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Job spotlight: Anne Daw, HLM Architects

Anne Daw’s work as head of MMC delivery and digital innovation makes her feel ‘like a kid in a candy shop’, she says.

Tell us about a typical day in your role?

My time tends to fall into three categories – MMC project and process support, business development and R&D, so there’s no typical day.

In the past two weeks, I went from an Enevate factory tour in Glasgow to an Offsite Alliance dinner in another part of the country, while other days saw me collaborating with the Construction Innovation Hub as part of the ‘Healthcare Sandpit’ on a project to develop a healthcare platform DfMA solution.

I also spend quite a lot of my time assisting with MMC projects, providing support with category selection, design optimisation, procurement and tender reviews. In addition, I am developing a series of MMC design guides for architects and technicians at HLM.

“The most rewarding part of my job is when I am able to bring MMC to life for new designers or clients who have never used it before.”

Anne Daw, HLM Architects

You have developed expertise in MMC and digital, both of which are fast-growing areas. How do you keep your skills and knowledge updated in these areas?

Working in R&D gives me access to the latest ideas that are being trialled and tested. In addition, I read a lot of articles and listen to podcasts on what is happening in other sectors and around the world.

The pace of the digital development in the construction sector over the past five years has been exhilarating and I’m always researching exciting new innovations in the space and exploring how the evolution of MMC can add value to the wider industry in new ways.

When I was at MIT in the late 1990s, we were using the very early stages of digital modelling and 3D printing. It took 15 years before I saw any of those tools start to filter into private practice, but now the private sector’s use of digital tools has accelerated and there isn’t such a large gap between digital research and development and the industry use of those digital tools today.

What is the most challenging aspect of your job and what is the most rewarding?

Maintaining enough energy to tackle all the amazing possibilities it brings with it. I am like a kid in a candy shop – I want to make the most of each and every opportunity.

The most rewarding part of my job is when I am able to bring MMC to life for new designers or clients who have never used it before. It gives me so much satisfaction to see them gradually understand the benefits of MMC and how it can help us to reach essential environmental, performance and safety goals faster than with traditional construction.

And when I can go that little bit further to show them how they can create beautiful spaces and increase social value with MMC, it’s the icing on the cake.

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