Monika Wandzik, Stelling Properties Senior Design Manager

Meet the Team

Providing a full turnkey solution means Stelling Properties need to have expertise at every stage of a project, from Land Acquisition through to Service and Management, in the first of a series of interviews with key members of the team, we highlight Monika Wandzik, Senior Design Manager and discuss her role.

  1. What is your current role?

My role at Stelling is Senior Design Manager. I manage part of our in-house architectural team and external consultants through the initial stages of all projects, from land acquisition to planning approval, handing over to technical design.

2. What was the career path that led you to your current position?

I trained and practiced as an architect on residential and student housing projects before moving client side to a development company working on retirement living for several years. In 2018 I moved jobs to Stelling Properties.

3. What does a typical day look like?

A typical day is spent at our factory offices, my days are usually filled with meetings, making sure that information flows between unique design team members and that stakeholders are kept up to speed and consulted for decisions. Many days also involve the review of a potential development site, starting with a very brief review of potential capacity by applying our modular product in a simple layout.

4. What are the biggest challenges in your role?

A successful modular scheme requires a lot of design up front to ensure that the precision of the factory-made modules is replicated on site. This means frontloading the design process in a way that does not match common practice for large developments, which are typically delivered via a D&B route. For example, we would typically recommend a much higher level of design coordination prior to a planning submission to take full advantage of the program benefits of modular and it can be challenging to convince all involved parties of this approach.

5. What is something you [people in the industry] must deal with that you would like to change?

I would like us to move away from the adversarial relationship on the construction industry. Modular design relies on positive collaboration, where people point towards the same goal and are invested in the right outcome.

6. What is the best piece of advice you have been given?

Simplify and repeat. Modular design benefits both from being used on a high volume of identical units, but also from the incremental improvements that can be implemented from scheme to scheme. We have been able to improve elements of the structural design of our modules hugely through the learning that we have applied over the course of several projects, further homing in on the simplest and most cost-effective design without losing quality for the end user.

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