Blog: Open Doors 2015 - Why you should visit a construction site

Leanna Fry
Leanna Fry

By Leanna Fry, site manager at BAM Construct UK Ltd

On 6 and 7 March, construction sites all around the UK will be opening their doors to the public, and giving an insight into the world behind the hoardings. Parents, children, local business owners and communities will be shown around safely by industry professionals and will discover how we are creating or redeveloping buildings in your neighbourhood. Here’s why you should book a visit.

Go behind the scenes

All around us behind hoardings, muddy fields are turned into inspiring schools, old crumbly buildings are renovated to become swanky super energy-efficient offices, and hospitals are refurbished without disrupting patient care. Visiting a site gives you a much better understanding of how design and construction teams work together to create the buildings in your towns and cities. And you’ll get access to rooftops with stunning skyline views such as the ones from the new CONNECT110NS office we’re building in the heart of Glasgow, labs with state-of-the-art equipment like those at the new Vet School we’re building in Guildford, plant rooms – ‘the brains of a building’ - that control the building’s environment and other parts that building users rarely have access to.

connections completed

Find out about local history

To build, you need to understand the history of a site. Whether it used to be a burial ground or match factory, a swamp or a landmine site during the war will affect the design and build… One of my first jobs as an Assistant Site Manager was on the BAM site building the new UAL Central St Martin’s campus at King’s Cross. We needed to understand the way the Victorians had built the Grade II listed Granary building to integrate it with the new part of the university. And now BAM is sensitively restoring Victorian Fish and Coal Drops into a Jamie Oliver restaurant and cooking school nearby. Why not visit it and find out more about the area’s industrial past?

Be inspired to consider a construction career

For many young people, going on site is the first time they will have even considered a job in construction. By visiting a site, they can see how Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) are used in real life. By meeting our Project Managers, Site Managers, Planners, Quantity Surveyors and Design Managers, they realise that building is a team effort, where individuals share their skills and expertise to create something that will have a huge impact on the local neighbourhood for years to come.

And there are plenty of career opportunities. The UK construction industry will need to recruit an average of 44,690 people annually over the next five years to meet demand and deliver average annual output growth of 2.9 per cent, according to the Construction Industry Training Board’s latest report. It’s an exciting time to be involved as the industry is embracing new technology, creative problem-solving, more energy-efficient designs, safer ways of working, and better collaboration. So come and be inspired on site!

Ask questions

Buildings can change lives. They can improve education standards, give better A&E provision, and attract better businesses to boost the local economy. We know they have a huge impact on the local community and we always want to make sure your needs, as well as those of our customers, are considered. Coming on a site visit is a good time to ask questions about the project. Maybe you wonder why we have to work on Saturdays? Maybe you want to know how long the crane will be up as it’s blocking your sunlight? Or maybe you just want to know when it will be finished? Site visits are a good time to ask all these questions, although we welcome the public to our site offices at any time.

Book a free Open Doors site visit for Friday 6 March or Saturday 7 March 2015 and be inspired!

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