The narrative of our future success as a company will be not only the plans that we forge, and the buildings that we make, but equally how robust are the beliefs that underpin why we exist. This set of codified guiding principles serves as the foundation of our business.
1. Do work that matters
It starts with a desire to do creative work that matters. We believe in aiming high in the challenges we take on, and set out to do meaningful, authentic work. We do work we love and work we are passionate about, with a spirit of adventure.
2. Excellence in design, always
Excellence in design is our core philosophy. We want to work with the very best architects, engineers and designers, to create refined, elegant and resilient places. We believe in simplicity, in reducing complexity wherever possible, and in cohesive and innovative solutions. We believe in constructing premium quality, adaptable buildings we would want to live or work in.
3. Stay lean and agile
We are a small, private company competing with bigger, better-capitalised players. We regard our agility and speed as advantages. We believe that being small keeps us fresh, and as we continue to grow we will maintain a lean, product-focused staff. There will never be more accountants than designers or developers in our company. We are fast to adapt and quick to change direction when needs be. Our multi sector awareness allows us to maximise our chance of being in the right place at the right time and to capitalise on new opportunities in a turbulent market. It also assists in reducing potential over exposure quickly when market conditions dictate.
4. Expect the unexpected
We believe turbulence is the new reality and uncertainty and the unexpected are the new norms. This obligates us to step outside conventional thinking. So we look to learn new things not from obvious sources, but from a variety of inspiring places and people. We seek and expect new and sudden challenges, and we have a mentality that relishes change.
5. Celebrate the makers
We celebrate the craftsmen and the artisans. It’s where the Haxted story started. Great buildings must be well made using the best, most appropriate, materials. We are obsessive about detail, about durability, longevity and patina. We make delightful, authentic, contemporary buildings but they must last, ideally improving with age. We believe in using the very best technology to make them perform in an intelligent way. We have a compulsive focus on our product – our buildings are bespoke not mass-produced, and we will never work to a pattern book.
6. Environmental responsibility
Whilst the word sustainability is becoming progressively meaningless, our ethos of balancing the triple considerations of environment, economy and society is ever critical. We accept that corporations have a collective responsibility to future generations for the protection and restoration of the environment, and with that comes a commitment to interrogate decision making in a rigorous manner. We seek to ensure that first and foremost we are considerate in the responsible use of resources. We must use less virgin materials and less energy, and it is our primary responsibility to do no unnecessary harm. Nonetheless construction is an invasive and potentially damaging process so we carry out detailed feasibility studies, astute management of our projects, and careful auditing of our impacts. We look to build in a circular, whole system way, learning the lessons from nature’s 3.85 billion years of research and development, where there is no waste, and where the by-products of one process are the food for another.
7. Creative people
We believe strongly in leadership and also in surrounding ourselves with the most talented, creative people. We set out to do our business with people and companies that share our purpose, principles and values. Close collaboration and partnership with the like-minded characterises our approach. Our projects very often present highly ambiguous problems and these require us to cultivate a culture where a wide spectrum of people, from a diverse variety of disciplines, can work effectively in our teams. Our job is to build and lead those teams in a creative way, to encourage them to see new possibilities.
8. Take calculated risks
We believe in calculated risk taking. But first a diligent, rigorous and wide angled analysis of all the challenges presented by a new opportunity. We start with deep and targeted research. This necessitates experimenting and challenging uncertainty. We must not be so afraid of failure that we always seek the safe option.
9. Understand and serve our market
It is imperative that we understand our markets intuitively. This means constant research, and building a dialogue with our customers, partners and peers. We will endeavour to provide levels of personal service hitherto unknown in our industry.
10. Look after the finances
We are philosophically aggressive in our management of waste and that means, first and foremost, we will be relentless in our control of costs. This allows us to invest in the best architects and engineers to design our buildings, and in the best materials, and components to make them with. We will ensure that the maximum available investment always goes into our product. We like to think that this is reassuring for our equity partners, and for our bankers.