Adam Howe

Site Manager

I guess it all began for me at TAFE. There was a sign at the front of the class which read: “Pride of workmanship means do it once, do it well, build a better Australia.” It seems a bit old-world, but it really made sense to me and it still does.

I went through my training in the days when you had to learn about every single aspect of building—from cabinet-making, to electrical, to air conditioning. I remember the guy who was teaching us to become good managers. He convinced us that our prime task was to get great work done by other people. So on top of having all the skills and knowledge, we had to be well-organised in managing people. It’s why I get to work around six am when it’s quiet and I can set things up for the day. To me, that’s what it means to be a good site manager—someone who can get the best work out of their team.

Since I joined Bellevarde, I’ve built many major houses. Most of them have won prestigious architectural and/or building awards.

When I first started, I found myself working with Steve O’Ryan, Bellevarde’s country manager. It turned out it was Steve and John Fielding who together established Bellevarde’s passion for building things as well as they can be done. So I learnt heaps and loved the work and the work ethic.

It’s not about money—I know people who earn loads just building fences—but where’s the fun in that? My life is about always seeking to do things right. Because that is where the long-term personal satisfaction comes from.

The best part for me has been working with great owners and architects. They have given me the opportunity to work on stunning houses. Along the way, we have assembled a terrific team of tradespeople. As the man said, the task is to get them to do their best work—with a smile. That’s what makes it rewarding for everyone on the team and at the end of the day that’s the stuff that makes you smile as you are driving home.

The Bellevarde Management Team just keeps giving me more and more responsibility on some of the best architect-designed houses in Australia—good, challenging, thoughtful houses. What is there to not like about that?