Past Event

What advice would you give to ensure that major built environment projects are collaborative enough to reflect the needs of all stakeholders?

Gurteen Knowledge Cafe at Argent (May 2017)


Event Type

Knowledge Cafe


Gurteen Knowledge


Wed 03 May 2017




London, United Kingdom

Who can Attend




David Gurteen



Knowledge Cafe



Date Wednesday 3rd May 2017, 6:00pm - 9:00pm. This is a free event. Please arrive at 6:00pm or shortly after, which will give you time to settle in and meet other people. There will be some light refreshments available. The cafe itself will start prompt at 6:30pm.


James has worked in the construction industry all his life. He read Estate Management at college after which he joined Wates Construction as a management trainee in 1983, progressing through line management to running sites, before taking on a General Manager role in 1989. He joined the Wates Construction Board as Marketing Director in 1994. He was appointed to the Wates Group Board in 1997 and became Chairman in 2013.

Outside the Group James is involved with several industry bodies. He is Chairman of the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), Chairman of the BRE Trust (the largest single funder of education and research for the built environment), Co-Chairman of Build UK (which represents construction clients, main contractors and the leading trade associations representing over 11,500 specialist contractors), Past President of the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), a Member of the business organisation CBI, a Member of the government's Apprenticeship Delivery Board (ADB), a Trustee of The University College of Estate Management, and a Non-Executive Board Director of Argent Services LLP.

James is also Chairman of the think tank Tomorrow's Company, Chairman of the Prince's Trust Built Environment Leadership Group, Vice Chairman of the Queen Elizabeth's Foundation for Disabled People, a Governor of the Emanuel School, a Governor of the University of Westminster and a Patron of the Wates Family Enterprise Trust. In January 2012 James was awarded the CBE for services to Construction and the Charitable sector.

Overview of Topic

Despite the tradition of the ‘Master Builder' – craftsmen such as Sir Christopher Wren who were architect, engineer, and builder – the construction industry has become increasingly fragmented over the past hundred years, to the extent that now, true collaboration among the numerous specialists needed in any substantive construction project is weak. Yet the built environment sector has recognised this failing, and many in the industry are striving to redress this imbalance, supported by such catalysts as digital modelling and a new quality standard (BS11000) that explicitly supports collaboration across the supply chain. We are also recognising the value of looking at other sectors and specialties, especially in manufacturing, where designers and producers work closely together.

A deep and early collaboration can have particular benefits in regeneration projects, insofar as it helps align the interests of all who have a stake – investors, housing associations, local employers, designers, contractors, the supply chain, and of course the people who live and work there. Examples such as the Kings Cross redevelopment bear witness to this potential for success. But there remain plenty of examples of where collaboration has not happened, resulting in cost overruns, legal disputes, and buildings that are mismatched to the public's needs.

The Question

What advice would you give to ensure that major developments – especially regeneration in the cities – are collaborative enough to reflect the needs of all stakeholders?

Sponsor Argent LLP

4 Stable Street
King's Cross
London N1C 4AB


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