IAN Smith is director of building surveying at WR Dunn & Co, a multidisciplinary practice of architects, building surveyors and historic building experts based in York.

He is a chartered building surveyor, with more than 25 years experience in the design, construction and maintenance of buildings.

After working under the helm of WR Dunn’s founder, Richard Dunn, for more than 20 years, Ian and business partner Martin Smith, director of architecture, took ownership of the award-winning practice in November 2016.

Based in Acomb, the practice has worked with a variety of clients across the UK, covering a wide range of sectors, including heritage, commercial, residential, healthcare, educational and public institutions.

What job would you like to have other than your own and why?

I would have definitely been a sports journalist. I am an avid sports fan, and enjoy such a variety of sports available to watch. I also love writing, so combining the two sounds like a dream job.

Greatest achievement?

Professionally, it has to be helping to maintain, repair and restore a number of important and historic buildings, such as Harewood House and Bishopthorpe Palace, so that they are fit for the future. It’s a fantastic feeling to see these beautiful and monumental buildings brought back to life again, through the help of our conservation work. And personally, being fortunate enough to see my two beautiful daughters grow up to become caring, funny and wonderful young women.

What makes you most angry?

Rudeness, bad manners, poor football referees - not always in that order.

Biggest mistake?

There have been a few in my time, but mistakes happen to us all and the most important thing is to be honest and to learn from them. My advice to to family and colleagues is to always try not to make the same mistake twice and if you can, stop someone else making the same mistake.

Why do you make a difference?

As a team we make a huge difference to the condition of our client’s projects and properties.Our experience working across a range of industry sectors has a made a significant difference in the maintenance and condition of many buildings standing today. It’s our knowledge and skillset that that has helped us gain such a strong and wide-ranging client portfolio, from Government departments, commercial organisations, charitable and social organisations, education providers and historic estates up to £25 million in value.

What do you need to make life complete?

A happy and healthy family, and a thriving business with contented staff, and if there’s room for one wish it would be for Liverpool to win the League title sooner rather than later.


I would like to say something witty, but I think really “loving husband and dad” would do just nicely.