Brunton Design Going Strong 25 Years On

Brunton Design founder Rodger Brunton is meant to have retired, after almost 50 years in the industry and 25 at the helm of the Carnoustie-based company.

But he has stayed on as a consultant at the firm, which has won countless awards, built million-pound houses, nursing home developments and numerous £10,000 extensions.

Over the course of his career, Rodger has weathered economic crashes, regulatory red-tape and the shifting demands in the housebuilding sector.

He credits his clients and his team for having kept his hand in for so long.

This month marked a quarter-of-a-century in business for Brunton Design, which has developed buildings across Tayside and Fife – many of them award winning.

Rodger has been a qualified architect for almost 50 years, having graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone in Dundee in 1975 and despite being “technically retired”, he still works with Brunton Design as a consultant, getting to do the “enjoyable” parts of the job while leaving the running of the firm to partners Lynne Fenton and Allan Mudie.

Brunton Design’s House on the Hill, a Broughty Ferry extension, won the Dundee Institute of Architects award in 2021.

It was also involved in the development of The Hub in Friockheim, a community centre which was converted from the old school house.

When asked for some highlights Rodger said: “There has been ups and downs over the last 25 years.  The difficulties of 2008 and 2009 was not funny, but running the company in that time has been the highlight (of my career).

“We have won awards, we have had great clients who have given repeat business.

“We do housing, mostly, of one kind or another.  We are currently doing a big job in St Andrews and in Craigtoun Park.

“Another highlight is one of the houses we did in Broughty Ferry, overlooking the town from the top of the hill.  It won an award.

“Loads and loads of one-off projects which are under way, which has been surprising and I don’t know where folk get the money, but they are still out there.

“We are now in a situation where we are extending houses we built 20 years ago.

“Patterns in construction do change and have over the last 25 years.

“People now want energy-efficient homes, far more than anything else, to keep their running costs down.  We have to keep researching the best ways to design houses for this.

“Things have not gotten any easier with local authorities (in terms of the planning process over the last 25 years).”

And on the future, Rodger said he will continue to enjoy his job, now that he has to worry less about the day-to-day running of Brunton Design.

“I am bound to retire at some point.  I am technically retired and work as a consultant.  But I’m not really.

“And I still enjoy my job.  I enjoy meeting and engaging with new clients, who always bring new ideas and exciting things to do.

“We are grateful for our great clients, who continue to believe in what we do.”

This article appeared in The Courier on 11 June 2024.

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