Our History

Over 100 years ago architect Richard Gleed saw a gap in the market and with it the opportunity to provide tailored construction services to a broad section of individuals and corporate clients.

In 1885 Gleeds was born, one of the 1st independent practices specialising in quantity surveying services.

Over the years the company has evolved, diversifying and expanding to become a leading global property and construction consultancy.

Today the innovation continues… but this is where it all began: 

1880s

  • Richard Gleed becomes chairman of the Quantity Surveyor's Committee of the Surveyor's institution (which later, in 1881, becomes the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, RICS)
  • Establishes Gleeds, in London, in partnership with Arthur Belcher and soon followed by his 2 sons, Percival and Herbert Alexander

1890s

  • Richard Gleed fights to improve communication within the industry by fostering an agreement to a standard method of measuring quantities designing the Standard Method of Measuring Quantities, still used to this day

1920s

  • Gleeds becomes one of the largest Quantity Surveying practices in the UK
  • The 1st office outside of London is opened in Bristol
  • Gleeds establish a working relationship with Marks and Spencer, which still stands today as Gleeds’ longest client relationship
  • In 1928 sadly Richard Gleed dies, leaving the business in the capable hands of his sons, Percival and Herbert Alexander

1930s

  • His sons continue to drive Gleeds onwards and upwards, expanding into other areas of work and paving the way for the future of the business
  • The Nottingham office is established

1940s

  • After WWII, Gleeds champions the role of the Quantity Surveyor, changing the opinions of clients to understand the value of using their services
  • Gleeds starts to provide managerial and advisory roles
  • Gleeds is at heart of redeveloping post war communities, building schools and housing for returning soldiers and their families
  • New client relationships are established with Nottingham, Oxford and Cambridge Universities, Boots PLC and Rolls Royce

1950s

  • Gleeds pioneers the use of one of the 1st computers in quantity surveying, designing the cost planning system which was instrumental to the success of Gleeds’ 1st power station project near Nottingham
  • The 3 main offices are located in London, Bristol and Nottingham
  • One of Gleeds’ largest projects is for the Coal Industry Housing Association in Doncaster

1960s

  • Gleeds Partner Clive Browning writes ‘Building Economics and Cost Planning’, the 1st book on the subject, which establishes itself as the professional’s textbook of choice.
  • New offices are opened in Newcastle and Leeds

1970s

  • Overseas activity starts with the first projects in Paris
  • Gleeds is one of the country’s leading practices and now employs over 450 staff

1980s

  • The French office is quickly followed by new offices in Spain and Germany

1990s

  • Gleeds grows rapidly, expanding its reach and client base across Europe, Asia and the USA
  • New offices are opened in Poland, Hungary, China and the Czech Republic

2000 - present

  • Gleeds becomes the consultant of choice for many of the most prestigious landmark projects around the world
  • The service provision is extended further and Gleeds’ consultants provide solutions for every stage of the property lifecycle, providing clients with advice to help manage and capitalise on property assets
  • New offices are opened in the USA, South America, Ukraine, MENA, China, India, Hong Kong and Australia
  • Sir Steve Redgrave joins as Global Ambassador, networking and sharing his leadership and motivational skills with colleagues and clients
  • Following the global financial crisis, Gleeds continues to grow and retains its independent status, providing impartial advice to clients
  • Gleeds wins many prestigious awards including Building Magazine Consultant of the Year (2011); Construction Management Association of America (2014), Professional Service Provider of the Year in Poland (2014) and Investors in People Gold status (2009 -2015)
  • Gleeds employs more than 1600 people around the globe
  • Gleeds celebrates 130 years in 2015 by aiming to raise £130,000 in a week for charity and good causes around the world

To be continued…

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Richard Steer

Richard Steer
Worldwide Chairman

Animation: The Gleeds story

Innovative and independent since 1885