executive collection of 4 & 5 bedroom homes
IT’S turning into a year of firsts for Anwyl Homes’ site manager Chris Johnston, who is overseeing the construction of 37 new homes at Bluebell Meadows, in Fulwood, near Preston.
Chris, 33, took on his first site management role last August, is expecting his first child with wife Rebecca next month – and he’s just won his first ever NHBC Pride in the Job Quality Award.
He’s also the first of Anwyl Homes Lancashire’s site managers to win the prestigious award.
John Grime, managing director of the housebuilder’s Lancashire region, said: “We’re extremely proud of Chris and what he has achieved. Only 450 of 11,000 UK site managers reach the standard required to win an NHBC Quality Award so it’s an incredible achievement in its own right; but for Chris to do it in his first year of managing a housing construction site is unbelievable.”
Chris joined Buckshaw Village-based Anwyl Homes Lancashire last August after two years as an assistant site manager with another housebuilder and, prior to that, spent five years in the Royal Marines.
“I started out as an apprentice bricklayer and had just served my time in 2009 when the recession hit so I went in to the Royal Marines, specialising in heavy weapons for the next five years,” Chris explained.
Returning to housebuilding after leaving the Marines, Chris thinks his military training had definitely influenced his success: “It’s helped instil a strong sense of discipline and an appreciation of the need to maintain high standards at all times. Consistency is vital, you can’t just up your game for these awards you have to be ‘up there’ all the time. I will never accept poor quality and everyone who works with me knows that and respects it.”
At Bluebell Meadows Chris works with an assistant manager, forklift driver and labourer, all directly employed by Anwyl, and could find himself with up to 30 trade sub-contractors on site at any one time.
“Although it’s my name on the Quality Award, it has been a massive team effort. I couldn’t do it by myself, everyone on site has to buy into it and winning the award is proof they all have,” he explained.
Chris and his team currently have approximately 20 homes at different stages of build at Bluebell Meadows, with the first homeowners due to move in very soon. The most recent challenge has been to introduce Covid-19 social distancing protocols to ensure the safety of customers and colleagues.
Chris said: “It’s made planning and managing the daily activity even more important now that we can only have two people working in a property at any one time, one upstairs and one downstairs, and making sure that everyone stays two metres apart at all times whether on the scaffold, inside a plot or working outside.”
Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, Pride in the Job is the most highly regarded competition in the house-building industry. Judging for the Awards is rigorous, the current competition began in July 2019, with each site manager assessed across six key areas: consistency, attention to detail, leadership, interpretation of drawings and specifications, technical expertise, and health and safety.
By recognising the very best site managers across the UK, showcasing best practice and rewarding excellence, the competition celebrates the vital role that site managers play in ensuring new homes are delivered on time, on safe sites and to exacting construction quality standards.
Chris was one of three Anwyl site managers to be recognised this year, the others being based at new homes developments in North Wales.
Subject to NHBC judges being able to visit sites over the next two months, all three will now go on to compete for the next-level Seal of Excellence and Regional Awards that are planned to be announced at a series of virtual events in the autumn.
Bluebell Meadows features 26 four-bedroom detached homes for private sale and 11 affordable properties. There are two fully furnished show homes available for viewing by appointment only and with social distancing guidelines in place. For more information, including the latest availability and pricing, see the website www.anwylhomes.co.uk/our-developments/bluebell-meadows-fulwood.
Caption: Site manager Chris Johnston, Anwyl Homes Lancashire’s first NHBC Pride in the Job Quality Award winner.