April Fool’s Day 2014 marked the first step in the creation of SPORTENG. After working at Arup for many years, Gray (6 years) and Jarrod (9 years) decided to set-up their own boutique engineering consultancy, focusing solely on Field of Play design.
Jarrod Hill, founding Director and CEO, talks us through the birth of SPORTENG, and its founding philosophy
An opportunity to seize within the civil engineering industry
For years we’d observed firsthand the huge variation in document quality that existed and the problems it caused. There were a lack of design drawings, a lack of clear specifications, and poor document control that gave contractors little guidance or direction.
This led to witness poor quality outcomes with projects often running over-time and over-budget. We saw design drawings produced in Microsoft Paint. We saw one-page long specifications with no quality standards or controls. We saw non-engineers designing drainage systems and pavements. With no surprise, we then saw the post-production problems this caused: usually poor drainage, poor quality control, clients unsatisfied as they felt they did not receive what they wanted, and a Contractor arguing that the scope/brief was not clear.
SPORTENG: measure twice, cut once
We wanted to bring the thinking, approach, processes, and quality we learned at a large international engineering firm into the Field of Play world. We were convinced that by doing so, many of the issues we’d observed could be eradicated. Fundamental to our success has been our company mantra; measure twice, cut once. Coupled with our high-quality documentation and engineering-led design, this has been fundamental to our success and we’re convinced it was the right step to make.
We don’t always win projects, but we stand by our quality-first approach and we refuse to cut corners in an attempt to win a tender. We like to think we’ve helped drive a ‘new-normal’ in the industry. We are seeing fewer poor quality ‘design-packages’ issued for jobs.
More importantly, clients are seeing the benefit of spending a bit more on the design fees to obtain a high-quality outcome.
Ultimately, our passion is to deliver engineering-led design solutions for Field of Play facilities that meet the needs of stakeholders and users, and we feel grateful that we get to do this every day.
SPORTENG is also a SEA (Sports Environment Alliance) partner and a SAPIA (Sports & Play Industry Association) member. We also support parks, sports and leisure activities across Australia through memberships with associations such as PLA (Parks & Leisure Australia), STA (Sports Turf Association) and IAKS (International Association for Sports and Leisure Facilities).
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