Meet the Team – Katie Freeman Lea
Katie is one of our Sustainability Engineers and looks after all things sustainable at MBA!
We asked her a few questions to get to know the person behind the job title:
How did you get into engineering and describe your career path which led to your current position?
I’ve always had an interest in sustainability and corporate social responsibility. I started working in a Consulting Engineering practice after I left university as part of the Energy Team and undertook a Master’s degree in Energy and Sustainable Building Design whilst working full time. Since graduating I have picked up various accreditations along the way relating to sustainability.
How would you describe your current role and responsibilities?
The Energy and Sustainability Team typically work on the energy strategy and BREEAM Pre Assessments for planning applications right through to As Built certifications. We are able to advise clients upon the most suitable strategies for their developments in terms of achieving planning requirements and additional standards that the developers wish to achieve.
What do you enjoy about your role at MBA Consulting Engineers?
I enjoy investigating and advising clients on the best ways to achieve their sustainability goals for the projects, particularly when these go beyond a standard specification and there is flexibility to work with the design team to achieve them.
What challenges do you see facing your industry?
There is increasing aspiration in the industry to go above and beyond a typical design. However additional sustainable measures do require additional reports and detailed studies to be undertaken, particularly for developing in London. Timescales and costings for these additional measures therefore do need to be taken in to consideration early in the design so that they can be meaningfully undertaken and incorporated within the design from the start.
What area within the construction industry would you like to see develop further?
In addition to carbon and energy savings, the sector is currently starting to look into achieving additional standards such as WELL and Fitwel. I think this will continue to develop as life after the current pandemic starts back up again and people return to the workplace, with tenants of units wanting spaces which are able to sustainably contribute to the wellness of their staff as well as meeting standards which are sustainable in terms of carbon and energy reduction.
What’s your favourite Movie?
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?
Normally all the things not associated with lockdown! I have started baking over the last 6 months and jumped on the bandwagon to perfect the classic banana bread. I’ve also done a lot more walking and enjoying the surrounding countryside which we hadn’t explored beforehand.