LEADING architecture practice GT3 Architects has seen its focus on team development recognised with a prestigious national award.
The firm – which has studios in Nottingham and Newcastle – has received the ‘People Development’ award at Constructing Excellence’s national ceremony, beating nominees from across the UK.
The award recognises organisations that value their workforce and ensure they maximise their team’s contribution to the business, something which GT3 Architects has nurtured through its ‘People Architecture’ approach.
Alongside a new operations and flexible working policy introduced to mitigate the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, the practice appointed a designated ‘people champion’ to lead its focus on personal and professional development.
Liz Clarke, associate director and ‘people champion’ at GT3 Architects, said: “For a practice with a fundamental goal to place people – not buildings – at the heart of our projects, processes and practice-life, Covid-19 offered us an unparalleled opportunity to prove ‘People Architecture’ to be more than just a strapline.”
The success of this approach was borne out in a staff survey, which showed that 97% of its staff base believed they are supported by their colleagues and team leaders, with 89% feeling that their work during lockdown directly contributed to practice success.
Liz added: “We believe that our success stems from our commitment to placing people’s wellbeing at the heart of every business decision, and our quick and sensitive reactions to feedback and changing circumstances.
“Throughout all the lockdowns, Simon, Mark, and our leadership team continued to prioritise a collaborative and transparent environment, communicating not just within our own practice, but proactively seeking peer reviews and external mentorship opportunities with our contemporaries.”
Alongside staff-centric changes made during the pandemic, the workplace consultancy team at GT3 offered consultation sessions to local businesses struggling to adapt to a Covid-19 working environment, and the practice also launched its first Virtual Work Experience offering for students aged 14 – 18, subsequently supported by both the RIBA and Speakers for Schools.
The award period also saw the firm secure new projects and R&D work – including the UK’s first wet and dry Passivhaus leisure facility in Staines-upon-Thames, Surrey – and grow its staff base by 10%.
Simon Dunstan, director at GT3 Architects, said: “In a year when countless milestones, projects, and career choices were put on-hold, we made a conscious effort to continually put our people first, as well as contribute to the wider industry and support our local communities.
“We are a rapidly growing practice, and we recognise that there is still plenty of work to do. We are exceptionally proud of our team, and will continue to align practice strategy and – hopefully – our continued successes with the individual development and wellbeing of our people. This award win is a real testament to our approach and we’re delighted to have been awarded to top spot.”
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