Categories
Blog

Live/Work – Is This The Future Of Our Inclusive And Adaptable Habitats?

Who would have thought that within the trendy badlands of Islington, Hoxton and Shoreditch, the realm of the never ridden Triumph motorcycle, push bikes with no brakes, hopped ales and bespoke fashion lies a solution to the biggest question of 2020 – how to work and survive in the modern office environment post Covid-19.

The modern skyscrapers just down the road in Canary Wharf are being forced to change. The HSBCs and (their little neighbours) Barclays of this world are now waking up to find that their strategy of large office buildings, gaudy corporate foyers and empty business continuity offices dotted around the country could now be nothing more than a Victorian folly – something evocative of a past age but never designed to be able to serve its purpose in the current one.

Yet even as far back as the late nineties the more forward thinking amongst us were placing their trust in a type building which was able to serve dual purposes, true mixed use. Much like the butcher or shop owner who used to live above their high street business or the farmer or stable hands, in the Middle Ages who would live in the rafters of their barns with their animals safely stowed beneath them.

But where this style of domestic life might once have been seen as old fashioned, even as long ago as early January 2020, needs must and it should be embraced once again because the density of population coupled with the  urgent need to veer away from vast shared office floors and the daily morning elevator overcrowding (and its accompanying combative culture) which force right thinking individuals to the stair wells.

Welcome to the world of Live/Work. A choice embraced by small numbers of people across the globe. But is it truly a solution?

 

Unconscious Bias

I am writing this article from a bedroom built into the loft space of my house. I’ve been working from within its plasterboard walls for some time now and the space has everything I need and a ton of fun things I don’t need like my classroom sized whiteboard. It is easy to start thinking, with unconscious biases fully intact, that everyone is in the same boat…or rather room… well maybe some people are in boats but a lot aren’t.

The ability bias kicks in and means it is too easy to forget the thousands of workers, younger and older, still crammed around a dining table or self-isolating in tiny studio flats with a fold down bed acting sofa, table and workspace. It could be that some of these people love being at home despite its restrictions – but that takes a certain type of person.

Whereas the majority are desperate to get back to the office. They may have shaped their lives around never being at home or perhaps like Janan Ganesh, columnist of the FT, pride themselves on their ability to never own cutlery, so easy was it to access restaurants and food 24/7.

 

Add to the recipe a spoonful of the people struggling to maintain the balance between childcare and work it’s clear there are definitely people out there who would want, or are forced by their circumstances, to work away from home and these workers have to work somewhere. The lesson here is not to presume that everyone is cosied up in their lovely thatched cottage in the Cotswolds. We are all unique and therefore have unique circumstances. Designers and decision makers need to consider everyone in their plans.

 

Live, Work, Repeat…

So, the vision of staying at home doesn’t fit everyone’s idea of paradise but the urgent need to reduce the number of people heading to the office is critical and will remain for a long time.

After all, if one of us, any where in the world, has Covid-19 then we all do – until we have a vaccine or until the next emerging zoonotic disease arrives and dwarfs Coronaviruses. Which ever comes first.

A lot of housing built today is of substandard quality and design. The argument that they comply to Building Regs is utter rubbish and cannot cut it in the modern world. Cost is still king when it comes to building decision making and thoughtful decision is costed out after planning stages or the by the client during design. Humans directly suffer from these decisions.

But it need not be like that.

Designers have a critical role to play in our life and we will have to work hard on getting design right, until good design simply becomes design. At the moment, design is bad design and good design is still a thing… As buildings are renovated and ‘new builds’ completed we need to reconsider how people use the building – to treat it more like a product and a service not just a number and a unit specification.

Let’s go back to Canary Wharf and the tall HSBC Headquarters building. Now imagine that most of HSBC staff are either redundant, working from home or on site somewhere else and this monolith is standing mostly empty. Its cramped floors and low ceilings remain a constant thorn in the side of the desk planners who need to decide how many people can work in the building – with some staff still rebelling against having to take their mountain of shoes stuffed under their desk home. Thereby losing the permanent desk arrangement in the process. Canary Wharf has lots of facilities, in fact people live in residential towers about as tall as the HSBC building across the canal in South Quay.

But they can only live there, and they have to cross the canals to get to work.

Now imagine that they can also work in their accommodation too, in a purpose built, well designed space with protection from the distractions of family life and as the business or work expands so can the space.

Now imagine a high street made up of terraces of Live/Work spaces. Soundproofed and well-designed but with the artisan or the brewer, the potter’s wheel, the furniture maker’s tools or the agile meeting room for the remote team all located on the ground level floor. Either open to the street, glazed off for light or perhaps closed off to the world. All done adaptably by the click of a button or the add-on bought at purchase.

Welcome to the ancient world of Live/Work.

 

 

 

Shell Suit

This isn’t going to work for everyone though. Even I can’t see myself moving back into a flat, surrounded by people but all within my own space. But it will suit lots of people and by making the spaces inclusive, accessible and easily adaptable we can make these empty voids roar with our industry and then close the door on it all at the end of the day.

Harking back again to the innovation around the Islington area, there is an interesting example situated in the Canal Building. Essential a big open space with lots of partitions which was originally designed to be flexible in its use of space. The building was designed to flex around the occupant.

Need a bigger workspace for your desk? Open it up a bit.

Have a kid? Make a bedroom larger.

Have twins? Cut out the squabbles with two tiny box rooms! Expandable on good behaviour and GCSE results… Ok a bit harsh but you get the picture. There are a lot of obvious pluses to having an adaptable space.

So, if we are looking to build from scratch then it makes sense for people to be able to adapt their spaces to suit their needs. This means that the concept of ‘shell and core’ should be explored a lot more than it is. Dwellings still need to have water and be habitable otherwise they won’t pass building regs no matter how hard developers try but once that is installed it creates the core and then putting the roof, walls and floors up produces the shell. In an instant we have created a flexible space for people to start getting creative with. Space to bring their unique living and working requirements into along with that box of random phone and computer cables you never throw away and the kitchen draw of random stuff that you might yet, just, maybe, possibly, need so never put out for recycling.

 

Inclusive & Adaptable

A positive result of the Covid-19 crisis is that it has rapidly proved that working remotely does actually work for a lot or roles. All the disabled workers who have been refused this over the years have had their point well and truly proven. Live/Workspaces can accelerate workplace equality by providing quality and efficient work spaces for everyone to design in the way they need. Low desk? Easy. Fully accessible toilet facilities? Done!

By changing the way we think about our work and housing requirements we can actually start to solve a huge amount of exclusion, access, usability and mobility issues for most of the population.

Perhaps we can practise on Live/Work spaces and then transfer the learning and evidence into homes across the world by providing the proof that making homes adaptable and fit for life is possible and cheap at the same time.

 

 

 

 

 

Brave New Office World

We can’t avoid the fact that we are living in a new world. Yes, this Covid thing did happen to us and the quicker we accept that the quicker we can make sustainable decisions we need to make.

One of those decisions should reflect that there are a lot of people who might be able to live and work in the same space but don’t have the capability and if we are to encourage flexible working within our inclusive environments, then building Live/Work spaces represents an amazing use of space and materials which could be the game changer we need to reduce the density of workers within our offices and thereby restrict transmission and save lives.

 

 

Takeaways:

  • Not every one is happy working from home. Try to design, plan and incorporate as many people as possible and manage your unconscious bias as well as possible.
  • Live/Work Spaces should be on the table for every new dwelling, refurb or refitting of commercial space into mixed use.
  • We need to make sustainable decisions now; we have the information to put a range of options on the table. Urgent situations are often used as a smokescreen for further inaction.
  • Live/Work spaces could be formed by selling new builds as ‘shell & core’ which means people can make them how they need them. No more poor design making all the decisions on how people live and work!
  • Inclusive and adaptable – live and work spaces need to be a fit for everyone. We can mitigate a vast amount of social exclusion with this concept.
Categories
Blog

The Case For Globally Networked Inclusive Environments

Kevin Burger’s interesting article for Nautilus by (found here) features a review of the work of a scientist called Dennis Carroll. Carroll has been operating at the forefront of the defence against the dark arts of zoonotic disease for most of his career and his scariest observation is that zoonotic diseases, or viruses like Coronavirus which came from bats is just a small part of the threat posed by viruses already prevalent in the animal kingdom. As humans push against the boundaries of the natural environment, we only increase the risk of new threats emerging. In short, Covid-19 is just one of many viruses which will challenge us on an increasingly regular basis.

The way we live our lives and the way we work have now irrevocably changed.

Two new features of this new, after Covid-19, world are socially distancing and self-isolation. Both extensions of social exclusion and which, based on Dennis Carroll’s work, are highly probable to be the new normal. Even when we have succeeded with destroying or disrupting COVID-19 and the virus itself, the problem of emerging threats which will force our communities back into the socially excluding activities is very real. Imagine for a moment a world where every two to three years we are all forced to ‘hibernate’ in order to stay alive and prevent the spread of disease. Some might suggest that this has been done for centuries, what’s the big deal? Well, big is the right word because the population has boomed, urban environments will accommodate 90% of the population within the next 5 years and things are not being designed properly already let alone for people who are going to be forced to stay inside.

Accessibility, visitability, usability and inclusive design are all core concepts that Perito work with every day in everything it does as a company. Creating inclusive environments is something that is very important, even if people don’t necessarily have it that high on the priority list. However, change is something people choose to do or are forced to do. Covid-19 has made the decision for us and what is needed is an expanded definition of what an inclusive environment can do to help answer one important question: –

‘How do we all successfully engage, participate and contribute even though we live in a dense, complex, often poorly designed world that no longer places the human being at the centre of everything it does but now expects us to safely and comfortably live, work and play six feet apart when we are well but isolate effectively when we are not?’

Perito feels that inclusive environments are the answer.

Inclusive Environments are places in which all, unique and diverse, humankind can access participate and contribute equally because they put the human being back at the centre of everything they do. We might traditionally see our environments across the following categories:

– The Geographic Environment

– The Man-Made Environment (Inner & Outer Environments)

There are lots of academic interpretations, but here are more explicit examples that suit the purposes of inclusive environments than those high-level categories:

– The Built Environment: our towns, cities and industry.

– The Natural Environment: Our countryside, marine and recreational spaces.

– The Social-Cultural Environment: The environments in which we live and work.

– The Space Environment: The human environment in space i.e. spacecraft and planetary exploration.

Whilst social-distancing is now a feature concept of all those environments there is a new addition to the list and that is ‘Isolation Environments’.

These are specific inclusive environments which have been designed to support human beings undergoing periods of isolation. They make provision for core needs like water, food and care, communication and commercial activity. They innovate and design for all requires via universal and inclusive design, but they are fundamentally about equality. A core concept of an inclusive environment is to create an environment where anyone can participate on equal terms — social isolation cannot achieve that and thus the individual, community or country will suffer as a direct result. If we are going to be isolated for much of our lives then we need to consider permanent environments, inclusive environments, which are designed to support this new way of live.

What has been demonstrated by the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic is that the world and its leadership were not prepared. Worst of all it has opened clear gaps in both the European Union and the United States. Whilst the liberal democracy has been proven now to be more robust than previously thought it is not through our government’s clairvoyance, openness and deft international relations.

A spirit of global cooperation and solidarity is now more important than ever. Just as the alien invasion in 1995’s Independence Day brought the world together, this virus and other emerging threats can do the same now. The paradigm shift has happened, and the virus makes clear that no person or community is safe and that there is nowhere to hide. If you are lucky enough to own a Scottish Highlands plot with a natural spring that is all well and good but the chances are high that one morning you’ll wake up, open your log cabin door to be faced with a hoard of wealthy pensioners in luxury motorhomes parked on your veg patch.

We can’t hide and don’t let anyone tell you we can. It’s not possible anymore. That’s why the best option is to plug ourselves directly into this global solidarity and make that contribution. This doesn’t have to be about technology or the internet it can take many forms, but it has to be global and about being openness, sharing information and exposing our culture and community to the rest of the world. To achieve this, we simply need to ensure that our new inclusive environments are designed with this goal in mind. We need to ensure that when our new Isolation Environments protect us and our community but also allow us to project ourselves new and open-source ways, so that we can have inbuilt capabilities to share our experiences and allow others to learn just as we learn from the rest of the world. Covid-19 has shown that sharing our experiences will save lives, places our heads in the sand won’t do much but offer a small delay.

In addition, we must always be quick to adapt. The concept at play here is Adaptive Inclusivity which operates much like a business might. It keeps us learning and it accepts that we don’t know everything so we must remain agile enough to respond to changing situations. By making sure inclusive environments are linked by global solidarity and global cooperation we can ensure that our environments, Isolation or otherwise, stay in the best shape to meet the user and the community’s need.

The task is simple then. As we construct, design and innovate our agile inclusive built, natural, social and space environments we need to ensure that they maintain a sustainable link to the rest of our World. Whether that is shared learning, mechanisms for communication, twinning organisations for inclusive environments across the globe or even a simple webpage or Instagram demonstrating the humans and the community that access, participate and contribute.

Equally.

Takeaways:

– The way we view inclusive environments must change. They are not local or regional monoliths. They play one part in a global nexus of inclusive environments which are part of a single global entity.

– Inclusive Environments must find ways to connect to the rest of the world are a new core aim.

– Social distancing and self-isolation are forms of social exclusion.

– Isolation Environments are now a new normal. Innovation, design, architecture and social and cultural activity should make the change to as early as possible.

– Agility through the concept of Adaptive Inclusion is critical. Global Cooperation can ensure that our inclusive environments remain fit for purpose.

Categories
Blog

A Definition of Inclusive Environments

An Inclusive Environment is an environment in which all, unique and diverse, humankind can access, participate and contribute equally by placing the unified and holistic human being at the centre of everything it does. Inclusive Environments should always involve the creation and sustainability of wellbeing as the primary ultimate aim.

They are environments which not only support and directly contribute to both local and national communities but also openly, demonstrably and sustainably support global solidarity and global co-operation.

 

 

 

Categories
Blog

Our World. Without Boundaries Podcast: Ep3 In The ‘Inclusive Designer Series’ With Sarah Wills

In this episode we hear from Sarah Wills who talks about her experiences with a broken foot and how it has made her more understanding of how mobility issues and disability impact on people around her. It clearly shows how designing for excluded communities like disabled users can benefit us all.

Perito:      Welcome to the Perito Podcast Our World Without Boundaries. A Podcast all about creating inclusive environments, to create an accessible world for everyone, everywhere.  Perito believes that we’re all designers in some capacity even if we aren’t the Principal Designers like Town Planners or Architects.  This podcast is out there to help everybody become a community expert in recognising exclusion and someone who can then contribute to a design process and make or advise on creating better inclusive design decisions.  The podcast will help listeners learn from the day to day experiences and the challenges of our interviewees so we will all have a greater understanding of what can exclude people from participating and what can be done to create our world, without boundaries.

In this episode we are pleased to be joined by Sarah Wills who will be talking about her experiences moving around two of the nicest and touristy cities in the UK, Edinburgh and London, (0.52) but Sarah there’s a bit of a twist isn’t there, there’s a leg injury involved here?

SW:           Hi James and thanks very much for inviting me to contribute to this podcast.  There’s not really much to say about myself just an ordinary person with an ordinary lifestyle but I was used to being able to go anywhere without thinking about how I would get there or how I would get around when I was there.

Perito:      (1.12)  Can you tell us about the injury and how it’s impacted on your life before your trip that we’re going to focus on today?

SW:           I injured my foot and as a consequence I find myself experiencing what it was like to be disabled both where I was on holiday in Edinburgh and also during my day to day life in London.  The injury wasn’t serious it was a broken foot but it certainly made things very different for me, so I broke a fifth metatarsal which, as I was frequently told was what David Beckham had done.

Perito:      (1.38) Principally in good company then?

SW:           Well yes supposedly but I’m sure he had better treatment then I did, but never mind.

Perito:      (laughter)

SW:           It wasn’t that important but as a consequence of that break I had to wear one of those moon boot things, I don’t know if he did, but also use a crutch, where I found that wearing a moon boot and using a crutch at the same time took quite a bit of coordination and as moon boots are designed to prevent your foot from moving they are obviously completely rigid.

Perito:      (2.02) That’s really useful to set the scene.  Perito believes that we’re all designers as I mentioned at the beginning, what would be good to go into is really knuckle down into your day to day experiences so maybe we could speak about Edinburgh first or London first. The listeners will really want to understand the challenges that you had to go through, to get a better understanding of how to design for your situation.  I think the most important thing is to focus on the idea that this was a temporary situation for you as well.  Do you want to start with Edinburgh or London?

SW:           No Edinburgh’s good because I went there very shortly after the accident.  I went there for a holiday and I was there for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Perito:      Oh that was nice.

SW:           Very nice, well could have been nicer (laughter).

Perito:      (2.40) But you go there every year don’t you?

SW:           Yes, I do. So I’m very familiar with what it’s like to get around, how easy it is normally to get around and how difficult it was on this occasion.  Edinburgh is a very touristy city and it’s also very busy because of the festival. A very popular time to go there and I found that the pavements were very crowded with people, not surprisingly, but having enough space to walk was an issue.  People were oblivious to my difficulty, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised but I was.  They got very close on the pavements and it was really quite unnerving to think that they might trip my boot, or my crutch and I might end up on the pavement and become extremely vulnerable. Not something that I was used to even thinking about so that was an issue, probably what was even more problematic, although this was nobody’s fault why Edinburgh’s so touristy was that the streets are mainly cobbled.

Perito:      They are, yes.

SW:           And a very attractive feature normally of Edinburgh but not really one that was really attractive this time but not much can be done about that. I did find that there were often no alternatives, no alternative routes, you couldn’t really avoid the cobbles and that kind of made me think about how people should consider what if you can’t manage something. You can’t manage the staircase or you can’t manage a deep kerb that there should be alternatives provided for people, obviously my injury was temporary but for people who are permanently disabled it’s really, it leaves you with no options, the only options really are to try and get someone to help you. But that’s not always possible and it’s sometimes rather demeaning.  So walking was hard, buses were difficult, it’s hard to get on a bus when you’ve got a crutch and a moon boot and you don’t really get enough time, if you can find a seat you don’t really have enough time to sit down or if it’s standing room only then you definitely have to find somebody to hang on to.  The buses always seem to move off faster than I could do anything.

Perito:      Yeah (laughter) I can relate to that.

SW:           As a consequence of the pavements and the buses I decided that the only sensible thing to do really was to use Uber unless I was gonna stay at home all day and see nothing and that was interesting too because you’re paying for a taxi, though you know you’re the client, but some of the drivers clearly were not at all happy about having a disabled person in their car. I mean I was relatively able, I could get in the car relatively easily but maybe they were worried about the car getting bashed with my crutch or something like that, some of them are fine, some of them were a bit sort of unhappy and it was interesting that my rating, my Uber rating as a passenger, actually went down, which is a bit galling I had a very good rating up until that time.

Perito:      (5.03) (laughter) So Uber actually downgraded, potentially downgraded, you essentially because of that reason.

SW:           Yeah, yeah.

Perito:      That’s just unbelievable. Okay.

SW:           Well I mean you don’t get a chance, well you get a chance to tip them afterwards so I don’t think it was because of that, it was, you know, because, I suppose because it sometimes took more time to get in the car than they would have liked, that might have been an issue as well but from my point of view the biggest issue really was that it was extraordinary expensive so it was.

Perito:      (5.29) And I guess that the roads are jammed as well aren’t they so it must have been very difficult to be able to drive to all the different locations that you were trying to head to?

SW:           Yes quite stressful, you’re quite right.  The only upside to all of this really was that the venues where I went were really good. Obviously, it’s very tourist focussed and therefore tourist friendly festival, largely cheery students who are having fun, but I always found at the venues that they were very happy for me to go to the front of the queue which meant I always got into the venue first which meant I always got a front row seat, so it wasn’t all bad. I was able to take a bunch of my friends along with me so I was very popular, and I had people asking whether they could borrow the moon boot next year (laughter).

Perito:      (laughter)

SW:           So they too share the experience of being first in the line.  So that was Edinburgh, that was a mixed holiday really. I did enjoy it but I probably didn’t do as much as I would have done just simply because it was really tiring trying to find alternatives and having to think is it going to be difficult to get there, will there be too many people, will I just be stressed out by it but I wouldn’t say it was a complete disaster.

Perito:      (6.29)  What was the most difficult to manage was it the moon boot on the cobbles in the, say shock impact or was it the way the crutch would not sit on the level ground, or was it something else?

SW:           You know I think, yeah, it’s difficult to say really I mean the moon boot on the cobbles was a complete nightmare because the cobbles were obviously lumpy and the moon boots completely rigid at the bottom.  I don’t think it was either of those two things physically I think it was just, just the difficulty really, like I said earlier that coordinating the moon boot and the crutch is actually quite an art or maybe even a skill but whichever it was I didn’t really develop it terribly well, cos you have to think about what you’re doing which means you can’t think about what’s going on around you as much as you need to and that was consistent throughout the whole of the time that I was temporarily disabled. You’re very much focussed on your disability and you realise that other people are completely oblivious to it.

Perito:      (7.17) That’s an interesting note, lack of awareness isn’t it seems to have impacted on you and obviously everybody else who’s suffering the same within Edinburgh.

SW:           Yes. Moving onto London where I spend most of my time. London was a bit different, the bus issues were the same but also added to that were the issues to do with stations and they were a bit of a nightmare because again there’s a large pressure of people, but in some tube stations you get sloping ramps, when you’re, you know, you can walk normal the sloping ramps seem fine but some of them are quite steep, quite surprising steep and whilst there are lifts at many tube stations the signage isn’t good so you’re left thinking there must be a lift here somewhere but I can’t see where it is and obviously…

Perito:      (8.03) Yeah but then you get more tired looking for the lift because you’re having to struggle to get there aren’t you?

SW:           Absolutely, so a huge amount of your time is taken up by trying to find ways to compensate the disability that you’re suffering. There are stations, not so much tube stations but other stations which are actually only accessible by stairs and I was really surprised to find that because you don’t take any notice normally but that was very excluding when you thought I can’t go to that station because I can’t up or down the stairs and also at stations which normally would have lifts wasn’t uncommon to find that the lifts weren’t working so you find yourself getting off at a station which you knew had a lift to discover that you would have to try and find some way to get up the stairs anyway, not so good.  And very excluding. It makes you feel very unwanted really, I think, that’s probably how I’d put it.  So the pavement issues that were again the same as in Edinburgh and again there’s no awareness of other people of what, of how hard you’re finding it to get around and although, because obviously there are regulations, there are disabled entrances to buildings but it’s actually often quite difficult to find them and that makes you feel even more isolated and I guess that’s one of the things that came out of this altogether was that it was a very isolating experience. It made me feel very alone and very lonely and rather, sort of, an inconvenience to other people.  Fortunately it was only temporary but it has made me think a lot about how I behave around disabled people which isn’t sensitive enough I realise I don’t give them enough room to move in front of me or take account of the fact that they’ll be moving more slowly then I will be, so it’s been quite a learning experience for me too.

Perito:      (9.44) So how long did you have your leg in the boot for?

SW:           Oh, only six weeks, as well as everybody telling me that it was the David Beckham injury they all seemed to know, but I didn’t, that it would take six weeks so not really that long but long enough from my point of view to be very, very pleased on all sorts of levels to be able to get back to a more normal lifestyle.

Perito:      (10.05)  I think you’ve shed a little bit of light on the impact it’s had on you but how was this temporary experience with mobility issues and lack of access in Edinburgh and London impacted on you since the boot’s come off.  I guess it’s demonstrated quite clearly that inclusion and access benefits everybody regardless who they are. Has it changed or perhaps enhanced your understanding of people with more long term and permanent impairments?

SW:           Disability is seen as something that is to be ignored. it’s something that exists in this world and I think if there was more signage and better access to those things that help disabled people then people who don’t suffer from any disability of any sort, it would maybe make them more aware the fact that other people do and maybe they would then be more understanding and more accommodating of those who are, and I’m thinking of, you know, giving people who are disabled a bit more room to move around, not making them feel that they’re unusual or abnormal but just being a little bit more sensible in the way that they approach people.

Perito:      (11.04)  So it’s an interesting point you make with the signage so it wouldn’t just be signage to help with directions but it would also be alerting people to be like a visual remainder that there are lots of different diverse population using this facility or the train station or the roadway, don’t just assume that it’s okay for you to go about your business without taking into consideration and due courtesy.

SW:           Yes I think that’s a good way of putting it, I mean it’s not to identify disabled people particularly as a special group but just make it obvious that they are a group within the whole population. You know, just like there are able bodied people and young people and children and pregnant ladies, you know, disabled people around. I think disabled in itself is rather a negative word, but it would just become more normalised.

Perito:      (11.55)  Thanks for joining us today Sarah so I found the conversation enlightening and so important because you shed such articulate and well informed light on a subject of inclusion at access by demonstrating that it’s not just people with permanent disabilities that are impacted on. So thanks for sharing your six weeks of experience and I think what struck me about it is that it’s obviously it had quite a deep impact on you just from being in the boot for six weeks and to see how the world isn’t really ready for people to go about with a crutch and a boot on.  Thanks again for coming along.

SW:           Thank you.

Perito:      You’ve been tuning into the Perito Podcast Our World. Without Boundaries thanks for listening everyone, everywhere.

Categories
Blog

Our World. Without Boundaries Podcast Ep2 In The ‘Inclusive Designer Series’ With Chris Nicholson of MH Stainton.

In this episode we feature an interesting interview with Chris Nicholson. A trainee Quantity Surveyor & wheelchair user who brings with him rare insight and analysis into the construction industry and accessibility for new build homes. As well as with the use of space within our built environment.

 

Perito:      Welcome to the Perito Podcast Our World Without Boundaries.  A podcast all about creating inclusive environments and about helping us all to become experts in identifying exclusion so together we can make better design decisions in our everyday life, work, play. Which in turn will help us create an inclusive and accessible world for everyone, everywhere.

Now in this episode we are pleased to be joined by Chris Nicholson.  Hiya Chris.

 

CN:           Hiya James how you doing?

Perito:      Very good thank you very much, how are you?

CN:           Yeah well thank you, thanks for having me on.

Perito:     (0.28) It’s a pleasure, I was going to do a quick fire round with you but I thought maybe that would be a bit harsh so we’re just going to kick off straight in with the interview questions.  Can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do?

CN:           As you’ve already said James my names Chris Nicholson, a 26 year Apprentice Quantity Surveyor with a company called MH Stainton in Lancaster. I’m currently learning my trade at the University of Central Lancashire where on the course that I’m doing I will become a Chartered Surveyor by and for me, being a disabled person, after an accident playing rugby, it plays a part in my healing and trying to create a future that’s accessible for everybody and it’s totally inclusive.

Perito:     (1.10)  I think that’s a really good aim and it’s something to definitely strive for and very achievable but you mentioned that you were a wheelchair user since you had an accident playing rugby, what has that transition been like and how did the accident impact on your career?

CN:           The change has been very dramatic myself personally because I feel before my accident I was very blinkered and very selfish towards people who had disabilities where I wasn’t opening my mind to what other people has to go through day in and day out, the transitions been very difficult from both a personal and professional perspective because I don’t understand professionally why everything cannot be made inclusive, why accessibility cannot be just the norm, why a building cannot be totally inclusive, so if you build something for one person specifically somebody with a disability then it potentially can be accessed by every person so it’s been a transition that’s been very difficult. It’s opened my eyes a lot and I feel like it’s a very strange thing that I actually feel better in my mindset, after my accident I feel a lot more open minded to people who have disabilities because of the learning process that I’ve had to go through.

Perito:      (2.16)  Was your accident instantaneous or was it something that happened, you needed surgery and therefore you had time to adjust your situation?

CN:           My accident just happened, I was on the rugby pitch for five minutes and I had an accident that I was tipped on my head and my right side of my face touched my shoulder and it was very instant and something that I’ll never forget.

Perito:      (2.40)  You mentioned briefly about how you were almost blinkered, to inclusive environments or other disabled users or people with hidden disabilities.

CN:           Yes.

Perito:      (2.50)  Can you talk a little about why that might have been. Was it just an indication issue or did you just feel, because  you must have been super fit, you must have been young, almost a little bit invincible.

CN:           Yeah I was young. I was 21 at the time of my accident and almost very selfish with my own views and how I thought I was invincible and that nothing would stop me but there’s a massive education flaw with regards to people with disabilities. It’s not really a word and description of what people have to go through day in day out who have a disability whether it be mental health, visual impairment, physical impairment or something their born with, the education system isn’t there at the moment to actually give people that knowledge that they need to help understand these situations a bit more which I think the accessible and inclusive world is so far away from being potential because the learning and education isn’t there yet.

Perito:     (3.44)  So I think that’s a good lead into the next question then, so you’re a trainee Quantity Surveyor and will be soon a full, fully trained Chartered QS. Tell us about your employer and why being a QS is an accessible career and has less barriers then other options you were considering when you were younger?

CN:           Being a QS is something I sort of fell into and my employer I previously, I’ve only been M H Stainton now for nine months but my previous employers could see the potential that I had as a QS due to my ability before my accident where I was very good with numbers and I had an eye for detail and now since working with MH Stainton my eye for detail and working to surpass Building Regulations and general environments making a living environment perfect. Not just the one type of person who’s on their feet but for everybody, and I think the company where I’m at, MH Stainton, they really champion the independent kind of living that everybody deserves no matter what kind of disability they have and it’s really refreshing to go into a company and actually see that somebody’s willing to actually take a risk on somebody with a disability even though the boundaries that they have to do the work are quite limiting.

Michael, whose the Managing Director and Gail, who’s the Company Secretary are very supportive, the site team are very supportive and I think in order to get people into sort of these professions that aren’t well know for being disabled friendly, because in the construction industry you just think yep it’s just for guys, and it’s just full of rough and tough people but it’s not. It’s an inclusive environment that I think the company that I’m working for, MH Stainton, really pushed the boundaries on making it an inclusive and socially acceptable environment to work and I’ve never come across a company that’s been like that before.

Perito:      (5.43)  I think it’s really interesting that they wanted to build that out from scratch, do you think that’s come from the top down, as in from the management team or do you think that’s from someone saying let’s look at the commercial benefits of doing this or look at the social benefits of well being and maybe we should adopt this?

CN:           I don’t necessary think it’s on that the social benefits or the commercial benefits and I’ve asked this question once or twice to Gail and Michael and I’ve said to them “you know, why did you, take the risk with me, I’m in a wheelchair I come with these host of challenges” he said “it’s not the wheelchair that we hired, we hired the person” and for me it was a relief because I thought well am I just another tick box. But I’m not, they’ve hired because they want me on their team and they think that I can succeed in their team and it’s just a really refreshing outlook and something that I think major blue chip corporations should actually take on board that a wheelchair person or a person with a disability isn’t just a tick box, it’s somebody that can actually succeed, and do a job exactly like someone else.

Perito:      (6.49) What opportunities do you think being a QS does give and will give and why do you like it?

CN:           I like it because it brings me back to my rugby days a little bit when I go on site. It’s difficult, I’ve got to make adaptions on site, I get a bit muddy and it’s a challenge. I really, really thrive on a challenge but what I think I can, once I’ve got my chartership, I can bring it to the table I really think that with myself and working I would love to push governing bodies to actually look at people who on paper shouldn’t be working in construction but to get people included to make a difference and make a difference in their regulations that will allow somebody to be better in their own environment because it’s already been catered for because people who have these disabilities have a first person advantage to anybody who tries to cater for somebody with disabilities, they have the experience, they have the knowledge and can make a difference and can make adaptions or suggestions that somebody who isn’t disabled can’t.

Perito:      (7.57) You’re becoming expert at identifying what the exclusions are by your own day to day experiences?

CN:           Yes.

Perito:      (8.04) So talk about kind of exclusions and social exclusion. What is the most difficult to overcome, do you think it’s attitude on all issues from people around you or the physical barriers that you come across and why do you think this?

CN:           I think it’s more people’s perception and the judgement that comes from people who don’t know me and don’t understand my ability to be Quantity Surveyor and the drive that I have to be a QS. I think they judge me way too quickly before they actually know me and understand me and I think it’s a massive flaw in today’s society ‘judging a book by its cover’ and the amount of times that I go onto a building site and people go “oh, you’re in a wheelchair”, “how can you be in a wheelchair and on a building site and working construction”. That’s perception is totally flawed and wrong.

I think it just excludes people from actually wanting to be in the industry, because there’s this whole mentality that the construction industry is just for a set kind of person and not really for somebody that’s like me or somebody with a different kind of disability. It’s totally flawed in my opinion.

Perito:      (9.11)  It’s classic ability bias isn’t it. The idea of designing something for people with two hands or assuming that everybody has two hands and then you going on site, you’re in a position but their automatically looking at it through their own eyes and their own perception, instead of looking at what they can do to make the difference.

CN:           Yeah, exactly and people see a problem before they see me as a person which is wrong. I think it is wrong for people who have different types of disabilities because people view their disabilities before they actually view that person and view what that person can bring to the table and in some cases somebody might be able to bring something more than a fully abled bodied person and they judge a person by their image and not by what quality they have.

Perito:      (9.51)  Yep agreed, I think it’s very consistent even with Board level in corporations with the idea of diversity in gender.

CN:           Oh 100% yeah.

Perito:      (10.02)  When people talk about oh we need more women in Board rooms, actually that’s just the tip of the iceberg because the more people you have coming from more different backgrounds the more things you can understand because people aren’t looking at things in exactly the same way as everybody else.

CN:           Massively.

Perito:      And that’s really useful.

CN:           That’s a very big gripe of mine is when you see Members of Parliament who are head of the EWP and head of, you know, people with disabilities. The thing for me is what do those people know about somebody with a disability and after doing quite a bit of research into it Canada actually are trying to champion this process of getting people who are aware of these situations to make people with disabilities be more a viable option in the workplace and for people totally feel like they are wanted and I think it starts from the top of Government and major Blue Chip Corporations and it’s got to work it’s way down, it just takes the one company to make a difference.

Perito:     (11.08)  Agreed, so moving away from companies then onto the policy that you mentioned about Government and the role that they had to play, a lot of listeners will feel that Part M Building Regs doesn’t go far enough to support concepts like visit-ability and choose-ability.  What are your thoughts on the approved Doc M as guidance to meet the Part M obligations and does it go far enough?

CN:           I don’t even think it scratches the surface if I’m honest. I don’t like to go on about this point but it’s made by somebody who doesn’t understand what the problems are that somebody with a disability faces every day. I think it’s a totally flawed document that needs to be completely overhauled, re-written, so it makes people’s lives easier not in some respects harder. I’d push for that to be amended.

Perito:     (11.57)  Do you think that BS8300:2018 has a role to fit into the construction of new dwellings and buildings cos in place of the Approved Doc M (ADM) and does someone like MH Stainton use BS8300 as a standard?

CN:           MH Stainton are already working to a really high standard where we like to think that we don’t just think of the norm. We think of surpassing what the benchmark standards are.

Perito:      Yep.

CN:           And you know we champion ourselves on pushing the boundaries of any type of construction that we set our sights on that we make it totally accessible for everybody. We make any amendments possible that can make someone’s life easier, within reason, and there’s got to be a commercial aspect that we’ve got to think of but we like to really push the boundaries on making sure somebody’s home is built for a lifetime no matter the situation and it can be amended to their situation not just, this is your house, live in it and be done.  We like to think that we, and we do, care for our customers and we care for how they want to live their lives and how they want to live in our houses. Many housing companies and developers just see housing construction as just an accountancy, just numbers, it’s not somebody’s life, it’s what’s at the back end for it and how they can make as much money out of it as possible with as little going into it and not caring about that end user.  MH Stainton are a company that go that extra mile for its customers and really surpass the current benchmark that is outlined by Government.

Perito:     (13.36) When you think about the future of a barrier free built environment what do you think are the most important policy regs, standards, changes that would need to happen to get us there. You mentioned ageing in place, and I think ageing in place would be really vital going forward when you think about the cost of care for the elderly.  You don’t just simply want one house; you’re building a house for 100 years. So the number of people who are gonna live in there will be 3 or 4, 5, 10 families and someone may want to be there from the day zero to the day 100 and by being able to facilitate that adaption is essential. What do you think about the future of the barrier free environment?

CN:           I think we need to take a page out of Europe’s book. I’ve been to Italy, I’ve been to France and they have this generational living where grandparents live with their sons and daughters and then the sons and daughters of theirs then live with them and I think it, making sure that elements of buildings can be adapted with minimal uplift and upheaval that can affect somebody’s life.

Like making sure that doors are wide enough, like making sure there’s a correct turning circle that if somebody has sensory issues that a building can be adjusted, with minimal impact on that person’s life, to actually be altered in the way that suits them and I think current Building Regs and current standards don’t consider everybody. They consider something that somebody can see and not what can’t be seen and somebody with a visual impairment, you know, it’s all well and good adjusting the height of sockets and light switches but let’s think about people who have these mental disabilities, that have partial sight and that there’s more to it and that I think there has to be a total overhaul in the construction industry both on the housing sector and the commercial sector to completely make a building inclusive. Like I’ve said before, if we make building for one person who has got a severe disability it makes that building accessible for everybody, where we cater to the masses not just that single person.

Perito:      (15.38)  Yes so you could move somebody with a pram and a young family into it exactly the same way couldn’t you.

CN:           100%

Perito:      Because they need step free access with prams.

CN:           Yes but it goes past step free access. I recently moved into a, I won’t share the name but a very well-known developer, I moved into one of their houses and I go in, there’s…

Perito:      (16.01)  Was it a new build Chris?

CN:           …yes it was it was a new build and there’s steps in and out of the house to the front and to the rear, there’s elements of the property that I can’t reach such as the fuseboard, you know, so what happens if my stairlift goes down and I’m stuck downstairs I can’t actually flip the switch and turn it back on.

It‘s completely wrong and for somebody then to tell me that I have to pay them an obscene amount of money for classing it as a variation charge to make my life easier when these thoughts should actually be implemented and thought of sooner. It’s completely wrong and it needs to change, the whole system needs to be overhauled and people’s lives need to be thought of not just how to sell a house really quickly and make as much profit on it as you can.

Perito:      (16.54)  There’s a new flat development that’s gone up around the corner from me and I happen to run into the construction manager on a presentation thing and I explained to him, “well if you want help looking through the plans just to make sure that’s it all good and it’s going to be accessible for you just let me know, I’m quite happy, you know what I’ll do it for you for free”.   He kind of chuckled and said “no, no, no, no it’s fine” and well they’ve now finished them and there’s a nice set of steps, which I’m not even sure actually are going to pass Building Control having had a basic look at them, in terms of nosings and size but you’re thinking you’ve just built four steps running from this new build that you’ve just put in onto the street. How many people are going to go up those? It’s just bewildering as you say, from a developer point of view why that has been decided to happen and it could have easily been, and I’m not saying a ramp would have had to go in there but looking at step free access or level access would have been easy enough just with a slight tweak. Alas not, so now the 75 years or however long those flats last, we’re going to have those steps on the outside, an easily avoidable barrier and a permanent reminder of that Construction Manager’s ignorance and lack of care.

CN:           Yeah.

Perito:     (17.57)  Well as you know Chris, Perito believes that we’re all designers in some capacity even if we aren’t the principal designers like planners or architects and this Podcast is out there to help everyone become a community of exclusion experts who can then contribute to a design process and make better inclusive design decisions.  Can you tell us about your day to day experiences, I know you’ve touched on your house, so that’s probably a good place to start and challenges so that people will have a greater understanding of what can exclude you from participating and what can be done to create a world without boundaries for you?

CN:           Well initially it’s very difficult to create a world without total boundaries but for somebody like myself it can things as simple as level access into a property, it can be creating the correct turning circles because some may be as big as 1.2m2 but that’s for an electric chair but with me I’m in a manual wheelchair where 900mm2 is my turning circle. Level access to bathrooms is important because initially when I first moved into my property which was a new build, now a couple of years old, the issues that I had and that I found straightaway was the general access to the property was poor and that was despite Building Regs actually supposed to direct house builders to put in access that was suitable for people with disabilities. Now for me having steps at the front of my house doesn’t help me at all, it actually, it hinders me and it got to the point where I was requesting for the builder to come and take it out but the cost for variations spiral which isn’t fair when these builders should be creating houses that are suitable.

Perito:      (19.34) Yeah it doesn’t sound like they’ve gone with Part M there does it at all?

CN:           …No.

Perito:      (19.37)  And to charge you for that seems a bit dodge.

CN:           It’s not correct and they need to be held responsible for this where and I don’t understand how Building Control can let that off because having freedom to use my house as I please is a massive thing, it’s my independence, it’s my life.

I’m expecting a child soon and not to be able to take my child out would have been catastrophic for me. I’d have felt more isolated and excluded from actually using my property with being able to get in and out because I have to rely on other people.  My current employer, and before I started with them, gave me plans, I reviewed the plans and the first thing that I went back to them with was “why are your bathrooms so big?” and “why are you making them so big like you can clearly fit anybody in there that requires the space to get in there even to a larger chair”. They were like “well a home should be able to be lived in by everybody not excluding the demographic that has difficulties with living in properties, nobody should be excluded from a house or wanting to live a life that gives them, you know, a lot less boundaries”.

For me that’s a refreshing outlook because many of these major developers just think about that profit. They don’t think about who’s living in their houses, who is gonna give feedback to somebody else who’s got a disability and try and sell them a house, it’s just all profit, it’s not about their reputation of being a builder for everybody, it’s about being a builder that can make a good amount of money and can make the most revenue and turnover.

Perito:      (21.16) You’re kind of in a unique position being a Quantity Surveyor because part of your job is to cost the build isn’t it?

CN:           Yes.

Perito:      (21.23)  You work out how much has got to be removed, how much has got to be put in.

CN:           Yes.

Perito:      (21.26)  Are you sitting there with MH Stainton saying, you know what Michael this is gonna cost you an extra so and so percent or are you sitting there and going actually this doesn’t really cost anymore than doing it in the right way. Doing it first time, not only saves costs further down the line for people like yourself but also makes the building better for ageing in place.

CN:           Yes.

Perito:      (21.47) Is there a definite line there or is it just a fallacy that these bigger developers, or any developers frankly, like the one down the road from me, are using as an excuse?

CN:           In my personal opinion, and after reviewing costs of looking at for example different shower trays, different types of bathrooms, types of spaces and having level access, you know, it’s here nor there the cost difference in fact in some cases it’s actually less putting in say a fully ramp up to the house that looks amazing, that doesn’t look like it’s specified for somebody that’s disabled with a nice big concrete ramp and steel handles on it…

Perito:      Yeah, exactly.

CN:           …and steel rails, it doesn’t have to look like that. That’s just the Government being ‘right well what’s the most cost-effective way’ but as a Quantity Surveyor looking at the percentages of cost against somebody for having a disability and somebody without a disability. We can’t cater to everybody, it’s not going to be fully boundless, there’s always going to be one or two boundaries that maybe can’t be considered for somebody with more severe disabilities but the cost that these developers are saying they will have to incur is so extreme that it would actually put them out of business is wrong and I don’t know how they can stand by that statement and suggest that when the data that I review daily with my Managing Director and the PQS who overlooks the work that I do and take data suggesting there doesn’t really cost that much more, if not a little bit less.  These builders get away with murder and in my opinion it’s not correct.

Perito:      (23.29) What did you do to overcome those barriers with your particular home, You’ve been there a couple of years now, do you have level access now?

CN:           I’ve had to bear the cost myself and with the support that I’ve received from charities, but I’ve taken out the step. I’ve made sure that my turning circles are enough, made sure that I can get in and out of my shower correctly, obviously I still have the limitations of getting out to my back garden and the width of the paths that they put round the side of your house with those fetching concrete slabs that they put down, you know, there’s obviously  still limitations that I have in my property. I don’t expect to be there forever but for me as the customer having to amend my property because it doesn’t meet the current regulations and current standards and it has to come out of my pocket when I’m already paying a small fortune for a house, it’s wrong, and again its criminal, in some respects, what developers can get away with.

Perito:      (24.25)  Well I guess Building Control have a part to play in this as well don’t they?

CN:           Yes 100% yes.

Perito:      (24.29) In terms of, they really should have been coming up and placing a bit of emphasis here that hasn’t met visit-ability. It certainly doesn’t sound like it’s met Part M 4 at all which is bizarre but how do you find moving away from your house then, how do you find just your day to day experiences on the street, like the way people look after pavements that you use or ways to the office, is the disabled parking at work is that usually being abused by, cos I know that’s a regular problem for many people?

CN:           I have a big problem when I go out. Especially when I go to supermarkets, I get told that I’m not disabled enough to park in Blue Badge bays even though I’m getting my wheelchair out and trying to access just local amenities like everybody else and when other people who are sat in their cars, in a disabled bay with no Blue Badge up it’s very frustrating. At work there’s access for me to access the building, there’s access for me to park safely enough that I can get my chair out safely and not affect anybody else or, you know, other people who work close by us, you know.  So work generally is fantastic I think if we go outside of work and my home life the paths, pavements, dropped kerbs, they’re a massive issue. I think Councils should be made to rectify all these issues because it’s not just potentially an issue for me, it’s potentially an issue for somebody who’s on their feet and then trips up over un-level ground which then is an insurance claim against the Council, so the money that they could have spent to rectify a path, they’re now being sued for.

Perito:      Yep, they’ve lost.

CN:           That doesn’t benefit anybody that just unfortunately benefits the person who’s unfortunately damaged their ankle due to the Council’s negligence and I think that’s all the way around the country, there’s issues for access, there’s issues for just general amenities and access in those amenities to which is disabled people aren’t thought of and people with certain limitations aren’t thought of.  Now everybody can’t be catered for but there should be things in place to try and cater for everybody to be able to go out and access their day to day lives and explore the world because you miss out on so much because people don’t think.

Perito:      (26.46)  It’s a really relevant point there I think the opportunities that you’re denied, essentially you should be able to have equal opportunity to go out and do these things, there’s very little change that needs to happen but people just don’t tend to think.

CN:           No.

Perito:      (26.58)  Do you ever sit there sometimes and think I can relate to their ignorance and their lack of courtesy because when I was younger I kind of felt the same and I didn’t care. Or would you even at 21/20 never done these things like park in a disabled bay?

CN:           I’d have never have done them. Sometimes if there’s a large car park I’ll try not to park in a disabled bay because I know somebody that could be more disabled then me and I’ll try and find a space that allows me to get access to these amenities but, and save a space for somebody else, but there’s certain things that I was very short sighted with, I was very tunnel visioned on what I wanted to achieve in my life and, you know, I don’t regret that but I regret how I couldn’t see how other people could struggle from the simple things of me being able to access a shop, and how people are disadvantaged because someone can’t think about putting a level access in to allow somebody with a disability to access something, and it’s being disabled has been a massive learning curve for me. I’d challenge anybody to actually live a weak in the life of somebody that’s disabled and not say that they’re not moved by the struggles that, that person has to go through day in and day out because being disabled’s hard.

Perito:      (28.12)  Well it’s exhausting isn’t it and then extra costs associated with it that people don’t think about.

CN:           It is, yes, yes.

Perito:     (28.17)  Are there any final thoughts in terms of top 5 things if you could talk to a designer of the street or a house what top 5 things would you say, you can have top 20 if you like that should always be included for you as a wheelchair user and what would you like them to do that they should already be doing but obviously aren’t or at least if there are designers out there wondering what they should be doing, how you can help them to design better?

CN:           Yes I’ll give you my top 5 because it’s not actually that bigger thing that these designers need to do. They need to think of the space and how the space is used. Pinching from one room to another and making door frames smaller just to make one room slightly bigger, okay you know, people might like a bigger lounge but it limits somebody’s access to these rooms.  Let’s create rooms that people can access that can be accessed by everybody not just by the majority.  Now my next point sort of moves onto like bathrooms and how we pinch the sizes in our larger rooms, our bedrooms, our kitchens, why can’t we make downstairs bathrooms a little bit bigger, you know, or main bathrooms bigger and have that space so somebody can turn in those areas if they’re in a wheelchair or, you know, have disabilities that affects their mobility, let’s give people space, let’s give people, let’s already think ahead rather than thinking of what’s the best way to profit from this.

Perito:      (29.42)  Or the minimum that can lead to the maximum profit.

CN:           Yes exactly. Let’s look at trying to maximise the consumer’s ability to use their property whilst trying to maximise profits at the same time. It can go hand in hand, it then increases your customer satisfaction rating, then increases the general perception of the company and your homeowner wants to live there. And doesn’t have to rip their house apart down to the simplest thing here James of making sure that it’s got level access. What’s so hard about putting a ramp in?

There’s nothing hard about it, people have paving in their back gardens. They have steps in their back gardens that’s been provided by these developers so what’s wrong with putting a level access through this house or to any building in fact, there’s nothing wrong with that.  MH Stainton have just completed an apartment building, they’ve made sure that if they don’t know something they’ll go out of their way to find it out and make sure that buildings can be used by everybody and that it’s for everybody not just for a single market and I’d massively implore these designers on my fifth point to go out there and find the knowledge. If they’re unsure about something find somebody with a disability and say right well what could make your life easier? What’s the bane of your life in this moment in time that causes you to feel restricted in your own home and the honesty and the knowledge that you’ll get from that will be second to none and it will give you so much knowledge and clarity on what you need to do as a designer, or as a director to increase these buildings sort of access and diversity and inclusion and just listen and learn.  Knowledge is a very powerful tool that these designers could use just by going out and asking people who are disabled what can be done to make your life easier that we can include in our properties, it’s just something as simple as that.

Perito:      (31.40)  Some excellent points there Chris thank you, so any final thoughts from you before we start to think about closing the Podcast?

CN:           James I’m just really grateful for you allowing me to voice my opinion and put across my knowledge to others so they can then look at trying to improve their construction process but also to not only think about if you’re able bodied, think about somebody who’s disabled and, if somebody needs a hand, give them a hand. Don’t just sit there and watch. Encourage people who are disabled to get out there, see the world and if there’s limitations help them to overcome their limitations, if those boundaries are broken down you’re making a massive change to somebody’s life that’s really important.

Perito:      That’s a good summary. It’s been excellent to find out more about you and your future Quantity Surveying career, Chris thanks for joining us today and best of luck going forward.

CN:           Cheers James.

Perito:      Perhaps we could do a catch up in a year. We could do another Podcast to see how things have changed for you in that period and whether you’ve got more interesting stories to tell your listeners.

 

You’ve been tuning into the Perito Podcast Our World Without Boundaries. Thanks for listening everyone, everywhere.