Part 1. Interview with Mark Newberry – International Director of TAL Engineering
TAL Engineering had the pleasure to interview Mark Newberry, our International Projects Director.
Mark is an Operations Executive with over 38 years of international experience overseeing the Engineering and Construction of façade envelopes on high profile projects around the Globe. Having worked on the likes of Index Tower, Dubai, The Gherkin, London, both of which were Foster & Partner Projects, and having completed the Operational Management of over 75 high rise towers in the Middle East and the UK, Mark has gained a considerable amount of experience in the Façade Industry. From Designer to COO over his tenure, Mark currently leads the International Projects Division of TAL Engineering, in which they have to date completed 5 high rise buildings in London, UK and 3 low rise projects in the USA.
TAL Engineering: Mark, in your opinion, is there a need for the façade to become an independent part of the investment project, alongside other specialties? Why or why not?
Mark Newberry: Yes, without a doubt. Aligning with the ongoing requirements for certification for buildings, Developers must start to look at the cost of the façade independently. If you only want to look at a short term ROI that’s one thing, but if you are looking at the long term, a strategic investment in the façade at the front will have a better return long term. Energy bills are rising at an exponential rate, façades can and do assist greatly in reducing costs, but only through investment in practical engineering and correct material selection.
TE: Observing the trends abroad, do you believe that façade engineering in Bulgaria is approaching the world standard? What do we need to do to match that standard?
MN: I have no hesitation in stating that “the Engineering Design capability in Bulgaria is definitely up there with the best”. Bulgaria currently has world class Façade Engineers. What we need is greater attention to QA/QC on all products produced and installed on projects. We need to follow closer all the European Standards and guidelines drafted for our industry.
TE: Façade engineering in Bulgaria vs UK vs Dubai?
MN: NV Tower placed Bulgarian Façade Engineering on the map within Europe. Now we can move forward with confidence, but this will be determined by the investors in the country and more importantly the open mindedness and vision of the authorities who stamps “APPROVED” on the planning application.
TE: What does Sofia need? How about Bulgaria?
MN: Consultants! They can be the greatest asset to a Façade Contractor and the Project. We don’t know everything and we continually learn, so during the process to have fresh vision, guidance and a third party to assist is immeasurable in time, engineering, cost and quality.