Kai Barlow: My life as a Building Services Apprentice

We caught up with Kai Barlow who gave us his insight into what he gets up to as a second year, level 6 Building Services Apprentice in our Nottingham team.

I kick off my day off by cycling to the train station. Around 15 minutes from my home, it’s a combination of uphill and downhill riding, so it definitely gets the heart pumping! I love being able to travel whilst exercising as it’s such an efficient use of time. I also find it allows me to enter the office with a fresh mind.

I use my train journey to plan my day ahead, before cycling the rest of the way into the office from the train station. Once I arrive, I check my emails and get all my modelling software loaded up, including AutoCAD, Revit and Bluebeam.

Next up is one of our regular team meetings which will give me an overview of what the workload is going to look like for the week ahead. It’s also an opportunity to identify where my knowledge, skills and contributions can help assist the team.

Once I’m back at my desk, I set up a MEP 3D model in Revit for a new project, Mansfield Community Hospital, which involves setting up the templates, views, and sheets for senior engineers to work on. It’s an interesting project as it requires special equipment to help with the diagnostic of the patients.

Next, I upload a variety of drawings onto 4projects so others on the project team can view and comment on them and note the level of progression in the construction process. After I’ve finished this, it’s time to head into the town centre with my colleagues to grab some lunch.

Once I’m back in the office, I join a CPD session with a manufacturer discussing FCU design and selection with consideration to energy efficiency. This details how to balance thermal and acoustic performance, proof of laboratory experiments regarding thermal and noise testing and discusses how to save energy by reducing the latent cooling relating to the British Standards.

For the rest of the afternoon, I work on our St Lawrence School Horncastle project, producing a 2D lighting drawing for a senior electrical engineer by drawing services into the 3D Revit model, ensuring that they are coordinated correctly. I thoroughly enjoy inputting lighting fittings into the model from markup as I know I am furthering the construction process and developing my skills.

Before heading home, I fill in my 20% off the job training log, which forms part of the Apprenticeship course with Coventry University. This helps me keep track of how I’m progressing, and also highlights any areas I need to work on, giving me a head start to becoming a well-rounded engineer.

Time for the journey home!

Kai Barlow: My life as a Building Services Apprentice

Kai Barlow Waterman Apprentice
Kai Barlow: My life as a Building Services Apprentice