Thrive Segments: Tom Dore

Following the recent award presented to the technical team at Thrive Architects for their services, we spoke to our Associate Director, Tom Dore, to hear his thoughts on how the department has grown over the years and what’s next for the team.

You have been at Thrive for almost 13 years, what changes have you seen at the company?

We have seen fantastic growth since working at Thrive in the quirky Lone Barn studios. The Romsey team have moved to the larger and more modern Grange Offices, and we have seen additional offices open in Portishead and now a London Hub. The growth in the team has not only helped us resource our client’s projects more efficiently, but has also hugely benefited us by bringing in people with varying backgrounds and experience which has widened our skill set.

The other changes are how we meet and communicate with each other and our clients. Teams meetings and screen sharing are now part & parcel of how we work and have improved our discussions with colleagues and clients alike. It has also been integral for the working from home policies which the company has introduced as another change in how we work.

During that time, you must have witnessed changes in the industry too, how has this impacted your team?

Working within the Technical team, the main changes I have witnessed relate to the ever-increasing Building Regulation standards, particularly in relation to Accessibility and Conservation of Fuel and Power.
Our team has become well versed in designing homes that meet the three Part M Categories and ensuring that all drawings incude the relevant technical requirements.

As we move towards the Future Homes Standard, the incremental changes in Part L have seen an increase in the use of technology in new-build homes from Photovoltaic Panels to Air Source Heat Pumps and more. Along with our clients we have had to keep pace with the available technologies, their suitability for each application and their technical requirements.

The recent introduction of Part O has also been among the most impactful additions to the Regs that I have seen and certainly provides a few challenges!

More broadly, we also see more diversity in the industry. Hopefully this reflects a move towards a more inclusive society in general, which can only be a good thing. When I started my career, I think it’s fair to say it was a male dominated environment. Although there is obviously still more to do, I believe that with a more diverse workforce in the industry, we have greatly benefited. There is now much more respect and appreciation in how we treat one another. 

Your team was recently presented with an award for ‘Consultant of the Quarter’ by Bewley Homes, which is excellent news! What do you think has made your team award-winning?

The key factor has been teamwork! Our team work together to share their knowledge and support each other with the ultimate goal of producing a high-quality product.

Teamwork has also allowed us to be very responsive and not only resource client requests at short notice but also respond with work of a high technical standard.

The award was in recognition of our service to Bewley Homes over a few projects which we could not have achieved without the many of our team members juggling client queries and drawing amendments on legacy sites while also working on ongoing projects.

We have worked extremely hard over many years to constantly improve the format and detail of our drawings to reach a point where we set the standard in high quality working drawings within the industry. We produce and maintain standard house type portfolios for several of our clients for use across the country.

What advice would you pass on to someone looking to work in the industry or joining Thrive?

The house builder industry can be fast paced and demanding but incredibly rewarding. It’s always very fulfilling when the finished product is constructed on site and you see the fruits of your labour! 

In our line of work there is a constant drive towards building good quality homes while maintaining good value, and working in the industry requires an understanding of both.

For people joining Thrive, I would say that we are a company that invests in our staff. We understand that having a great team is at the heart of our success! Thrive is a company that rewards hard work and dedication with career progression. We take great pride in seeing staff develop and advance when the time is right.

Most of all, I have found there to be great comradery within the house building industry. If you are coming into it, you can expect to meet some great people. 

What’s next for the Technical team at Thrive Architects?

We hope to see continued growth in the team, across all offices and with some exciting projects coming up, we anticipate this will be the case.

We are also increasing our Revit capabilities and have several Revit projects in the pipeline. I’ve no doubt that we will be using this more and more to its full potential, helping our client’s procurement processes leading to a reduction in wastage.

We have a fantastic group of people within the Technical Team so above all else, pardon the pun, we hope to continue to Thrive!  

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