17/02/2022 • What we believe
Trust Talks: Ketan talks tech
We’re all-in on London, all-in on happy residents, and all-in on repeat partnerships built on trust. That means trust comes up in a lot of conversations (and a lot of job descriptions) around these parts. Planner Ketan Kerai is a 4D planning tech wizard, sure, but it’s the ‘wizard’ bit that’s important – there’s some real magic in how his work lets partners and residents explore a development even long before the first brick is laid…
Hi Ketan, can you tell us about your role at Mount Anvil?
Of course! So my job, as a Visual Planner, is bringing construction projects to life through virtual environments, models and simulations.
That sounds complicated, and on the technical side it can be – but really it’s a tool that can help us show options to residents in a jargon-free way, get feedback and input from stakeholders, plan how we minimise disruption throughout a build and much more.
The phrase ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’ really rings true with my work!
Why is building trust at the heart of your role?
Communicating our ideas clearly is where building trust starts for me, so my work puts me in a really influential position.
What’s been happening at The Verdean in Acton is a great example. From consultations with the local community to residents’ meetings, from day one we promised to be open, to listen to feedback, and to keep showing and sharing our progress throughout the project.
We’ve kept that promise, and my work has been a great tool for doing it. As a result we have great relationships with residents in Acton, and a development that’s stronger because of their input.
Ultimately trust is something you can’t buy; you have to build it. I think we’re very good at doing that.
Why is this important for our partner or their residents?
Visualisations are a really powerful way to provide clarity, certainty and confidence for partners and their residents in a time that we know can feel uncertain.
It wouldn’t be reasonable to expect everyone to be happy ‘reading’ a technical drawing, or to get all of the information they want from a spec sheet. These digital experiences are about removing barriers – one resident told me the visualisations feel like the difference between looking at a proposal and diving into it.
There have been many times when I’ve been able to sit down with our partners or a resident and help them to explore a scheme in an immersive, sensory way. It’s a much more human way to communicate ideas than plans and proposals on paper, and that makes it a really important tool for building trust.
And finally, what’s next?
We’re always looking for better ways to tell our story, more innovative ways of bringing people into our work. It’s something we know we’re already good at… but we could always be better, so our team is always learning.
We spend a lot of time looking at how other industries adopt new physical and virtual technologies to enhance how they talk to their audiences, from really out-there creative concepts in the film and gaming industries to very practical ones in manufacturing and logistics. Then we take that learning and that tech and look at how we could apply it to our work. Watch this space on that!
Bringing everyone involved along on the journey is the right thing to do, so we will keep seeking out even better ways to do it. That will help strengthen our relationships with residents, cement that trust, and lead to even more successful projects.