Building talks to Guy Russell of BDG McColl about how he's happiest when he's busy, but can always make time for his family
How would you describe your job?
I am responsible for the design management of interior architectural projects – most of which are workplaces. My role is to set up an agreement and formal contract between BDG McColl and the client. I then take a more background role, helping the designers to organise themselves to deliver. I am also the day-to-day contact point with clients.

Recently I refurbished five floors for KPMG in Canary Wharf. At the moment, I am working on the £2m Kimberly Clarke European call centre in Brighton.

What is a typical day?
I have two sorts, either a project-related one or an office-based one.

A project day entails meeting a project manager to discuss fees, then giving a progress report to another client and providing a report to the contractors. Back at my desk, I respond to urgent emails and look at drawings, or take them home to look at overnight.

My typical office-based day would involve looking at fees, schedules, and resourcing.

What hours do you work?
Normally I work 8.15am-7pm, and on the train journeys to and from work. If there is something urgent, or I will be off site the next day, I work at home after the children have gone to bed.

What gives you a buzz in your job?
Having lots of projects on the boil, running to plan, and having a good team that moves in the direction I have mapped out.

I am particularly proud of my role in co-ordinating and liaising for a successful conference centre in Islamabad, Pakistan.

What frustrates you in your job?
Client's or designer's changes that make the original deadline impossible to meet. The things that give me a buzz can also cause frustrations; teams that don't get on, too many projects and dead-end routes.

How do you deal with work-related stress?
I go and do another job to clear my head. Then I return to the original, a little more refreshed.

How do you switch off?
I relax with a book or a four-year-old – reading exercises ensure I do not start work as soon as I arrive home. My favourite way of letting off steam is windsurfing or sailing in my dinghy. In the summer I go to the south coast every other weekend and in September, I head for the Isle of Wight. I am busy with DIY around the house.

What's your ideal alternative career?
I would work in management consultancy, partly based on my experience of helping RIBA sort out a business strategy for their special archives.


Current job
Senior associate at BDG McColl
Employment history
1985-1986 student rep for RIBA; 1986-1989 architect at Rock Townsend; 1989-1991 in charge of site projects at Weston Williamson, a small design practice; 1989-1991 developed Landmark Hotel in London for Geoffrey Read Associates; 1994-1997, consultant project manager for Mott MacDonald and O’Brien Kreitzberg; 1997-1999, Mace; 1999-present BDG McColl
BA architecture at University of Plymouth; diploma in architecture from South Bank University; certificate of business administration from the Open University
Oxshott, Surrey
Wife Jane and two daughters, aged four years and 20 months