A day in the life of a Trainee QS


Bradley Smith is one our our five current trainee quantity surveyors and joined us in April 2016. He has recently been involved in one of our Heritage project's this time at Guildford Cathedral.

Previously; Bradley assisted in achieving practical completion at Rochester Cathedral (the 2nd oldest Cathedral in England) with the co-ordination of the final works.

Site Visit #1 – Getting to Grips with the Size of the Project

Dear Readers,

My name is Bradley and I am an apprentice Surveyor for Buxton Building Contractors, the main contractor on the Guildford Cathedral Project. Over the course of the construction period I will be writing a few blog entries for the Cathedral so members and those that are following the works can be kept up to date from a slightly different point of view.

Thursday the 15th of September marked my first visit to the site (so I have a lot to catch up on). The first thing I noticed, as it is very hard not to, was the amount of scaffolding required to reach the heady heights of the Cathedral ceiling. I don’t think I have ever seen so much scaffolding in an indoor space!

The scaffold is needed to be able to access all of the wall area in the Nave, the North and South Aisles’ and the other main areas to carry out the refurbishment, and to allow Keltbray (Asbestos Management) to complete the main works of removing the asbestos to all affected areas.

Whilst carrying out the works we are also mindful to keep the Cathedral in a half-decent condition to allow the usual activities to take place and to allow visitors to walk around in the designated areas and see the works going on. This means that the scaffolding is constantly being re-erected in various areas, and why we are keeping a large stockpile of scaffolding components around the front, alongside the newly laid reinforced concrete slab (which is annoying as it doesn’t do much for the ‘looks’ of the Cathedral!). This takes excellent organisation and project management skills from our guys on site, and they are working very hard to ensure the site is run smoothly for everyone.

After finishing the second coat in the South Ambulatory, our main Sub-contracted decorators, Masterdec, were painting in the Sanctuary and along the South Aisle. I went and had a look up on the top level of scaffold and it’s a lot higher than it appears from the safety of the Cathedral floor! By Friday the scaffold had been struck from the Sanctuary and Masterdec had their ‘Cherry Picker’ or ‘Mobile Elevating Work Platform’ set up to enable them to apply the second or third coat of paint the Ceiling

Other works you may see whilst walking around include plastering the Chapter House Ceiling, although if you poke your head in you won’t see much as we have decked out the entire room to create a platform for the plasters to ensure they do an excellent job, PAYE will also be in the Baptistery in due course, bonding out the ceiling as well.

We look forward to seeing you at the Cathedral soon!


Tel. 01883 348921

Buxton Building Contractors Ltd

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