SLR archaeologist promotes synergy in working with construction sector
Leading archaeologist Andrew Townsend, who has recently joined SLR Consulting, is keen to promote the benefits of the archaeological and construction sectors working collaboratively to ensure the smooth progression of development projects.
Andrew’s background makes him ideally placed to understand the issues and constraints experienced by both sides as he worked as an estimator/surveyor for over 12 years before retraining as an archaeologist in 1990.
“Archaeological projects are often developer-led, involving work on future or current construction sites, so being knowledgeable on building related issues and speaking the same language as construction clients helps projects to progress efficiently,” said Andrew, who will be based in SLR’s Bristol office.
“By integrating more with the construction process, archaeologists can assist developers schedule their work, helping them to save time and money – as well as recording or protecting heritage assets. I like to think of the sectors being on the same team rather than pursuing mutually exclusive objectives.”
Andrew, who is a Chartered Environmentalist, has worked on a wide range of projects where he has been able to put this into practise. Most recently, he was tasked with working alongside architects on a project on a significant Bristol site to establish what basements and foundations would be feasible based on the archaeological remains likely to be present.
“I believe, that to provide workable advice to developer clients on the implications of buried remains, that archaeologists need to understand construction drawings and all aspects of the build,” Andrew added.
Andrew is an ambassador of the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) and has been working with the Board of the Federation of Archaeological Managers & Employers (FAME) to create bridges between archaeology and construction. Prior to joining the company, Andrew worked as a Project Officer for Bristol and Region Archaeological Services.
At SLR he is tasked with managing a number of existing archaeological projects and will also be looking to promote SLR within heritage and construction sectors.