Mazhar is a Director for our EK Bristol team.
He is passionate about reading the instructions cover to cover and will also check out the dirt in your garden, as we found out during the interview…
Q Mazhar, what made you decide to become a Building Surveyor?
I was very technically minded from a young age – still am. I loved watching things be built and I am still that guy that reads all the parts of flat pack instructions. I once watched an extended time lapse of the Petronas towers in Kuala Lumpur being constructed. Having a more than passing interest in how to build things, I have learnt various trades skills over the years from plumbing, fitting kitchens, dry-lining houses, roof repairs and I even a lot of work that involves digging up tons of soil – all part of me wanting to understand how things got put together. Plus the scenery changes and I don’t always have to wear a suit. Taking what I know, I have helped charity workers advising on building repairs in third world countries and that has been an interesting angle learning about non-traditional materials. Mud is the mastic of the third world. More ecologically friendlier too.
Q. What is the most unexpected discovery you’ve made on a site visit?
A lessee had excavated an entire lower floor under the ground floor of her apartment block and had claimed it as part of her property. The work was carried out surreptitiously, without a licence to alter or any permissions in fact. I was immediately concerned with the five floors above and their potential collapse! On behalf of the landlord, we had the works halted, and organised major structural supports. To this day, I remain amazed that they managed to keep these excavation works a secret from the other residents.
Q. What has been your proudest surveying job or project to date?
The cliché that it was my last one – but perhaps not this time. A private apartment refurbishment started by the owner was left unfinished when the contractor walked off site leaving the leaseholder out of pocket and an unsafe, uninhabitable property. She was in tears when describing her home, which had sat in its state for over a year as the other leaseholders were threatening legal action over the mess whilst she was living elsewhere. Over the course of the next 9 months I worked with the client to unravel the mess, specify and project manage the works to reach a point where she got her home back and could move in. Doing something where my knowledge and experience makes someone’s life better goes beyond the working hours of a job.
Q. What is your favourite building in the world?
Burj Khalifa. Dubai. Now it may seem an easy choice given it’s the tallest building in the world, but it’s immensely complicated. Take for example, how much the top of the building bends at the top due to heat and wind and how do you get something as basic as water to the 154th floor office? The technology behind the high speed lifts and fire breaks in the building are all very fascinating stuff.
Q. Describe EK in 5 words!
Knowledgeable, Diverse, Pragmatic, Affable, Enjoyable
To get in touch with Mazhar, send him an email or call the Bristol office on 07590 881621.
T: 020 3667 1510
T: 0161 706 0676
T: 01273 974 416
T: 07764 788405
T: 07590 881 621
EK Cotswolds Office
T: 01666 331614