For our October employee spotlight, Facility Performance Consulting is delighted to introduce you to Tom Wood, a Commissioning Manager in our Building Performance Services team. Tom works diligently to ensure the successful delivery of projects for our clients across the EMEA region.
With a wealth of practical hands-on technical expertise and a proven track record in project delivery, Tom is a driving force behind the top-tier service that the BPS team provides to our clients.
Earlier this month, we sat down with Tom to speak about his professional journey at FPC and personal interests beyond the workplace that make him the valued member of the team that he is.
Please summarise your professional career journey so far, and how this has helped shape you into the professional that you are today?
My first professional roles were during University, back in Australia where I took a semester off for a mechanical design internship after which I returned to complete my degree and work alongside study as an undergraduate designer for a local HVAC design consultancy and contractor for an environmental services company.
After graduation, I moved to Sydney and worked for a large Principal Contractor as a Junior Site/Project engineer on Australia’s two largest public infrastructure construction and fit-out projects at the time.
By this time, I had been involved in the design, fit-out and commissioning phases of commercial and industrial mechanical and electrical systems for hospitals, schools, telecoms and transport infrastructure.
In late 2019, I relocated to the UK and began self-employed work as a Technical Services Manager at a Tier 1 fit-out firm in London. During the Covid-19 pandemic, I made the transition to FPC where I have since been working as a Commissioning Manager for projects throughout the UK, Europe, Middle East and Africa.
All of the above gave me a broad foundation in mechanical and electrical services in all phases of construction and has shaped the way I consider how decisions made will affect stakeholders at all stages.
How do you see the future evolving for the building performance services professional and industry as a whole?
In the last decade, we have already seen a paradigm shift in the building services industry in an attempt to keep up with ambitious CO2 reduction targets. During this time, there has been an increasingly clear vision industry-wide of just how much additional work is needed to achieve the goals we are setting ourselves.
The successful evolution of the Building Performance Services industry in the immediate to medium-term future depends upon a wide range of factors; too many to list in a brief article. What I see as being the key areas that will see the most rapid advancement are; A concerted push towards Sustainability and Energy Efficiency; a shift towards ‘Healthy Buildings’; More widespread construction of Smart Buildings and the use of the IoT to retro-fit existing buildings to become ‘smart’; Data-driven decision making and; a collaborative, integrated approach to all of the above by all disciplines within the industry.
Sustainability and Energy Efficiency: As governing bodies worldwide set more stringent energy efficiency standards and regulations, building services professionals will need to ensure that these are implemented to help clients meet them through energy audits, retrofits, and other services.
Healthy Buildings: The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of indoor air quality. There will be a push to assess and improve ventilation and air quality within buildings.
Smart Buildings and IoT: The integration of IoT (Internet of Things) technology into buildings is transforming how they are managed and optimised. All building performance professionals - not just Digital Buildings experts - will need to be conversant to some degree with IoT systems, data analytics, and automation.
Data-Driven Decision-Making: In conjunction with the more widespread use of IoT devices, building services professionals will need to become more proficient in understanding and implementing the data that is collected.
Collaboration and Interdisciplinary Approach: Optimal building performance needs to be ‘baked in’ during the design stage of buildings and should not be an afterthought. This will require collaboration between building performance engineers, architects, vendors and crucially, Facilities Managers to ensure that buildings are designed AND operated effectively.
What is it that you really enjoy about working at FPC?
I enjoy the variety of projects and their locations. With FPC, I get the chance to ensure that new buildings are designed and constructed in such a way that our clients receive the end-product that they envisioned during early design stages. Not only that but also to review the performance of existing buildings, which is where the greatest potential to have a positive impact lies.
With FPC, I have been able to work with teams in the UK, Germany, Denmark, France and in the Middle-East.
What’s one thing most people don’t know about you that is non-work related?
I grew up in a small, fishing village back in Australia with a population of around 60 people. Since leaving home, I’m always looking for ways to spend time back on the sea so outside of work, I’m a keen sailor and recreational sea kayaker.
If you could go back in time, what historical event would you want to see?
I’d have loved to be on the docks when Australia II won the 1983 Americas Cup.
How do you like to start and end your day?
I like to start the day with a good coffee and, if the time and weather allow, finish the day with a post-work sea kayak on the Channel.
What’s the one thing you are learning now or learned recently?
I have recently completed the third and final exam required to attain a licence as a NABERS UK ‘Energy for Offices’ assessor.
As NABERS expands its offering in the UK into new sectors such as Data Centres and hospitals, I hope to expand this qualification.
What led you to this career?
I first entered the building services industry while I was at university and an old colleague forwarded me the job application for an undergraduate HVAC design engineer.
If you weren’t in this line of work, what career would you want to pursue?
Before studying mechanical engineering, I strongly considered an apprenticeship as a fitter/machinist. I’ve tried my hand in designing and manufacturing small parts for friends’ businesses as a hobby and, if I weren’t in this line of work, that’s probably something that I’d like to pursue.