Meet the team - Gavin
Some of you may have heard a new voice on the phone in the last few months. Well, we’d like to introduce you to one of Elmhurst’s newest team members, Gavin Sommerville! Gavin’s been working on the NDEA support team for nearly five months now, and, as we do all our team members, we sent him on our NDEA Level 3 & 4 course.
How did you find it?
I found it really interesting. At times there was a lot of information to take in but I would just go over my notes at home or ask the trainer if I was unsure.
Who was the trainer?
Andy Knapp. Andy’s great actually. He was clear at explaining the content, worked at a manageable pace and always made time for questions relating to the NDEA industry.
He’d often stay behind after the session was over if we had any questions we didn’t want to ask in front of the class.
What were the sessions like?
In some ways it was like being back at school, sat in a classroom. But we’d do different activities which kept it interesting. So there would be times when you’d be taking notes in the classroom, and then you’d do some computer-based exercises, and then you’d go around the building for some practical work so you could put into practise what you’d learnt.
Oh and the food was amazing - especially the sausage rolls and fresh twists.
Any advice for those thinking about becoming a NDEA?
I think having a DEA or OCDEA qualification will give a good grounding for an assessor who is interested in the non-domestic sector. Although the content and methodology is different, experience in looking at the performance of buildings will always be beneficial, no matter the sector.
No background knowledge is required to be an NDEA, just a willingness to learn and work hard
Where are you from?
I’m from York, but I don’t think I have that much of an accent (he does). And tea always has to be Yorkshire Tea!
Where did you study?
I completed my undergraduate degree at Northumbria University, where I studied Applied Chemistry. Then I did my Masters in Sustainable Chemical Engineering at Newcastle University.
And now you’re at Elmhurst!
Yes! The people here are really nice, which has been great. It’s a really relaxed environment and it’s quite a nice first job.
What's it like working on Support?
Working on Support is an interesting role. Each day there are new challenges that energy assessors are facing and being the first line of support for assessors really helps develop an understanding of the non-domestic sector and how to face these issues.
What's the weirdest scenario you've dealt with?
As support, we get to offer advice on a wide range of weird and interesting buildings, including abandoned hospitals and escape rooms. Often assessors will provide us with pictures of the weirder buildings which can give us a good laugh!