In Conversation with Chris Waine.............
I have been in the construction industry for 20 years, working with clients from a variety of sectors in delivering complex capital projects and programmes. I am an experienced Chartered Quantity Surveyor (RICS), a qualified Managing Successful Programmes (MSP) Practitioner and Better Business Case (BBC) Practitioner.
I am now one of four Equity Directors at Hive Projects after 19 years with EC Harris / Arcadis leading various elements of their health, education, local government, and residential sector businesses. I am also currently a Board member at the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce.
I live in Aughton with my Wife Katharine and my two boys Sebastian and Zachary. I’m an avid football fan and season ticket holder at Everton FC, although not a lot to shout about on the football front at the minute!
As Director of Hive Projects, How Would You Describe Your Role?
Its early days and I had Covid in my first week at Hive Projects, so quite a disruptive start, but it is a very varied role, which is what I love about working in a smaller business environment, after 20 years in a large corporate one.
As an SME we pride ourselves on proactive Director level involvement in the delivery of all our projects, so that accounts for a large portion of my working week, but my other area of focus is business development. We have been working with an external marketing and PR consultant to develop a strategy and we are excited about raising our profile as a new SME business based in the North West.
What Does 2022 have in Store for you & Hive Projects?
Hive Projects was set up just before the Pandemic in January 2020 by three founding Equity Directors and has grown rapidly to 16 staff in that time. Our plan is to continue to sensibly grow the business, but with a genuine people and client focus, and with the addition of my former QS Director colleague Kevin Breen to the team, we are expanding our service offer to include Cost & Commercial Management.
We have a particular niche in the public sector and are focussed on the North West with office space in Manchester and Liverpool. These markets will be a big focus for us this year, alongside building and developing the team.
What made you want a career in the construction industry?
I have been working in construction since I was 12 because of my Dad, and it was his influence / powers of persuasion that enticed me in! He is a Quantity Surveyor and had his own contracting and development company, so I found myself getting involved at a young age. I loved the site-based activity even though I was often given the underground drainage and roofing projects in the midst of Winter!
When it came to leaving Sixth Form, I was torn between the RAF to fulfil my love of flying and Sports Science because of my passion for physical exercise. It was the night before I was due to complete my UCAS Form, my Dad threw the Liverpool JMU Prospectus across the table and said are you sure you don’t fancy Quantity Surveying, and I relented! The rest is history, as they say.
How Would You Describe Your Career Over the Years?
I have been extremely lucky to have worked on some amazing projects and with some fantastic people. I did my work placement year with Faithful & Gould and then 19 years with EC Harris / Arcadis. It’s been a great journey working on some of the most interesting capital projects and programmes in the industry, completing training and development opportunities at the likes of the University of Oxford, Said Business School and international work experience and exposure.
I’ve also had the opportunity to hone my consultancy skills and work with clients not just in a core Quality Surveying capacity. I’ve loved that variety, and it is something at Hive Projects we always look to embrace individually and collectively to drive value for our clients.
Can You Tell Us About One of Your Greatest Achievements in Your Career?
A difficult question to answer but I can’t look back much further than when I was leading the UK Healthcare business for Arcadis. There are may aspects of the role I enjoyed including securing and delivering on projects such as the redevelopment of North Manchester General Hospital, the new Leeds General Infirmary hospital and the Commercial Partner commission with the central New Hospitals Programme team.
However, in 2021 and with the outbreak of Covid-19, I led our team in delivering three Nightingale Hospitals as the Pandemic escalated around us and more recently, we set up the new vaccine centres that have been a huge success in the response against Covid-19.
It was named as a Global Project of the Year at Arcadis and I also had the personal honour of collaborating with the likes of Hannah, Captain Tom Moore’s Daughter, who now leads the family Foundation in doing great work globally around equality, diversity and inclusion.
What Career Advice Do You Wish You Could Give to Your Younger Self?
For me there is a tendency in your career to get very narrow in your training and development focus, especially technically. That is not to say this isn’t important, it’s absolutely key to learn and refine your trade, but to be a good consultant you must think much more broadly about your development in my view. This is more important than ever nowadays with how our industry is evolving and how clients expect support from their consultants.
The best example I can draw upon from my career of taking an opportunity not directly related to my professional technical competence is my Board role at the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce. A Non-Executive Board role was not something I had done before, but not only is it something I have thoroughly enjoyed, from working with great people and focusing on agendas relating to my home city, the development and networking value to me personally have been significant. I have Caroline Kingsley partly to thank for that opportunity!
Trees! This year we have pledged to plant a tree for every candidate we recruit, what is your favourite type of tree?
I am a big fan of the outdoors, and I am going to go with a sapling having recently seen the following article on a place close to my heart; the Lake District. It is also a reminder to us all to consider our impact on climate change.