Get to know – Dave Allen (Building Control Director)


Tell us about your work experience, have you always been in Building Control, if not how did you get into it?

“I started my career in building control in 1985 after dropping out of a Planning Degree in Birmingham. After 17 years in local government building control, I have spent 22 years with approved inspectors and ended up running Butler and Young, Stroma and Bureau Veritas. I joined Cook Brown in July 2020 and it was great to be working with likeminded people that I already knew and respected in the industry.


What is your main area of strength?

“I`m keen to listen and enable people to take their own direction and learn from their own experiences. For me obtaining the knowledge and understanding both technically and managerially is a strength based on the up and downs of the consequences of decision making.”


What is your favourite project that you’ve worked on?

“I admit to being a bit of a nerd and really enjoy working on QMS systems and the introduction of major infrastructure such as Deltek or new processes.

When it comes to construction projects, you can`t beat an unusual commercial building with trickly technical issues headed by a knowledgeable design team. I’m providing internal peer support on the conversion of a very large mill building to designer shops and offices in London`s Docklands and I`m in my element! “


What’s your view on the future of Building Control?

“Through my involvement with the ACAI, I met the HSE early on and helped push the principle of the registration of individual surveyors. I consider this a great way of increasing accountability and professionalism, but it may take a few years to work through everyone and become the norm.

The industry for many years failed to recruit young people and it’s great to come to work and see so many choosing building control in Cook Brown as their career. We have a bright future and our standing in the wider construction industry will only increase with the changes coming through the BSR.”


What do you enjoy most about your job and what do you find difficult?

“Every day is busy and never the same which is great but sometimes getting through your to-do-list can be a struggle. I really enjoy helping staff and clients with problem solving. The job is undoubtedly more difficult with so many questions thrown at us by builders and architects but perhaps that’s due to me getting on a bit and being grumpy!”


You’ve got a lot of experience in this industry working for Approved Inspectors, what makes Cook Brown different?

“Cook Brown is a vibrant and positive place to work where everyone works hard to support each other, serve our customers and help make buildings safe and efficient. We all know each other and it feels like a family and we really care about each other. We are clear about what we want to achieve and agile enough to make changes quickly where needed. Being part of Hickton Group is also a breath of fresh air as the group team bring some great ideas especially around staff engagement and benefits.”


What do you do to relax outside of work? (hobbies, interests, holidays, events)

“I`ve just become a grandad for the first time so am really enjoying time with the family and our cocker spaniel Bertie. In my spare time I like to play European board games, read sci-fi books and paint model soldiers. I also love 1970`s music – especially rock.”