Senior Quantity Surveyor John Freeman told ANN-MARIE HARDIMAN about his work with Arup.

SUJO_(AUTUMN2014)_AW_Layout 1John has worked in Arup’s cost management team for two years, and his first job with the company involved quite a lengthy commute.

“An opportunity arose in London, so I worked there for a year, until a position became available in Dublin.”

These days his commute is a little more manageable – from his home in Naas to Arup’s offices on Ringsend Road.

As a senior QS John is mainly office based, although he does still travel a little, mainly to London. He works with a team of six people, while also liaising with other Arup colleagues. Arup employs 11,000 people worldwide, including more than 80 cost managers in Dublin, London, mainland Europe, the US and Hong Kong, and John enjoys the interaction and variety of working with colleagues all over the world.

“As the cost management side of the business grows, we are increasingly employed to provide strategic cost advice, working across almost all markets and sectors, both at a national and international level.”

Working worldwide
John’s day is divided between a number of local and international projects. One recently finalised job was the design, by Arup, of a bus rapid transit (BRT) system for Kampala, the Ugandan capital. “The project is for the Republic of Uganda Government and is being funded by the World Bank. My colleagues and I in the cost management team worked on the tender documents and the procurement options, whilst ensuring they complied with the World Bank procurement guidelines”.

Current projects include a design competition for a new hospital in Copenhagen. Arup is collaborating with local firms, and John is working on the management of initial costs for the stage one submission. “There are seven competitors, and we will find out in a month or so if we’ve made the final three. At that point the tenders and costings will become much more detailed.”

Closer to home, there are a number of projects for which Arup is providing Due Diligence reports.

With several projects on the go all at once, the team needs to be organised and plan ahead. “We sit down regularly to plan our work, and we are fortunate that we can call on our cost management colleagues in the other Arup offices for support, when required.”

Arup’s location on Ringsend Road is close to Barrow Street, the Bord Gais National Theatre and several other landmark sites, so it’s nice for a lunchtime stroll and break, “especially now that the workload is increasing and the outlook is more optimistic in terms of the construction and commercial property industries”.

When not at work, John has a busy home life with wife Bernadette and their three children: Sinead recently qualified as a midwife and works in the UK; Amy-May is just beginning college at NCAD; and, Ciaran is in second year at secondary school. Apart from walking the dog and reading, John enjoys jogging, and is a past marathon competitor.