Building Foundations: Elisa Sartori

Elisa 2

Today we chat to Elisa Sartori, one of our Building Services Engineers about the challenges of the profession, what it is like working for a multidisciplinary practice and what she loves about living in the Big Smoke.


Why did you choose Building Services engineering as a career?

Since university, I’ve always been interested in sustainability and the energy performance of buildings and I love to stay at the forefront of technical innovation.

Today – and increasingly in the future - I see building services and energy efficiency solutions as crucial components of an innovative approach to design.


Where do you come from?

I am from Novara - a small city in the north-west of Italy. It is widely known by Italians for the density of the mosquito population, but it is also the city where Campari was invented!

What do I miss? I don’t want to state the obvious and say I miss my family, friends, food and the sun, so I won’t say a thing…


How many languages do you speak?

I speak Italian - my mother tongue - and then English, some Spanish and a little bit of German.


How long have you been in London for?

I moved to London in January 2018. I love how multicultural the city is and the energy you feel all around. I love the culture, the free museums and the parks. There is always something new to do, to eat and to visit!

As Samuel Johnson said, “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.”


What is your favourite thing about the working environment at Webb Yates Engineers?

Working here is extremely inspiring, I particularly like the aesthetic sensitivity of Webb Yates Engineers’ design approach.

One of the things I love about my job is the integrated approach to design. Our aim is to optimise the energy performance of a building without compromising the architectural concept.

Providing a multidisciplinary service is one of our office’s strengths and it is always stimulating to face new design challenges and have the ability to work across disciplines to get different perspectives.


What would you be doing if you weren’t an engineer?

I think I would like to be a sailor.


What advice would you give to your younger self?

I travelled quite a lot, but I would tell myself to travel more!

I am happy about what I experienced during my career in Italy, but I would suggest to myself to start an international career earlier. And maybe to do that sailing course… so that by now I would be a skilled sailor!


What do you think the benefits are of working in a small department, intertwined in a larger engineering practice?

Working in a smaller department within a larger firm allows us to get involved in a huge variety of projects, from small residential schemes to large-scale airport technical design projects. It also means assisting in the whole building process from early concept design to construction stage.

Basically… there’s no chance of getting bored.


What are your ambitions for the future?

I’d like to keep working in the field, acquiring more design and management experience and one day- I know it is ambitious - to work on a project which could change the architectural design paradigms.