The sustainability consultant found her career path through internship initiative The Pledge
After graduating with a degree in architecture, I worked as an interior designer for styling photo shoots. However, the need for more of a challenge prompted me to take a masters in buildingsSurveying at Southbank University.
After graduating last year, I spotted The Pledge online, an industry-led initiative organising construction related internships for graduates. This led me to John Rowan and Partners, where I was lucky enough to start a three month internship in January.
This was a brilliant and really interesting experience; I was given lots of responsibilities and a lot of support. After the internship ended I was offered a permanent position, working as building surveyor and project manager within the sustainability team.
My typical day begins early at 6:30am, I get the train at 7:00am from my house in Surrey to Clapham Junction, then the underground to Shepherd’s Bush and the Central Line to Ealing. Then I walk to the office to arrive just before 9:00am. Although the commute takes me two hours, I don’t mind the journey - I read my kindle and it passes quickly.
Although the commute takes me two hours, I don’t mind the journey - I read my kindle and it passes quickly
Day to day work changes, but recently in the mornings I have been working on the firm’s Green Boot Camp. This is a week long ecological initiative involving best practice sessions, lectures and discussions on a selection of sustainable relevant ideas, guidance papers and explanations of funding.
As project manager, I’m responsible for organising all the hosts coming in to give lectures and for ensuring everything runs smoothly. Last week, Stephen Bickell, head of sustainability at the College of Estate Management at the University of Reading, came and spoke to us about sustainability and responding to environmental problems along with Jo Wheeler, the senior policy adviser at the UK Green Building Council. Jo presented ‘Plan for Growth’ an overview of how reducing carbon in construction brings opportunities for growth within the sector, Jo then went on to discuss sustainable construction and funding access with some of our affordable housing clients.
I really enjoy working with the sustainability team, as we get to work across the company in all the different sectors of the industry that John Rowan and Partners are involved with
An average afternoon usually involves a site inspection. At the moment we are working on 50 new solar panel installations for Ascham Homes as part of London’s largest social housing solar installation plan. It will result in over 1000 Waltham Forest Council residents saving up to £140 per year on their energy bills, by using renewable energy produced by their own solar panels on their roofs.
At the moment we are in stage two of the project. My role includes quality checks of the houses, including loft and insulation inspections, and then signing them off. I really enjoy working with the sustainability team, as we get to work across the company in all the different sectors of the industry that John Rowan and Partners are involved with. My working day is often challenging and tiring, but I love the variety and overall find it very fulfilling and enjoyable.
Charlotte Sanke is a sustainability building surveyor and project manager at John Rowan and Partners