CEO for Construction
Group Board tenure: 18 years
Gareth Lewis has been a member of the Mace Group Board since 2001. Under Gareth’s leadership, as CEO for Construction, Mace has become one of the UK and Europe’s leading major contractors and construction managers, and his vision for the future is transforming the way we create the built environment. Gareth additionally sits on Build UK’s CEO panel.
- How has Mace developed during your time here?
When I joined in 1994 I was Mace's 150th employee and we specialised in project management and construction management. Since then we’ve grown substantially in size, geography and service offer. When I took over as COO for Construction in 2007, we’d quadrupled in size and since then our growth has trebled.
We’ve changed a lot as a business but we’ve kept the same ethos, the same innovative culture, the same drive to continuously pursue a better way.
- How has the construction industry changed in the last 10 years?
For decades the construction industry didn’t really change much. But in the last 10 years the pace of transformation has really accelerated – it’s been an exciting industry to be part of. I would say the last two years are where the biggest changes have occurred, what with construction to production and modern methods of construction, and the importance of building and fire safety.
- What has driven the change?
A number of things. The need to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint, to create safer working environments, to respond to a decreasing skilled workforce, the technicality of working in tighter sites, the provision of off-site materials, new building regulations. The list goes on. Fundamentally, and interestingly, the majority of the change has actually been driven from within companies such as Mace who understand their clients’ needs and have the determination to find a better way.
- What’s next for Mace’s construction business?
Our commitment to carbon reduction is sitting at the heart of our project plans and designs. We’re having conversations with clients today that wouldn’t have existed 18months ago. Now that we’ve become a net zero carbon business and proven to ourselves that we can run a diesel-free site, our plans are ambitious. And we have multiple technical trials and new data-driven processes that are transforming how we do things. Modern methods of construction will soon be business as usual and the benefits for our clients and communities will be huge.
- Where would you like to see Mace in five years' time?
To continue to be the number one construction company in London and hold the pivotal role for all major projects. To have grown our international presence based on reputation as an industry disruptor, particularly in the pharma and life-sciences sector, and be the recognised market leader in hyper-scale data centres.
I’d also like to see Mace renowned as a diverse and inclusive employer of choice. As the Group Board Sponsor of Enabled, our employee network that works to raise awareness and remove barriers around disability, neurodiversity and other impairments, I feel strongly about creating an ever-more accessible, supportive and inclusive workplace at Mace. D&I hasn’t been tackled well enough in our industry in the past and through our multiple support networks we’re really looking to change both the reality and the perception.
- How is Mace’s construction business redefining the boundaries of ambition?
By driving the quality agenda through a data-driven approach. By that I mean we’ll continue to digitise construction delivery so that it pushes the boundaries of how we build, increases productivity, reduces waste and essentially raises the bar in terms of quality.
The Safety Bill, which is coming in later this year, has led us to raise the bar and we have already developed a compliance procedure within Construct. We want to be the best from a quality and compliance point of view and the Safety Bill will give us a framework to work from.
The pace of transformation right now is phenomenal and everyone in the team is right behind it.
“We’ll continue to digitise construction delivery so that it pushes the boundaries of how we build, increases productivity, reduces waste and essentially raises the bar in terms of quality.”