An interview with Phil Holding, Managing Director of Horizon Construction in Colchester, about the construction sector in East Anglia and the company’s approach to delivering exceptional construction projects.
Phil, how would you describe the current state of the construction sector in the region?
At Horizon Construction, we have noticed an increase in enquiries and a movement in postponed projects during the second half of 2019 and especially towards the end of the year. Although developers, commercial enterprises and private investors are still a little nervous about the level of confidence in the economy, following recent political developments e.g. General Election and the ones ahead e.g. Brexit, confidence is growing.
What do you advise to property investors, both commercial and private, in 2020?
In general, the construction sector is actually very buoyant in most areas. Now is a good time to consider or reconsider development projects, both commercial and private. Whether it’s a refurbishment, expansion or brand-new development, selecting the right construction partner is key to meeting your expectations and to deliver the confidence you require. The construction sector is ever more fiercely competitive, but we have been successful by being able to offer a service where pricing is just one area of many we focus on in meeting those requirements.
In your experience, what are the qualities of a good construction partner?
We believe this is all about providing an exceptional service and the ability (demonstrated through evidence) to deliver high-quality construction solutions for the size and type of project required. It requires a team of passionate construction professionals, from back-office staff and project managers to skilled trades and site personnel, who strive for high standards and are dedicated to ‘go the extra mile’ in making sure each client is satisfied and supported at all times, from inception to completion.
How should clients be kept informed during a project?
Building open, constructive and trusted relationships are vital for the smooth operation of a construction project. Not only does this refer to the relationship with clients, but also with all connected parties, such as the architect, sub-contractors, local government, local communities and interest groups.
Transparency and quality control over operational systems and processes is also a key aspect. Your construction partner should always be looking at ways to improve efficiency within the project in both time and costs. We approach our relationships as partnerships; all with a vested interest to achieve high standards.
In your opinion, what will the construction sector look like in 2025?
We are constantly looking to the future to identify factors which could have an impact on our business, including how innovation drives change in construction requirements, materials and techniques. All areas and sectors of construction will be affected by those changes, driven by the demand for more energy and cost efficiency and environmentally considered developments. All areas of labour in the industry will need to adapt to these evolving challenges on their skill sets.