18th May 2022 | Blog Posts
In the 30 years since John Perkins Construction was established, there have been many defining moments along the way. Managing Director Rupert Perkins looks back on five key moments from his career at JPC.
1. A new look, and a turning point
When we unveiled our new logo in 2005, establishing the distinctive red JP square, it felt like a turning point.
We’d been slightly pigeonholed at that point, as a small-scale refurbishment company focusing mainly on church buildings. However, as we’d begun to take on bigger and more diverse projects, our clients had begun to see us differently.
Working for prestigious clients like ss Great Britain, John Lewis, At-Bristol, and on complex projects like stabilising walls on a cliff face in Clifton Wood, we’d proven we were ready to push out into a wider marketplace.
It was more than just a new logo; it was a new identity – one we’re proud to have grown into over the 17 intervening years.
2. First national award win
In 2012, we were surprised and delighted to win the New Build of the Year at the NFB (National Federation of Builders) Awards, for The Hollies, a £2.4m significant residential new build on the outskirts of Bristol.
It was our first big national award, on a project where we’d felt valued and listened to, creating fantastic outcomes for everyone involved.
It was the type of project that helped form the blueprint for our present drive for collaborative working.
Since then, we’ve been fortunate enough to be honoured as the Most Considerate Site (£1-5m category) and as Building Contractor of the Year: England (Turnover Under £15m), but it was that first national award win that confirmed we were good enough to be considered the best.
3. A long way up a chimney
I have a strong memory of standing at the top of the main chimney at Underfall Yard, working out how we were going to repair the cap on the top.
It was the first time I’d climbed to the very top, 30m straight up. I looked out across the city. The view up there makes you feel part of Bristol’s heritage; it reminds you how important these historical structures are for our city.
I felt similarly when JPC worked on refurbishment projects at the ss Great Britain, including Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s original design office. These are the types of projects that make you feel a visceral connection to your engineering forefathers.
4. Zero defects in the engineering faculty
The moment we completed the refurbishment of the Faculty of Engineering at Queen’s Building in Bristol came with a huge sense of accomplishment.
It was our first significantly-sized project for the University of Bristol, and we were thrilled to be able to deliver it on time, well within budget, and with an equivalent of zero defects.
It was a job that encapsulated how well our team can work, getting involved in the project early, and prioritising strong communication.
5. Trouble with roof trusses
I remember standing in the dining hall at Kingswood School – a beautiful, historical room, which was now on the verge of being declared unsafe. An issue with the roof trusses meant the school had an immediate duty of care to carry out repairs.
JPC was tasked with solving this difficult and complex problem, working on a historical building in a live boarding school environment.
At times, the problem seemed insurmountable, but it was a project where putting together the right team, with everyone working in collaboration, really made the difference.
In the last few years, collaborative working has become our mantra. Looking back, I realise that, although we didn’t always give it that name, we always succeeded when we worked collaboratively.
These are just a few of my highlights from my own 24 years of working at JPC. I’m sure there’ll be many more to come.