Turgay Turan enjoys major construction projects. The engineer first was a project leader at metal & facade construction companies, now he's a head of project constructions at Akotherm. We spoke with him about switching from fabricator to system partner.
metallbau: Suppliers, whether profile manufacturers or even software developers, are always posting jobs for a master metalworker or technician. Under what circumstances is switching from executing company to supplier an interesting option?
Turgay Turan: Switching jobs is an interesting option when it comes to professional advancement. At an executing company of course you have the opportunity to come into direct contact with different crafts on site and the building itself. However, if there is a specific interest in materials, systems, etc., becoming a system supplier could be of great interest. So specialising in a specific field is quite possible.
metallbau: Which areas of work did you become familiar with in executing metal construction, and which tasks were beneficial for your job at Akotherm?
Turan: In my previous job as project leader at larger metalworking companies my focus was typically on facades. As a visible design element, the outer shell of the building without a doubt is quite important from an architecture standpoint, which is what I’ve always been fascinated by. Being a project engineer at Akotherm then gave me the opportunity to develop facade systems and directly influence the design and applications. My work experience in metal construction of course is quite beneficial when advising customers on system technology before and during the projects. This results in a partnership on equal terms that all involved in the process can benefit from.
metallbau: How do you enjoy projects at Akotherm more than executing metal construction?
Turan: I simply find it exciting being involved in major construction projects. Sitting at a table with all involved during project discussions and implementing the ideas of the architect. Both from an execution and supplier perspective. The constant exchange with project leaders at executing companies keeps me in close contact with the actual metal construction trade. If find working at Akotherm exciting, since it’s very creative and top technical level. We need to develop special solutions for a wide range of requirements, taking into account construction physics and economic circumstances.
metallbau: Have the years of working for a supplier changed how you view the executing companies?
Turan: Based on experience we’re familiar with the concerns and problems of the executing companies. Which is one of the reasons why at Akotherm we live by the creed: “From the field for the field”. For me specifically this means my designs reconciling the interests of metalworkers, planners and us as a system house as best possible. As a supplier of profile systems we need the executing companies as a partner and they in turn receive our well thought out systems. I generally have a very positive view of metal construction.
metallbau: There practically is no BIM in facade construction in Germany. Even facade construction companies now say without pressure from lawmakers, the BIM method cannot be implemented across trades! What is your opinion?
Turan: Yes, that’s seems to be the impression. It does appear this will still take some work. Unfortunately there rarely are specific requirements related to BIM, which also showed in my past projects. In other trades, on the other hand, this seems to work better. A large portion of the work processes, including among facade builders, is already digitized. I think the current global pandemic we’ve all experienced is a good example that we need to make progress quickly. The current rules and standards in place, however, are not sufficient. But we’re excited to watch how things are developing and I’m confident things will be happening soon.
metallbau: If you look at the cooperation between system partner and metalworker then and now – what are your conclusions?
Turan: Our profile systems are continuously being improved, since today’s state of technology will be outdated again in a few years. The technical requirements for profile systems keep growing, yet processing should still be simple. Digitalisation is gaining ground and is helping metalworkers with more and more tasks. However, in general it’s still the same: good technical support and regular training are the key for a well oiled system partnership.
metallbau: Architectural consultants with system partners of profile manufacturers are increasingly serving as specialist planners who develop detailed plans for the systems for architects free of charge. Some in the industry off the record say architectural consultants are eliminating the profession of specialist planners – what do you think?
Turan: As architectural consultant at a system house, with every construction project you’re in competition. When it comes to construction projects of a certain size, simply suggesting a system or providing the metalworker with the respective cross sections is often not enough. Oftentimes, special profiles need to be developed. And this is where a solution needs to be developed with in addition to the design also meets the cost requirements of the projects. The more detailed the design, the easier it is to calculate. Due to this cost-effectiveness mentality there may be occasions where you get too detailed. But that doesn’t mean the specialist planner is being replaced. The duties are different. The specialist planner, for example a facade consultant, views a project as a whole, sets guidelines and makes decisions.