Insider view: Craig Veldon, architectural manager with Springfield Properties

Job title I am central architectural manager for Springfield Properties, a development company currently building homes in locations including Ardersier, Dundee, Elgin, Gartcosh, Nairn and Perth.

Central Architectural Manager, Craig Veldon
Central Architectural Manager, Craig Veldon

How did you get started? My family background is in joinery, and I’ve always had a strong interest in construction.

I actually studied mechanical and production engineering at college, and moved into building and architecture later in my career.

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What is your favourite type of property? For me, it’s a property that will be used to enhance someone’s life, and creating a family home has the potential to do that.

Especially at Springfield, as we build private and affordable homes for people across the country and have recently branched into the private rental sector too.

There are a number of homes that I really like in the Springfield portfolio, but the five-bedroom detached Elgin house type really stands out to me.

It has a gallery landing which always has that “wow” factor and, given the screen wall of Velux windows on the upper floor, the home has a real sense of outside-in living.

What is your typical day like? I’m on hand to support and assist construction site staff with day-to-day questions and work to adapt the housing range for future developments.

Something we’re particularly proud of at Springfield is the range of talent of our in-house architects.

This allows us to continually improve our homes – not just in terms of layout and design, but the way we build them, the materialswe use and in terms of energy efficiency too.

What are the factors which affect the success of the industry? The route to net-zero will influence the direction of the housebuilding industry in the years to come.

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Springfield has a head start, delivering homes that already exceed current building standards and with early experience with heat pump technology as an alternative to fossil-fuel heating.

We’re regularly identifying new ways to build our homes better for the customer and the environment as part of our wider sustainability strategy towards net-zero.

Where do you live? My wife and I live in a home in North Lanarkshire that I designed and built – she was most certainly the client though!

It took 13 weeks and we moved in 20 years ago this month. We’re still as happy with it now as when we moved in.

Does your job affect your social life? I’m a firm believer that you’ve got to enjoy what you do.

In many aspects my job doesn’t affect my social life, but looking at buildings and standout architecture is ingrained in me as I’m passionate about it, so I’m often pointing out different features to my wife.

What advice would you give someone wanting to work in the industry? Find a topic you’re interested in, that you can put your skills to best use. We spend a lot of our lives at work so it’s important we enjoy what we do.

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I’ve always rated apprenticeships, and this is something that Springfield invest heavily in. The split of on-the-job training paired with classroom learning is invaluable. It gives apprentices the opportunity to learn from experienced staff as well as a wider appreciation of the industry.

At Springfield we want to support young people and future-proof the industry, and about 20 per cent of our staff are in apprenticeships or further education.

What do you do in your spare time? My wife and I love exploring in our camper van and are keen Scuba-divers. We take the opportunity to dive as much as we can.

Loch Fyne is probably my favourite diving spot in Scotland as it’s the largest loch in the country. Diving in the Red Sea was a highlight too. There’s such a wide variety of marine life and colour.

How is business in 2021? Very busy! Demand for housing is incredibly high, especially for larger homes in semi-rural locations with gardens like the ones that Springfield offer.

What innovations in the industry do you see making the biggest difference in the future? With a global focus on sustainability, companies and individuals need to do their bit to help mitigate the impact of climate change and we are using various innovations to achieve this.

A few years back, I purchased my first electric car. I experienced such difficulties getting the electric charging point installed at my home and wanted to make this easier for Springfield customers who may want to make the switch to electric in the future.

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As of February 2019, Springfield homes with driveways are built with cabling for an electric car which makes the installation far less intrusive and complicated.

Now Springfield has its first fully electric van in its fleet and has introduced a new company car initiative that offers staff a zero-emissions vehicle.

There are charging points in the Larbert and Elgin offices, at the off-site kit factory, and they will soon be installed on our construction sites too.

We’re also working to identify greener ways to heat homes with less energy.

In the last financial year alone, Springfield handed over 538 homes that are heated using air source heat pumps, which are better for the environment and make the home cheaper to run for customers.

Born and raised In Airdrie, North Lanarkshire.

Education Attended College of Building and Printing in Glasgow.

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Family I’ve been married to my wife for 29 years.

CV I’ve worked at Springfield for eight years now, starting as a senior architectural technician and moving up to architectural manager. It’s a great company to work for, that takes pride in developing its staff, building quality homes across a range of tenures, and making the right choices for both the customer and the environment.

First home I bought my first home. It was a 1920’s two-bedroom semi-detached and so expensive to heat!

Plans for retirement I’m stillenjoying working, but I’d imagine my retirement will include lots more trips in our camper.

Personal motto Live life and enjoy yourself.