From a simple start in a spare bedroom in Hertfordshire, David has taken the Scheme concept forward over the last twelve years to become a central feature of the British construction industry. In doing so, the Scheme has transformed the image of the industry and attracted international interest in its astonishing success.
The Scheme was originally started in 1997 and run by the Chartered Institute of Building before David took over the management of it in 1998. At the time the Scheme had monitored approximately 500 construction sites in two years and was registering around 20 new sites a month. David was given free reign to grow the Scheme and subsequently formed a Board of Directors to diversify the ideas and inputs into managing the organisation. He took the role of Chairman until 2005, followed by Chief Executive until 2008.
From monitoring 300 sites in the whole of 1998, the Scheme subsequently enjoyed an impressive 30% year-on-year growth, with over 7000 sites being monitored in 2008 alone. To cope with this success, the number of monitors visiting sites grew from 2 to over 100 and the office team grew from 1 to over 20. Considerate Constructors Scheme posters and banners are now a common sight throughout Britain with a 2008 survey showing that more than 12% of the UK population - nearly 8 million people - are aware of the Scheme.
David’s continuing emphasis on increasing the standards against which sites are monitored has challenged the construction industry to innovate, and has meant that the Scheme has become the de-facto measure of best practice on most building sites. As a result, many clients including local authorities and government bodies now insist on registration with the Scheme by their constructors, and the Scheme has been consistently endorsed by governments. The Rt Hon. Mark Prisk, Conservative minister for Business and Enterprise in the new coalition government, said:
“The Considerate Constructors Scheme is a great example of a major industry taking voluntary action to drive good practice. The standards set by the Scheme for neighbourliness, cleanliness and environmental care, and their adoption by construction businesses, all contribute to a positive image of the industry at a community level.
I commend the Considerate Constructors Scheme and their work to encourage and recognise those businesses that are ‘best in class’”.
In recent years David Hardy has been instrumental in developing the new ‘Company Registration’ initiative which gives smaller construction companies, specialist builders and tradesman the opportunity to receive advice and be monitored against the same ‘Code of Considerate Practice’ as large building sites have observed for many years. The aim is to increase the effectiveness of the Scheme within all sectors of the industry and with every size of company.
Testament to the success of the Scheme has been the international interest in setting up similar organizations in other countries. To date David has met with delegates from the Netherlands, Australia, the USA, Switzerland and Italy, all who have seen the Scheme as something from which their own country’s industries could benefit.
Today the Scheme registers some 10,000 sites a year and employs over 25 staff in its offices in Ware, Hertfordshire. It is now run by David’s son Edward with David’s other son Matthew also involved in the business.
About David Hardy
David’s work as the driving force behind the Considerate Constructors Scheme caps more than 50 years service as a professional in the UK construction industry. A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building, he is also an Associate of the British Institute of Management and member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. He was also Chairman of the National Federation of Builders London Associations from 1997-1998.
David began his career in the construction industry as an indentured student surveyor and estimator aged sixteen and shows no signs of stopping despite reaching his seventy-second year. His 56 years in the industry have included major surveying projects in Nigeria. A qualified estimator, his career developed to become a main board Director of North London construction company, CP Roberts Ltd, followed by a further 13 years as Managing Director of Firmco Ltd, a construction company based in East London. He enjoyed a short-lived retirement in 1997/8 before taking over the Considerate Constructors Scheme.
David is an active participant in fund-raising for his local church and charities. He is also busy in his local community, chairing a village society that deals with local environmental, conservation and historical issues. He is the former Chair of his local Parish Hall, an active member of Rotary International (Amwell) and has previously been a parish councillor and school governor as well as forming a local social share dealing group.