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RVA spotlight – meet Simi Pandey

Smriti Pandey, Finance Officer, RVA

Name and role:

Smriti Pandey, Finance Officer

How long have you been with RVA Group?

Two years this month!

Describe your career journey before that?

I began my career in a bookmakers, working there for a few years before deciding to venture into a completely new area to challenge myself. I completed my ACCA qualification and worked as an auditor for a reputable firm in Nepal for a couple of years, before returning to the UK and becoming an accountant. I’ve worked in healthcare, a van rental business and then the Visual Merchandising (VM) industry.  Then, I joined RVA.

What did you want to be, when you were younger?

When I was in school I wanted to be a doctor, then I changed my mind at college and thought about becoming an IT/software developer!

And what do you think is the key skill you need to be a successful Finance Officer?

You need to be able to adapt to the changing work environment – the latest example being Making Tax Digital (MTD). The world of finance is constantly changing so it’s important to keep up to date with the latest accounting and reporting standards.

What’s your biggest RVA achievement to date?

When I moved from a part-time role to a full-time position, I was able to bring all of RVA’s bookkeeping and financial management reporting in-house, in only a short time period. I felt especially proud of this as it gave us more structure and financial excellence, as a business.

And the most memorable thing you’ve learnt during your career?

Having worked in lots of different industries – albeit in finance – I’ve enjoyed learning about new businesses, challenges and opportunities. For example, in my previous job, I was able to understand the process of getting a product from the earliest conceptualisation and design stage through to manufacturing, and was able to visit factories to understand the production cycle. The same applied when I was in the healthcare sector and now in the decommissioning industry – I’ve found each role fascinating, and loved the chance to learn about what we do, and the impact our work has.

RVA Group is celebrating 30 years in business, with a truly global reputation for decommissioning excellence. Why do you think the company has earned such a stand-out position in industry?

I would like to think this is because the company has been able to develop and implement policies and procedures that enable all employees, working on different projects worldwide, to deliver the highest quality of service. There is also a shared knowledge within the company that every employee benefits from.

What makes you tick outside of work?

I am a big-time foodie and love travelling, reading books, and watching movies.

If you could be given a plane ticket for anywhere, where would you choose?

Malaysia.

Which one word would you hope colleagues would use to describe you?

Diligent.

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RVA spotlight – meet Anita Costin

Anita Costin, RVA Group

Name and role: Anita Costin, business administrator

How long have you been with RVA Group? Almost four years to the day!

Describe your career journey before that?                             

I started work as an insurance and mortgage administrator for a mortgage broker, before becoming a senior administrator for a financial recruitment company. I spent many years of my career in this industry, working for two large brands, before I was made redundant. I decided to move into a different sector – and joined RVA!

What did you want to be when you were younger?

An air hostess, however, as I grew up, I realised the job wasn’t as glamorous as it looked!

And what do you think is the key skill you need to be a successful business administrator?

Good communication skills and time management as the job can be very busy, demanding, and unpredictable at times. You need to be able to prioritise accordingly.

What is RVA’s biggest achievement to date? 

I’d say reaching thirty years in operation, and still growing – globally – three decades later. You could argue that forming RVA was a gamble in the beginning, as there was nothing quite like it in the decommissioning sector. However, fast forward to 2022, and I’d say our reputation shows just how important our service offering has been.

And the most memorable thing you’ve learnt during your career?

You have to adapt to who you are working with and know how to interact with people. Always listen.

Describe your dream project…

Unlike many of my colleagues, I’m not ‘on the ground’ when our projects unfold. I enjoy watching the enquiries come in at HQ though, and feel particularly proud when it’s an international requirement from a far-flung country. It would be easy to think – how have they heard of RVA Group? – but having completed more than 850 projects worldwide, we’ve certainly been on our travels as a business.

Why do you think the company has earned such a stand-out position in industry?

Because of our impeccable track record.

Of all the sectors RVA operates in, which is the most exciting right now?

I’m hearing a lot of talk about the decarbonisation agenda and the role this is playing in decommissioning decisions. So, I’d say any industry affected by or with its own decarbonisation priorities.

What’s the biggest piece of advice you could give to an organisation preparing for a decommissioning project?

Get your administration in order, naturally! 😊

What makes you tick outside of work?

Family and friends are the most important thing to me. We’re very close as a family and like to do things together, especially as we now have a grandson and want to make the most of spending time with him.

We lost my mum earlier this year quite suddenly, and my nephew last year, so I now never take time for granted. I did a skydive 2021 which was amazing, and we raised lots of money for charity.

If you could be given a plane ticket for anywhere, where would you choose?

Australia.

Which one word would you hope colleagues would use to describe you?

Approachable.

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The importance of scenario planning

RVA Group, planning

Recently, RVA’s MD Richard Vann spoke to Demolition & Recycling International about the importance of scenario planning in the demolition industry. If you missed the article, catch it in full, here…

We all know you can’t plan for every eventuality. Covid-19 reminded us of that. But does that mean you can’t be prepared for different outcomes? No.

While some would argue that planning to the Nth degree represents a wasteful use of resource, others feel safer and more equipped in the knowledge that they have the agility to react even when the unexpected happens.

So, what does this all mean in our industry?

When it comes to undertaking a demolition project, there is rarely only one possible route map – that’s why feasibility and option studies are such important instruments, for example. From the exploration of different asset divestment options and methodologies, to resource planning and EHS considerations, such tools help scope the work programme and its potential outcomes. The study is even more value-adding when accompanied by integrated and adjustable spreadsheets that aid both initial costing calculations and ongoing financial provisioning, even as external factors evolve. Because let’s face it, nothing stands still – particularly when it comes to economics.

In short, this facet of scenario planning – when undertaken by an experienced demolition professional – empowers the client to better make informed decisions. It provides the intel – ideally supported by evidenced recommendations – to help decide what to do next, when, how, and with whose help. And it arms even the biggest demolition novice, with the confidence to proceed. Knowledge is power after all.

But even when a comprehensive schedule of work is assembled, and a proficient project team is appointed – equipped with the skills to execute the methodologies agreed – a plan should always remain flexible. That’s because demolition projects, by their very nature, uncover unanticipated challenges all the time. And as the saying goes – you don’t know, what you don’t know. So how can you plan for everything? And why would you execute every planning exercise in utmost detail if you aren’t yet clear on exactly what the detail will be?

It’s different to building a structure. If you construct a house, for example, a quantity surveyor can work with a significant degree of accuracy to calculate the quantity and type of materials required and how long the project should take, based on the design provided. And even then, some surprise hurdles may arise along the way.

But when you are taking something apart, and that asset is the size of a power station, which has stood for more than 60 years, it’s a whole different story. Drawings are often incomplete – if not missing altogether – and the people who operated the plant may be long gone. In these circumstances, educated assumptions must therefore be made until surveys can be concluded and the structure is brought to a known state.

Yet planning must remain dynamic – for every stage that follows – because structures and scenarios can continue to change all the time. So, the planning only stops when the job is complete.

In this respect, mindset matters almost as much as the quality of the initial plan itself. You can never take your eye off the ball, as you don’t know what tomorrow will bring. And the ongoing progress and evolution of the plan should not – and cannot – remain the responsibility of a single party.

At RVA Group, we’ve long talked about the importance of a tripartite alliance between client, contractor, and someone like us, acting as the independent consultant. Because, for a start, nobody knows everything. A contractor may be able to prove the capabilities of a new machine that could help complete the project quicker and safer, for instance. Or there may be advanced waste management experience that would strengthen the environmental credentials of a methodology. Whether new ideas are harnessed at the outset, or fresh information is gathered as the project unfolds to help validate the plan or the need to adjust it, each party forms an essential part of the team.

Removing any of these three parties’ seats at the decision-making table, increases project risk. Only relatively recently, a client sought RVA’s assistance to write a job specification, before terminating our involvement when the contractor was appointed. The client took the programme forward without ongoing impartial project management support, and there were two major incidents on site.

There are some operators who choose not to obtain any independent advice whatsoever. But if you’re making a series of presumptions about a fleet of power stations for example, without undertaking any detailed surveys, how can a contractor accurately quote? Will the client truly understand the capacity of the supply chain and any likely programme delays? Do they know if any of the assets will re-sell or if the scrap market is the only likely route for dismantled kit? Has marketplace volatility been factored in? Have isolation strategies been designed with utmost safety of all stakeholders in mind? The planning considerations, of course, go on and on.

Demolition may feel like a ‘nuisance’ event to a client who is rationalising their operations or clearing a mothballed site to limit their liability. But that doesn’t mean corners can be cut when it comes to planning – as you don’t know what you’ll find around that corner, otherwise.

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RVA spotlight – meet Conrad Mason

Conrad Mason, RVA Group

Name and role:

Conrad Mason – (asbestos) project manager

How long have you been with RVA Group?

Three and a half years, having joined in April 2019.

Describe your career journey before that

I left school in 1984 and started an apprenticeship as a thermal insulation engineer. It was here that my experience in heavy industry began, working in sectors ranging from power stations to chemical manufacturing. I stayed with the same group for 20 years, progressing to foreman before being offered site manager roles.

In 2001 I had the opportunity to move within the group to the asbestos consultancy division, which saw my promotion to lead surveyor, contracts manager and then operations manager, over time.

In 2013 I left to become an independent consultant, helping various companies cement their asbestos expertise and achieve industry-recognised accreditations.

I met RVA Group in 2018, when I had the opportunity to work alongside them during the demolition of a power station in Staffordshire. I joined the company the following year.

What did you want to be when you were younger?

When I left school, I thought I’d join the military or the fire service.

And what do you think is the key skill you need to be a successful project manager?

To be approachable and trustworthy for all parties involved in a project.

What’s your biggest RVA achievement to date?

Being the site-based project manager for the demolition of Ironbridge Power Station from the start of the project to the final site clearance.

And the most memorable thing you’ve learnt during your career?

People can achieve far greater than they believe they can – they just need the right opportunity and direction.

Describe your dream project

My passion is to limit workers exposure to asbestos, so project managing demolition asbestos removal works in heavy industry is the dream role.

RVA Group is celebrating 30 years in business, with a truly global reputation for decommissioning excellence. Why do you think the company has earned such a stand-out position in industry?

RVA constantly strives to improve safety standards and efficient working practices, leading from the front to help both clients and contractors achieve their goals.

Of all the sectors RVA operates in, which is the most exciting right now?

For me it is the decommissioning and demolition of power stations, as they reach the end of their useful lives, globally.

What’s the biggest piece of advice you could give to an organisation preparing for a decommissioning project?

Employ a management company that can demonstrate an experienced project management team across all sectors of the decommissioning and demolition industry.

And finally…

What makes you tick outside of work?

Family, first and foremost, but with a 25-year passion for diving, the perfect day would be spent exploring the WW1 German High Seas Fleet, in Scapa Flow, Orkney Islands.

If you could be given a plane ticket for anywhere, where would you choose?

Orkney.

Which one word would you hope colleagues would use to describe you?

Questions like this always feel a little tricky to answer, so I asked a contractor I’m working alongside right now – he said ‘worldly-wise’.

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RVA team commences major international program of works

Power stations, RVA

Four members of the RVA Group team have embarked on overseas assignments, following an influx of international enquiries.

RVA’s front-end engineering team has secured a contract to undertake a costings study with remaining useful life (RUL) assessments, for a major power and utilities company in Saudi Arabia.

Elsewhere, RVA will have a permanent on-site presence for a client in France, following an urgent request for help on a decommissioning project that has encountered unexpected challenges. Having helped the chemical manufacturer to rescope the works, the tendering process is now complete, with a contractor ready to begin.

And having completed phase one design and planning works for a refinery in Portugal, and a power station in Cyprus, RVA will now also oversee the execution of works on these two major decommissioning projects.

“International projects are nothing new to RVA Group,” commented managing director Richard Vann. “We’ve completed almost 900 complex assignments on virtually every continent, and are well equipped to manage not only the nuances of these high-hazard undertakings, but also the cultural, legislative and supply chain challenges that arise from one brief to the next.

“At last, after the travel difficulties associated with the pandemic, it’s great to be able to confidently send our specialist engineers wherever their support is sought.

“The costs and procedural complexities associated with working in the EU have risen notably since Brexit – which naturally presents new factors to manage – but this is all part of running the business and meeting clients’ needs.”

Further project updates will be shared over the coming months.

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RVA begins search for graduate engineer

Graduate engineer job

Recruitment is underway at RVA Group, as the search has commenced for graduate engineers to join the expanding team of decommissioning experts.

With a considered three-year training plan in place, this is a fantastic opportunity to add fresh talent into the business, with a view to the successful candidates taking on the role of project engineers at the end of this period.

The first position will be based in the Northwest of England for at least the first six months, and there will be significant scope for travel throughout the UK and overseas, thereafter.

Commenting on the job search, RVA’s managing director Richard Vann said: “We have long been vocal advocates of the need to nurture up-and-coming engineering talent in our admittedly complex sector. Now is the perfect time to further strengthen our team with this hire, as demand for our decommissioning, decontamination, dismantling and demolition expertise once again rises. I look forward to watching this recruitment process unfold.”

Role information

Title: Graduate engineer

Summary: RVA Group is searching for a self-motivated graduate engineer, to support the company’s decommissioning, dismantling and demolition projects, in high hazard, high consequence sectors such as oil and gas, petrochemical, pharmaceutical and power generation.  This position will suit someone who can work individually or as part of a team, and is flexible for international travel.

Location: Initially based in the Northwest, there may be scope for UK-wide and overseas travel thereafter. Location will depend on RVA’s projects.

Education: Degree-level education in civil, structural or mechanical engineering. No industry experience is necessary as a three-year development programme will be offered, with full training.

Programme outcome: The role of project engineer.

Responsibilities

  1. Work with and assist other RVA Project Managers and Project Engineers in the execution of their duties.
  2. Fulltime resident attendance on individual Client’s sites and/or visit sites and Client’s offices, as required.  Sites and projects are worldwide.
  3. Support the monitoring and management all safety and operational aspects of projects under the control of RVA.
  4. Be responsible with others for the efficient use of RVA resources.
  5. Identify any potential areas of non-compliance or problem and bring them to the attention of the RVA project team.
  6. Interrogate clients’ technical drawings, specifications and other information to identify relevant information for inclusion in RVA scopes and specifications.
  7. Develop scopes and specifications for decommissioning, dismantling, demolition and hazardous material removal.
  8. Develop design briefs and design risk assessments.
  9. Review and comment on contractors’ proposals and methods for works.
  10. Compile appropriate documentation and information as required to ensure projects are accurately and properly tendered or secured.
  11. Attend virtually or physically training events and courses as reasonably required by RVA.

Achievement targets

  1. Achieve RVA EHS goals and targets as defined in RVA systems and procedures.
  2. No prohibition or improvement notices on RVA contracts.
  3. Production of acceptable deliverables to programme and cost.
  4. Achievement of Key Performance Indicators as set from time to time.
  5. Production of reports as required to the required timescale.
  6. Receipt of client satisfaction reports/references.

Benefits:

  1. A competitive salary
  2. 25 days’ annual leave
  3. Company contribution pension scheme
  4. Bonus scheme related to personal and company performance
  5. Relocation package, if necessary.

When working away from the Northwest, a living away from home allowance will be provided, and the cost of relocation, travel and accommodation will also be covered.

Application process:

Candidates should send a cover letter and CV to matthew.waller@rvagroup.org. Initial interviews will be conducted via Microsoft Teams, with face-to-face interviews for candidates who progress to the second stage of the process.

Closing date: 9 September 2022

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RVA spotlight – meet Philip Whiting

Philip Whiting, RVA Group

Name and role:

Philip Whiting, demolition and decommissioning consultant. 

How long have you been with RVA Group?

Since January 2020.

Describe your career journey before that?

I have worked for five demolition companies – part owning two of them – in Canada and Australia, so I have a vast amount of discipline-specific knowledge.

I’m also a chartered project management surveyor and a chartered construction manager, so have adopted many different roles on a variety of global projects, before joining RVA – mainly focusing on the commercial side of demolition and construction.

What did you want to be, when you were younger?

A racing car driver.

And what do you think is the key skill you need to be a successful demolition and decommissioning consultant?

It’s multi-faceted, so strategic communication and time management skills are critical to successfully managing the technical requirements of the role.

What’s your biggest RVA achievement to date?

Delivering an asset retirement obligation report for a major piece of infrastructure that is critical to the UK’s energy security.

And the most memorable thing you’ve learnt during your career?

That trust is more important than knowledge and contacts.

Describe your dream project

De-orbiting the International Space Station, maximising material salvage and minimising debris.

RVA Group is celebrating 30 years in business, with a truly global reputation for decommissioning excellence. Why do you think the company has earned such a stand-out position in industry?

Because the CDM regulations created a significant market for the Principal Designer role, and our engineering skill-set – not to mention supply chain independence – filled that gap, entirely. Also, client organisations generally don’t have the specific skill-sets required to manage demolition and decommissioning projects, so we are a much relied upon resource.

Of all the sectors RVA operates in, which is the most exciting right now?

It’s a tie between oil refineries and coal fired power stations, because of the significance of the decarbonisation agenda.

What’s the biggest piece of advice you could give to an organisation preparing for a decommissioning project?

Strategically, keep your objectives fixed – involve all internal and external stakeholders from the outset, define their expectations, manage them and then keep decision making within the project team. Tactically, be open to opportunities to enhance the project outcome, and flexible enough to incorporate them.

What makes you tick outside of work?

Nature, remote places, water.

If you could be given a plane ticket for anywhere, where would you choose?

Acapulco, as I would love to see the La Quebrada cliff divers. On December 12 – the feast day of the Virgin of Guadalupe – freestyle cliff divers perform the “Ocean of Fire” when the sea is lit with gasoline, making a circle of flames which the diver aims for, from a height of 40 metres.

Which one word would you hope colleagues would use to describe you?

Esteemed.

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Which sectors will shape the future of demolition?

RVA Group

Recently, RVA’s MD Richard Vann spoke to Demolition & Recycling International about the sectors that will shape the future of the demolition industry. If you missed the article, catch it in full, here…

The demolition industry – as a collective – has a rich and varied ‘CV’, as, of course, many different buildings and structures have had to be cleared over the years. From MDUs (multi dwelling units) condemned as building standards and lifestyle expectations have evolved, to sites left redundant when operators have been squeezed by mounting economic pressures, the nature of demolition works – and the catalysts for these projects – has been complex and wide-ranging.

It’s unlikely that this will change. Although the sectors we find ourselves invited to work in looks set to further develop.

Over the last 30 years, RVA’s work as an independent consultant has focused primarily on the decommissioning, decontamination, dismantling and demolition of large-scale processing facilities in heavy industries. Operators in the inherently hazardous worlds of petrochemical, pharmaceutical and energy, for example, have had many reasons to engage the demolition profession.

As plants have reached the end of their useful life – whether due to legislative, efficiency, innovatory or economic factors – they have had to be cleared safely, cost-effectively and with minimal environmental impact. Some operators have drawn their entire business to a close inline, some have invested in and erected more modern plant on the same footprint, and in certain instances, processors have sold assets for re-erection overseas.

It’s been an interesting three decades, with project specifics differing from one assignment to the next. This variety will continue, for certain – with factors such as the age of plant, historic maintenance regimes, supply chain influences, operator resource and so much more, influencing how multifaceted projects will take shape. However, the same fundamental trends – innovation, obsoletion, economics, legislation and societal pressures – will continue to shape future demand for demolition engineering, albeit perhaps in more unfamiliar sectors.

The decarbonisation agenda

There is now an unparalleled level of conversation surrounding sustainability and climate change, not least as a result of COP26 in Glasgow, last November. Globally, there is a markedly greater push towards ‘net zero’ – a step-change to ensure the amount of greenhouse gases added to the atmosphere is no more than the amount taken out. And, while there is still a long way to go – not least become some environmentalists argue this alone won’t address the climate emergency – there can be no denying the fact that the decarbonisation agenda is rising.

Consequently, oil refineries and coal-fired power stations, for example, are just some of the facilities that will be increasingly phased out in favour of cleaner, renewable technologies – and understandably so.

But with the acceleration of change rising, even newer, ‘greener’ facilities – such as windfarms, Energy from Waste plants, hydrogen-powered sites, battery storage units and so on – will also reach their end of life, as innovators engineer even more efficient designs that bring about greater environmental progress. And it is the operators in these industries who will find themselves collaborating with the demolition profession, over the coming years.

When the time comes, the operational history of such sites will be different to that of the sites we work on now, of course. However, the manner with which we approach any resulting decommissioning, decontamination, dismantling or demolition projects, will remain a constant – engage with stakeholders, understand and manage the risks, plan the works with utmost respect for safety, environmental protection and budget, assemble the best-fit project team, and proceed with the execution with compliance as the very minimum benchmark standard.

The future of demolition, now

It’s a subject I’ve spoken about before, but I also predict a notable rise in the number of investment companies, land development firms, architects, designers, and construction specialists, who will seek to engage the services of the demolition industry. This may sound perplexing, given our visible role in a plant or structure’s lifecycle is usually when it has reached the end of its useful life – not when its erection is being considered.

But just like product designers are consulting recycling specialists, to increase the ease and efficiency with which materials can be recovered, reused and remanufactured when an item is disposed of, we see the same trend emerging in the built environment.

It will be far easier and safer to decommission an asset if the appropriate considerations have been made, by people with a demolition engineering skill set, at the earliest stage. Financial provisioning can be undertaken too, which mitigates the fiscal risks involved as an asset ages. I’d go so far as to say the environmental impact of the project could be better managed too.

The future of demolition is therefore dependent on the rich expertise that the industry has amassed over the decades. But the deployment of that expertise will continue to vary. Things are ever-changing, after all.

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RVA spotlight – meet Chris Long

Chris Long RVA Group

Name and role:

Senior project manager

How long have you been with RVA Group?

Eight years

Describe your career journey before that?

After completing a modern apprenticeship – alongside an Ordinary National Certificate (ONC) and Higher National Certificate (HNC) – I began my career working for a mining company as a qualified mechanical technician.

Here, I studied part time for a degree in mechanical engineering, which led me into management roles looking after critical underground mine infrastructure. As I worked my way up the ranks, I was responsible for completing large scale schemes which also exposed me to the world of project management and the CDM frameworks – having to fulfil CDM coordinator and client duty holder roles.

From that point, I ventured into the world of decommissioning and demolition, with RVA.

What did you want to be, when you were younger?

An RAF fighter pilot.

And what do you think is the key skill you need to be a successful senior project manager?

Be realistic and respectful.

What’s your biggest RVA achievement to date?

My recent completion of a Masters in Business Administration (MBA).

And the most memorable thing you’ve learnt during your career?

I have learnt many things in my career. For example, technical information is useful and very much context specific, while people present the hardest information to manage as they come with a variety of contexts and a range of bias. I have found that being a good listener – as well as being able to gauge the context and understand the pressures people are under – yields the most rewarding results.

Describe your dream project:

One where all stakeholder objectives are in alignment.

RVA Group is celebrating 30 years in business, with a truly global reputation for decommissioning excellence. Why do you think the company has earned such a stand-out position in industry?

As we’ve grown, we’ve continued to ensure people and the environment are the number one priority within all our operations. This creates high standards and execution plans that are realistic.

Of all the sectors RVA operates in, which is the most exciting right now? Carbon heavy industries. With the world focusing on sustainability and decarbonisation, it brings opportunities for new technologies to emerge and replace existing facilities. This brings many challenges for clients, with safety and costs being some of the harder things to manage. However, this is exactly where RVA excels.

What’s the biggest piece of advice you could give to an organisation preparing for a decommissioning project?

Know your assets and the capabilities of your supply chain to serve the needs of the project. The earlier this is known, the more options there are with any asset retirement project.

What makes you tick outside of work?

Challenges that are physically and/or mentally tasking.

If you could be given a plane ticket for anywhere, where would you choose?

China.

Which one word would you hope colleagues would use to describe you?

Friendly.

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RVA Group’s 30th anniversary celebrations begin

RVA Group celebrates 30 years

As RVA Group nears its milestone 30th year in business, several members of the team recently gathered for a weekend of reflection, laughter, and a dash of competitive spirit.

To kick off the celebrations, 25 colleagues and their partners headed to North Yorkshire – the birthplace of RVA back in 1992. First up, was a test of skill at Hazel Bank Shooting Ground, with Mark Costin – the husband of our business administrator Anita – taking home the trophy for the most clays shot.

Next, it was on to The White Hart Hotel in the centre of Harrogate, to enjoy some outstanding food, drinks, and great company.

“Pre-pandemic, our colleagues would often find themselves working on complex decommissioning projects, sometimes all over the world,” commented RVA Group’s founder and managing director Richard Vann. “So, as a company, we’ve always made the time to come together to keep the team spirit alive.

“We’ve definitely missed that in recent times, so as we near our 30th anniversary – which we’ll mark officially in November – it seemed the perfect opportunity to celebrate how far we’ve all come, together.”

It was important that partners were invited too, believes Richard.

“We spend so much of our time at work, and the pressures of the day job mean we really do need the support of our loved ones at home,” he said. “They too have been on the RVA journey with us, so I’m delighted so many could join in the fun. There was one very important person missing for me – my wife, who stayed at home to support our son who was in the thick of his GCSEs. She has been an integral part of our progress, over the years.”

RVA Group has now successfully completed more than 850 inherently high-hazard decommissioning projects – and counting – for global brands. From the provision of front-end engineering services years before any practical decommissioning activity begins, through to the supervision of entire demolition schemes which result in full site clearances, the brand has grown to become a market leader in this niche field, on a truly worldwide basis.

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