Currently led by its third generation, Measom continues to fulfil quality drywall contracts to an exceptional standard 

Measom, drywall contractor and specialist, marks its 90th anniversary in 2024. Founded in 1934 by Andrew Measom’s grandfather, a plasterer, the business has evolved through generations, while maintaining its strong connection to family values. “I have their original building society book showing their deposits, and some of the early accounts from the 1930s when he bought his motorbike to take my grandma to work before he disappeared to the sites,” Andrew reminisces. Despite the challenges of the 1930s and 40s, including wartime disruptions, the business steadily expanded. “In the 1950s, my father came in. And he had some brilliant new ideas,” Andrew explains, recalling his father’s introduction of drywall technology.  

Andy Measom
Andy Measom

Initially met with scepticism, the decision to venture into drywall proved pivotal. “My grandfather told him it’d never get anywhere… that’s when they started in drywall,” Andrew recalls. Procuring an American system called Bell Rock, the business secured a place on the DHS’ list, enabling it to undertake major projects like the John Radcliffe Hospital in 1960. “The contract probably would have been worth, in today’s terms, about £40 million,” Andrew reflects on the milestone project.  

Commitment to excellence 

Over the years, Measom has diversified its portfolio, expanding into Europe and completing over 100 hospitals, as well as projects ranging from airport terminals to laboratories for companies like GlaxoSmithKline. Construction & Civil Engineering had the pleasure to discuss Measom’s remarkable journey with the current Owner and Managing Director, from its early days to its current status as a renowned name in construction. Andrew shares insights into the company’s history, key projects, company culture, and future aspirations. With a focus on quality, innovation, and a commitment to its workforce, Measom continues to shape the landscape of construction for years to come. 

As Andrew’s son, Fred, begins his journey into the family business, the tradition of generational conflict and innovation continues. “We’re going to have that classic father-son battle that’s gone on for generations,” Andrew says, reflecting on the enduring legacy of Measom. 

When asked what he believes separates the business from its competitors, Andrew emphasizes that it’s the heritage of the family, and the subsequent values that have infiltrated across the business. “As a fourth-generation business, we strive for longevity across all our departments. So that means, we work to encourage that ethos across our organization.” 

The anniversary holds significant meaning for Measom, representing resilience, growth, and longevity in the industry. Andrew notes the importance of acknowledging the company’s heritage: “It will enable us to cement to the people in the business what the years gone by have meant to us. We’ll celebrate with a bit of a party, some old friends have been invited, and we have our newer colleagues getting a feel for the longevity of the business they’re involved in.” 

As the company prepares for the celebrations, the focus is not only on reminiscing but also on fostering a strong company culture. Andrew highlights the emphasis on quality and safety within the company, saying, “I say to the people on the sites, imagine it’s your family in the box you’ve just built.” This commitment to excellence extends beyond individual projects and is ingrained in Measom’s company culture. Such reunions are a great demonstration of the values upheld throughout the business. Andrew expounds the importance of building it right, even if it means profits are a second priority. 

Shaping iconic structures

Fred Measom
Fred Measom

Reflecting on Measom’s notable projects over the years, Andrew recalls landmarks such as the Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm, the North Terminal at Gatwick, and working on the London skyline, including the Shard. These projects not only showcase the company’s capabilities but also its legacy in shaping iconic structures. “We’ve also been involved in the Battersea Power Station, as well as several prisons. I’m very proud that the work we’ve done is so diversified. It gives me a real sense of pride when we walk past a building that we’ve worked on. Personally, it is an awesome achievement knowing that we are contributing to something bigger.”  

Despite its achievements, Measom recognizes industry challenges, particularly in labour productivity and management. Andrew expresses concern over the declining productivity in the construction industry and the need for a mindset shift in project management. “The industry really has to hold its hand up here and go, ‘right, how do we improve our team, and individual productivity?’ I think this is something we really need to get to grips with in the near future, otherwise there will be bigger problems further down the line,” he states. A decrease in productivity is a growing national problem, and one the UK Government is working to tackle. This could be an implication of the pandemic, where many professionals have begun rethinking the importance of a work-life balance. Businesses may need to consider incentivising their teams, and placing a greater value on company culture in order to re-engage the workforce; a solution Measom has already implemented. 

In response to these challenges, Measom is dedicated to investing in its workforce through apprenticeships and training schemes. “We have a ridiculously high target of trying to develop our team,” Andrew explains. The company aims to train around 60 percent of its workforce, recognising the importance of nurturing talent from within. 

Resilience and adaptability 

Looking ahead to 2024, Measom is focused on strategic growth and innovation. As the company looks to the future, it recognises the importance of staying ahead of industry trends and embracing technological advancements. Andrew emphasises the role of innovation in driving Measom forward. “We’re constantly looking for ways to improve and adapt to the changing landscape
of construction.” Initiatives such as the golden thread, which focuses on digital record-keeping throughout a building’s lifecycle, and computer-driven production and monitoring systems are part of Measom’s strategy to stay at the forefront
of the industry. 

Furthermore, the 90th anniversary serves not only as a celebration of past achievements but also as a reminder of Measom’s resilience and adaptability. “Our ability to thrive for nine decades is a testament to our dedication to excellence,” Andrew remarks. With a strong foundation built on quality, innovation, and a skilled workforce, the company is well-positioned to tackle the challenges of tomorrow and continue its legacy of shaping the construction landscape.