Patricia Power is the founder of the Patricia Power Quantity Surveying and Project Management Practice. Prior to her current role,
Patricia spent 12 years with a large Quantity Surveying/Project Management Practice.
Tell us about how you got involved in “Room to Improve”
Patricia: Dermot Bannon, had developed a painful habit throughout the first four series of completing beautiful work – but often well beyond the original budget. Audiences winced at televised meetings where budgets soared and clients came under financial strain. I got a call asking me to consider testing for the position of quantity surveyor on Room to Improve. It was a big opportunity and it was helped enormously by the fact that she and Dermot “clicked” right away. I try to stay on top of the costings and has a very straight way of telling Dermot what is possible – and what is not.
Isn’t the relationship between architect and quantity surveyor likely to be difficult on occasion?
Patricia: “I have no difficulty saying ‘That won’t work. We can’t afford it. You’ll have to find another way’. I’m so used to saying it that it just isn’t a problem. And Dermot has been very good to recognise that reality. He has found the solutions.”
What can be done to encourage more women to come into the wider building industry?
Patricia: Promotion and marketing is the key, using the current women within the industry to promote and encourage others to get involved, and thus encouraging those within it to stay and advance. I do a lot of work with the SCSI to assist in this manner, the feedback from women and young girls is incredible, along with the Room to Improve Show, this is slowly informing the public of what a QS does. This is also a job for women, getting the message across and opening up what might have been a closed male dominated industry.
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