Posted on 12th January 2023

Best Bespoke Construction Management Company 2022 – UK

Men in suits standing and smiling for a photo

Barry O’Connor relocated to Britain, from South Africa, in 2004 with a compounded background in construction. In 2018, he founded Trusko, a specialist construction company delivering bespoke services within principal contracting, with the help of an extensive and reliable supply chain. In light of the firm’s success within the Sustainable Building Awards 2022, we got in touch with CEO, Barry, and COO, Graham Cunningham, to learn more about what their team can do for clients.

With his grandfather having owned a construction company, Barry O’Connor pretty much grew up on building sites, learning the ins and outs of construction, from project management to building to carpentry, and more. He went on to work for construction companies, gaining vast experience in site and project management.

In the four years since Trusko’s establishment, Barry, Graham and the team have proven their next-level skillset, experience, and ability to deliver bespoke solutions for clients. They work with countless prestigious brands and demanding individuals who expect no less than an outstanding outcome for their construction project. Thus, each and every element of a project is scrutinised to ensure only the very best quality of work. These high standards are relayed to the company’s subcontractors and suppliers through high quality control procedures and best construction practices.

The aim is to not only to deliver extraordinary results, but also to push the boundaries on current construction methods and processes to ultimately deliver a much more sustainable project lifecycle. The company takes the environment and the ways in which construction can impact it negatively very seriously. Barry tells us, “Construction is one of the biggest sectors impacting sustainability, receiving more pressure from the government and industry to adapt their operations as a response. Trusko is at the forefront of sustainability, and we actively challenge and drive our consultant teams to adopt this mindset as well.”

The construction industry has changed in response to the mounting pressure from the government to act in favour of the environment. For instance, modern methods of construction (MMC) are increasing in popularity across the industry. Trusko has taken this methodology and implemented it within its current projects by utilising local workforces, bulk buying materials and mass deliveries, and managing onsite with storage facilities. It also implements a “reuse, retain, and repair” system internally to ensure its workforce retain and reuse materials or build over instead of demolishing.

Furthermore, Trusko’s current Exeter project is a pilot of modular construction which will be rolled out in conjunction with the government to later form modular villages with a low carbon footprint. These will be made up of 45 new-build houses, designed to blend in with the character and nature of the existing historic villages, whilst being optimised for biodiversity. The vision for the project is to focus on beauty, nature, greenery, and safety, with all of the new houses benefiting from a pleasant cycle route, village green, orchard, wildflowers, permeable parking, and warm streetlights.

Another notable project which has been completed by Trusko is its three-storey extension on top of existing flats in Harrow, Greater London. Several new flats were created using a steel structure and light steel walling system. A new lift was also installed, along with internal access amended and the entire cladding system being replaced to conform with EWS1. The location of the project did present a series of challenges, including transport and delivery of steel within the confined spaces of London, as well as suitable welfare for the workforce. The building remained occupied by residents whilst works were taking place which meant disruption needed to be kept to a minimum.

If this wasn’t enough, Barry jokingly tells us, “We decided that project wasn’t challenging enough for us. We finished the project in Harrow and then delved straight into another distressed project with the same developer, a commercial to residential refurbishment comprising of 47 flats in Staines-Upon-Thames”.

The Trusko team will give this building a new lease for life, extending the building with a further two storeys and adding nine additional apartments with stunning views of the beautiful River Thames and surrounding area. Each apartment will be contemporarily and individually designed and styled with young professionals in mind to create new opportunities for first-time buyers. Once again, logistics is a challenge, along with residents occupying the building and pedestrians everywhere.

Overall, every Trusko project is interpreted from multiple areas and perspectives. Prior to taking on a project, the team considers if the end product and client would be suitable for the company and the way in which it manages and works. The company will then consider if the project will be contributing to the local economy and environment, and if the completed product would fit in with its outstanding reputation.

Trusko’s core ethos is that communication is key, which is why it manages its clients’ expectations from day one. Each client is kept up-to-date on every detail of their project throughout the construction process; the company does not set up its clients to fail, so much so that it delivers quality even at its own cost. Trusko’s quality management and control is compliant with internationally recognised standards, including ISO 9001:2015, so each item of work is scrutinised throughout the process to ensure only the best quality of work is seen on its contracts and final products. 

Graham Cunningham says, “We question everything. We are really, in every sense of the word, out-of-the-box thinkers and I think that’s one of the things that helps us to achieve what we do in the way we do; there is no ‘can’t be done’ or ‘no’ in our vocabulary. It’s just ‘what do we need to do?’ We will find the answer and I think that is possibly why we’ve managed to grow to where we are in such a short amount of time.”

Agreeing, Barry adds, “We just don’t give up. We keep pushing boundaries, we keep finding solutions. We keep driving and we remain positive. Some days, I think other companies would just walk away. However, our focus always remains on product quality and client satisfaction.

The team’s motivation and enthusiasm for their work contribute significantly to the success of Trusko. They enjoy what they do, they like to collaborate, and they enjoy being challenged. This healthy working atmosphere is to do with Barry and Graham’s dedication to looking after their people: ensuring they are trained and safe in the workplace, that they have the tools to get the job done to a high standard, that they have healthy work-life balances, and knowing each and every member of staff on a personal level.

Graham shares, “Should you decide to leave Trusko, you leave better than when you started and that might be in terms of a technical knowledge and maybe in terms of project management knowledge. It may be in terms of just general time management. That is my hope for everybody that comes to the company. We expect a lot of ourselves, we expect a lot of everybody who works for us.”

He continues, “I pride myself when I walk onsite. I know everybody’s name. That personal touch, it motivates people and I think that is really important in the construction culture. Building those relationships and understanding that we are essentially looking after our workforce as well as our clients, that’s where we really make a difference.”

The safety and well-being of Trusko’s workforce is of the utmost importance. Their management teams are dedicated to ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements, best practice, and company procedure, and supporting teams by monitoring and auditing all working environments. Site inductions and training are implemented, too, in order to minimise risk on all projects.

To reflect its complete dedication to quality management, health and safety, and the environment, Trusko goes one step further to obtain the most coveted accreditations in the construction industry. Not only are its systems and process all the more robust and efficient because of this, but it equally gives clients peace of mind when it comes to the team’s knowledge and ability to create exceptional outcomes.

Ultimately, Trusko has defied the odds, thriving within the construction industry despite how turbulent it has been in the last four years. The company has coped with Brexit and the pandemic, in addition to the Suez Canal obstruction, unprecedented inflation, and brewing recession. Barry comments, “We would like to congratulate every other construction company still trading and wish them the best of luck for the future.”

Barry says, “At Trusko, we believe there is nothing more satisfactory than building a home where our client will live forever, and we push boundaries with cost savings and quality to ensure our clients’ homes will stand the test of time.”

For business enquiries, contact Barry O’Connor, CEO / Graham Cunningham, COO from Trusko Limited via email – [email protected] or on their website – www.trusko.co.uk