Chris Cummings has been announced as ChapmanBDSP’s new environmental Technical Director, joining the growing MEP firm after 17 years at Hilson Moran, where he headed up the London Sustainability Team and worked with the world’s leading architects on marquee projects spanning different continents.
Speaking about his new appointment, Cummings said his mission at ChapmanBDSP was to reinforce and develop the already well established team and continue to ‘create buildings for people’.
‘It’s a really exciting time to be joining a growing team that already has a great reputation in the industry. We have some hugely talented people and impressive range of projects. I want to tie all that together and let people know what we do by making our projects more human and accessible,’ he says.
‘Some innovations in the industry claiming to be ‘cutting edge’ are the day-to-day here at ChapmanBDSP, and that’s part of the reason why I wanted to come. For instance, people talk about integrated design and a holistic approach to sustainability being at the core of what they do, but that is exactly what ChapmanBDSP has been doing for years.’
Cummings, who worked on 20 Fenchurch Street, 30 St Mary Axe and several high-profile projects in Europe and the Middle East, says there is a big shift away from ‘buildings for buildings sake’, and that ChapmanBDSP’s difference to rival offerings was that it has sustainability, environmental and engineering disciplines tied together in a collaborative design process focused on people.
‘If you take a central London office development, people are 90 per cent of the costs. The industry is shifting focus; you need to have buildings that work for your people, not the other way round’ he says. ‘We have access to incredible technological innovation but we need to remember why we are using it in the first place.’
During a 20 year career, Cummings has worked with the world’s leading architects around the globe, and looks to continue these relationships at ChapmanBDSP.
‘I have been very fortunate. The best thing for me is, and it doesn’t change if the client is a famous architect or a local authority, the times when you are sitting around the table with a pen trying to create something beautiful or interesting. Clients have different budgets and different scales, but that’s the really enjoyable part for me.’
With a rich experience of lighting and environmental design, Cummings adds that his role is often to help architects achieve a vision while making the building function properly.
‘My role is never to be the fun police, it has always been about enabling creativity,’ he says. ‘I’m not here to spoil your fun but to make the building perform. Everyone in the design team has a responsibility for making spaces interesting and people friendly.’
Cummings has complemented his vast industry experience with training as a professional coach with The Coaches Training Institute (CTI). He understands the importance of engaging to bring out ideas from Clients and colleagues alike. This ensures collaborative thinking and the best possible outcome.
Ray Upjohn, Chief Executive of ChapmanBDSP, said:
We are excited about Chris joining us to further develop our strong belief and investment in environmental engineering. Chris will undoubtedly be an asset to our business and allow us to remain at the forefront of building design.
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