architecture is remarkable, elevating the building to cultural landmark status. It is impossible not to be in awe with it.

What single piece of advice would you give to someone just starting out in your profession?

An eagerness to get stuck in and learn. As the industry is changing, there are so many different roles and career paths now - from onsite project managers to data-driven roles. It is a really exciting time to join construction.


The Bloomberg HQ on Queen Victoria Street in the City of London

Who do you most admire in the construction industry?

Chris Cole, the WSP chairman. He has been my mentor for many years, a friend and a real inspiration.

What famous building do you wish you had worked on?

The Bloomberg HQ. It is not just the beauty and complexity of the design, but the sustainability features of the building that make it a stand-out construction project. I would have definitely liked to be part of the delivery team.

Which famous building do you most dislike?

Twickenham Stadium, speaking as a Welsh rugby fan.

What is it like being you?

I oversee major projects for Mace, from 40 Leadenhall Street and Paddington Square to Battersea Power Station, so delivering complexity is a daily job for me.

In my role you need to wear many different hats, so it’s important to be a strong communicator at all levels to navigate the requirements of the client, supply chain and teams on site.

I have to stay on top of what our teams are delivering day-in, day-out, but also understand the bigger picture from the client’s perspective.

What do you think your best quality is?

Determination and resilience. Delivering buildings and infrastructure is one of the most complex industries, involving many partners and stakeholders to make a successful result happen. Being determined is almost a requirement in our sector.

What trait do you most dislike in yourself? And in other people?

Lack of patience in myself and dishonesty in others.

Do you have a life philosophy?

Nothing is so important that you cannot take the time to do it safely.

Name three things that you like

Honesty, loyalty and do what you say you will. I value these three things both in my personal life as well as professionally and it is how I evaluate my relationship and the work that I and those around me deliver.

What is a secret skill that we don’t know you have?

I can play the cello and clarinet. I am more artistic and creative than I let people believe.

What is your most prized possession?

That would be my bike, a Pinarello F12.

Early bird or night owl?

Early bird – I’m usually on site from 7am meeting the project teams.

What is your favourite food?

Thai green curry with rice and chips.

What would your superpower be?

Mind reading, so I can get the true facts from the start.