“I have to have a process and a structure”
Aaron Caffrey trained in civil engineering at the Dublin Institute of Technology and has been working for Ballymore since 2002. As construction project manager he is responsible for managing and reviewing the designs and technical information before a building goes up. He has cast a critical eye over plans for numerous Ballymore developments in Dublin and London, including Embassy Gardens and Wardian.
How did you come to work for Ballymore?
I grew up in County Kildare and we knew the Mulryan family, so I was familiar with the company. I was working on a small housing project for a friend of my father that Ballymore was building and the contracts manager offered me a job. I didn’t take it immediately, but when I came back after travelling in Australia I called him. It was a busy time for the construction industry, so I started as an assistant site manager.
What is the most important thing you’ve learnt?
It’s the experience and ability to juggle things. It’s something that you build stamina for, you build ability for and it takes years. If I had done the Wardian project 10 years ago, I would have just been too green. Now I am able to operate at the appropriate level for the complexity of that project.
What do you like most about your job?
I love engineering and I love building. It’s such a tangible thing and I can see the work that I do actually translate into something real outside.
What project are you most proud of?
Probably Embassy Gardens Phase One which I saw through from start to finish; I pretty much touched all the detail about that project and was so deeply involved in all aspects of it.
What stresses you?
I guess it’s the demands of the business. You work under a lot of pressure, and can be pulled from lots of sides. And if I make mistakes it costs money. You have to pay the price when you get it wrong and it’s so painful because you have literally, physically put something up there that’s wrong.
How do you cope?
I have to have process and structure because with all that I’m juggling it’s just too tortuous.
How do you relax?
I’m a climber. I love mountain climbing. It’s all about hardship and suffering, so I’m a kind of demon for self-torture.
What about the future?
All my ambitions are at detail level. There are things I think could be done better, in a detailed way, and in the way we do things across all the projects.