Chris Allen

(B.Bdg.A; MSc(BE))
Chris Allen - Keynote Speaker - 17th BEC 2023


Lecturer and HoD: Department of Construction Management, Nelson Mandela University
Interim Director: Built Environment Research Centre (BERC)
Co-Director: MSc Built Environment Programme

Chris’s career has taken him on a journey to all corners of the globe. Since completing a Bachelor of Building Arts degree at the University of Port Elizabeth and an AutoCad Diploma at the PE Technikon, he has worked for a housing developer before heading to the UK where he joined a design and build firm where he worked on the design and construction of a number of specialist residential and commercial redevelopment projects. Seeing the inefficient way projects were delivered led to an interest in the greater use of 3D models in the construction process and the creation of A3D Technologies, a construcion technology software as a service company providing 4D planning and tech support for major contractors. Chris fulfilled the role of operations director coordinating a team of more than 30 people on projects in London, Toronto, Brisbane, Dunedin and Bahrain, amongst others.

His work led him to return to South Africa to be involved in the redevelopment of Soccer City for the FIFA World Cup 2010 and Medupi Power Station, at the time the largest project in the Southern Hemisphere. His pracademic career began in 2011 in the Department of Construction Management at Nelson Mandela University when he began presenting the Building Science (Environment & Services) modules. A new generation of construction managers, architects and quantity surveyors now benefit from his varied project experiences on this course as well as guest lectures for construction managers on digital construction and Project Strategy at Masters level. Through the Built Environment Research Centre (BERC), he continues engender innovation, and contribute to the development, transformation, global competitiveness, and sustainability of the built environment.

He was a founder of the BIM Institute, a member association created to drive greater implementation of digitisation in the built environment within South Africa and the African continent. His other passion is Surf Lifesaving and he is currently Head Nipper Coach of Kings Beach Lifesaving Club, having previously served as Club Captain between 2011 – 2018. He continues to compete in Surf Boat rowing at Nationals.