Dean Dye, manager on Larkfleet Homes’ site at Bourne Heights, has been shortlisted as a potential winner of the Local Authority Building Control (LABC) ‘site agent of the year’ award for the East Midlands.
LABC inspectors from The East Midlands Building Consultancy are currently on site at least once per week but at different stages in the development cycle they may be at Bourne Heights two or three times each week. Dean schedules visits for key stage completions such as drainage and footings.
Because of the experience and competence of the Larkfleet team and its contractors there are rarely any ‘issues’ arising from the inspections. Those few that do arise are swiftly dealt with.
Sean Mcmanus of The East Midlands Building Consultancy says: “I am on site myself once or twice each week. The good working relationship which Dean has with his colleagues and contractors is noticeable – he is capable of speaking firmly to people when things need sorting out yet without giving offence.
“And he always accompanies me when I go out on site – whatever the weather – when he could easily stay in the warm and dry!”
There have been no reported accidents on site since construction began.
Dean says: “We have an excellent team of contractors who take their responsibilities seriously and co-operate with one another and with me to ensure safe working on site across all the trades and activities.
“Some of the contractors, such as the groundworkers, have been with me on other sites and I have been successful in having the same teams allocated to Bourne Heights.”
Sean Mcmanus says; “The quality of the work on site is always excellent – particularly the groundwork. I think this is largely down to Dean. He is able to get the best from what is already a first-class team.”
Dean undertakes his own snagging inspection of each house before the future residents are invited in for a ‘demonstration’ of their new home when they are shown (for example) how the heating system works, how the PV panels are managed, etc. They are encouraged at that time to undertake their own ‘snagging’ inspection and if they identify any problems Dean takes care of them.
Dean similarly deals with any issues that arise during the first few days of occupancy.
Dean says: “We pride ourselves on handing over high quality homes. By putting time and effort into getting things right up front we have very few calls to rectify faults.”
Dean is highly valued not just by colleagues at Larkfleet but by Larkfleet’s customers and contractors. A recent demonstration of this came when a new resident on Bourne Heights asked for Dean’s assistance for her pregnant sister who lives on the far side of Bourne in a house which Larkfleet built some years ago. A boiler failure had left the lady with no heating or hot water and the company responsible for her boiler maintenance had let her down.
Dean and one of the plumbers from Bourne Heights went across town and resolved the issue.
Dean says: “The plumber was under no obligation to assist – he wasn’t getting paid for this. And there was no obligation for Larkfleet to help. The boiler is now the householder’s responsibility. But the plumber and I were pleased to help. It’s part of our approach to customer care.”
Dean can also point to several ‘thank you’ cards from residents and Facebook posts praising his support and assistance for new residents at Bourne Heights. And if he and colleagues had not already eaten them, he could also point to several thank you gifts of chocolates!
Sean Mcmanus says: “I would be happy to endorse Dean’s entry for the LABC site agent of the year award. He would be a very worthy winner. Our job would be a lot easier if all the people we dealt with were like Dean!”
Dean will find out at a black-tie dinner in June whether he has won the coveted award. All of us at Larkfleet wish him the best of luck!