Behind the Scenes at Octagon with David McColl, Chief Buyer


David started life in Andover, Hampshire, before moving to Yateley, where he attended school and still lives today. After leaving school he joined Marconi as a trainee draughtsman, whilst at the same time studying at Farnborough College for professional qualifications in mechanical and electrical engineering. From Marconi, David joined Charles Church, then an independent housebuilder, where he became Procurement Manager and stayed for 12 years. But the hallowed name of Octagon beckoned, and David, always an admirer of the private developer who had pioneered luxury housebuilding, joined the team as Assistant Buyer. On the departure of the Head Buyer, David took on total responsibility.

If there is one single material that brings a gleam of affection and respect into David McColl’s eye, it is the humble brick.

He comments, “With all the exciting and progressive advancements made within the housebuilding industry, after sixteen years with the company, I am still a firm believer that bricks are here to stay. An essential product for traditional British homes, they wear beautifully, their appearance softening and mellowing over the many decades of their constructed life.”

Virtually all Octagon homes incorporate beautiful traditional stock bricks, and David believes they are a great attraction for prospective owners of their homes.


But as Chief Buyer responsible for all materials that go into making an Octagon home, David is equally passionate about kitchen cabinetry, bespoke bathrooms and lavish wallpapers. These are just a few of the thousands of carefully selected and tested components David and his team source, which have to meet with the 36 year old luxury housebuilder’s stringent performance demands.

“No two days are the same in our working week,” continues David, “which is one of the big attractions of this job. Take yesterday for instance, whilst I was here in Head Office with our Senior Designer looking at the latest kitchen door finishes from a prospective new supplier – a high quality British manufacturer as it happens, Kerry, my colleague on the buying team, was out and about at the big London design shows, to catch up with suppliers and spot emerging trends. We need to be up to speed as our clients love to know what’s going on in the fast moving world of building products and interior design. We think our industry has become more aligned to the fashion industry after we entered the millennium.”

Married 7 years ago to Emma, yoga teacher and hair colourist, with a 4 year old daughter, David admits he no longer has time for weekend sports pursuits. But he gets all the exercise needed playing with his energetic daughter and walking the family Labrador, barely leaving him enough time to leaf through Brick Monthly!

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