The new director for Ramboll’s global buildings division is an accomplished international leader with over 30 years of experience in the consulting engineering industry. Richard Beard will take the reins of the unit, where his focus will be to create growth and accelerate the international strategy for Ramboll's buildings services, in close cooperation with colleagues across Ramboll’s geographical markets. The division is responsible for projects such as Denmark's tallest residential building, Lighthouse at the port of Aarhus, for the Auckland airport in New Zealand, and the Karolinska University hospital, Sweden’s largest.
Richard Beard is a British national and has been recruited internally in Ramboll, where he is CEO of Ramboll's Middle East and Asia Pacific business, a role that he will continue to hold as he assumes leadership of Ramboll’s largest business area.
“It is an incredibly exciting time right now for our buildings business, following our recent internationalisation with increased global collaboration across the company. I am really looking forward to working further with our international focus in this business area and particularly within smart and sustainable buildings, together with colleagues whom I already know as very competent, creative and dynamic”, says Richard Beard.
In his new role, he will continue the development of Ramboll's Buildings, from what once was primarily a geographically oriented business based on local relationships, to becoming a market-oriented business with an international mindset, where global cross-border collaboration across the Group is paramount.
“Our clients today expect us to be able to provide the best team regardless of where they come from. We no longer operate with a traditional geographical focus, where the Danes solve Danish projects, the Swedes the Swedish, etc., but now we reach beyond individual countries when we form project teams. Being a global consultancy, this provides great opportunities and advantages on the international scene, when we can draw upon competencies throughout the world,” says Richard Beard.
In the journey towards internationalisation, Ramboll has identified three strategically selected services in the buildings market to drive growth and strengthen specialisation: high-rises, hospitals and aviation, all areas where Ramboll has second-to-none expertise throughout the company, regardless of the geographical location for the project.
Sustainability is also an important focus for Richard Beard, and the Group's goal is to more than double its revenue related to sustainable buildings from 2016 to 2020.
“Almost 40 percent of all CO2 emissions worldwide stem directly or indirectly from buildings. We can and must do something about this for the sake of society. Our attention is strongly directed at sustainable buildings in the future – both in terms of reducing carbon emissions and thus the negative environmental impact of buildings as much as possible, from construction to operation to demolition. Furthermore we know that the design of a building has a strong impact on the well-being of its occupants.” says Richard Beard.
Digitalisation is a major opportunity when it comes to building sustainable buildings. For example, Ramboll has developed a digital tool, Green BIM (Building Information Modeling), a tool used to enhance our clients’ ability to choose the right sustainability solutions early on through virtual models, to test materials and their influence on climate throughout the building’s lifetime as well as to document the advantages with the various decisions.
On the material side too, a lot is happening. Last year in London, the world's largest wooden building was completed with Ramboll as the project's consulting engineer. By using cross-laminated timber instead of traditional materials such as concrete, approximately 50 percent less embodied carbon was produced during manufacturing of the elements and the construction of the building. And unlike other building materials, the wood construction in Dalston Works also acts as a carbon storage with over 2,600 tonnes of CO2 locked into the material, according to Ramboll's calculations.
Richard Beard is an engineering graduate of Swansea University in Wales, and privately, is married to Nichola, with whom he lives in Dubai. As an international family, their children are studying at universities in UK and Copenhagen. He takes over the position after Jesper Dalsgaard, who became Managing Director of Ramboll's global Environment & Health business earlier this year.