Emma Taylor, architectural assistant, Assael

Q Has the year since you started in construction lived up to expectations?

A Yes it has and more. I managed to be far more involved with projects than expected and worked on a few large planning applications.

Q Have you achieved what you said you wanted to in the time?

A Yes, I think I have. I am returning to university in September, to complete Part II of the course. I wanted to have a better understanding of the industry by the time I went back, and I feel I’ve achieved this.

Q What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your job?

A The biggest challenge has been to learn about the management of practice which isn’t covered in depth in University.

Q In your experience so far, does the industry encourage and nurture new talent?

A Yes it does. It seems that a lot of practices are looking for young architects and students to incorporate into their practice. I think they see the long-term benefits of this.

Q What’s your view on the government appearing to backtrack on green built environment policies such as the zero carbon target, the Green Deal, and subsidies for wind farms and solar power?

A I am surprised this has happened, and that they have scrapped legislation such as Code for Sustainable Homes. Sustainability is the most important area in construction, if anything the introduction of “green” legislation should have been accelerated.

Q Do you sense clients are less interested in sustainability following the recent policy shifts?

A It’s hard for me to say, because I am working on projects that have been running since before the shift. However, I think that if there is less legislation for sustainability, then clients are less likely to spend money on green technologies.

Q Has the attitude of your firm to sustainability changed at all?

A I think that most people in architecture continue to feel strongly about sustainability. However, the decision on how sustainable to make a project lies with the client, and they have the final say. Therefore the incentive has to be there for clients to make buildings greener.

Q Will you get a summer holiday? – if so, where?

A Yes I am saving some holiday for September, and the plan is to go to Montenegro.