We approach designing buildings as a collaboration, driven by the project aims and the Architectural design.
Applying our wide experience, we develop structural solutions that are as economical as possible, whilst being discrete and also easy for the builder to install.
We work smoothly together with the Architect and client.
We give options to create savings for the client.
And we aim to create sustainable buildings - 49% of annual carbon emissions are attributable to buildings - and we have a responsibility to reduce the embodied carbon of construction.
As well as new technologies/approaches, this means designing as efficiently as possible (no oversizing), and using structural timber where we can to lock in carbon for the life of the structure.
How our design process works:
We start with conversations with our client and Architect to properly understand their project ambitions.
We follow up with a site visit to learn about the building and the lay of the land.
Sometimes this leads to investigations (trial-pits, opening-up) to eliminate uncertainties and reduce risk.
We then work collaboratively, producing design options and, collectively, narrowing the structure down to the best solution.
We turn that into clear simple drawings that communicate effectively, so builders can easily understand the structure, and price and build it smoothly.
And during construction we are on hand to help the builder and respond to questions.
Domestic extensions - lofts
We have extensive experience helping our clients develop their under-used loft spaces to create more room and, perhaps, cater for their growing families We design economical and easily-installed structures which allow the roof props to come out and to open up your loft - providing maximum space and light. It’s important to avoid overloading the walls below, which might otherwise develop cracks from the increased loads, and we will devise the best solution. We often work with Architects, to collaborate on the best use of space and ensure Planning rules and Building Regulations are met.
Domestic extensions - side and rear extensions
Our wide expertise is used to create great new spaces at the base your house, enlarging your ground floor, bringing light into the space and improving access to your garden. Our structure will often have to hold up one or more floors of masonry, on a strong beam bridging over a new open-plan space, and we will devise the most efficient and elegant way of doing this. Rooflights and green roofs are no problem and, where requested, we will design in sustainable timber structures in place of steel or masonry. We will specify new foundations where needed, and help you get the permissions you need (e.g. Building Regulations, Party Walls).
The most sustainable project is one where you don’t build anything! Maximising the potential of an existing building is great for the planet, because it minimises the embodied carbon you create, so refurbishment is good. We can help you alter or reconfigure your property, whatever the scale and whether it’s residential, retail, or commercial. We have extensive expertise in historic buildings and can devise sensitive repairs where necessary, and can help Listed Building consent where necessary. We work with other design professionals smoothly to give a great outcome. And we focus on best value for you, so we’ll advise the most economical solutions to achieve your aims.
We can provide you with a full structural design service for your new-build project. Our experience and capability covers large and small project sizes, and in most sectors (e.g. residential, commercial, retail, theatre, educational and healthcare). Our approach is flexible, tailored for example to whether the project is driven by cost or has a key architectural design focus. We can design in all structural materials, and all foundation types.
Structural Engineering Surveys
Covering a structural defect in your house/flat, or an overall structural appraisal. Issues might be: cracks in walls and ceilings, subsidence/settlement of foundations, or sagging floors or roofs. Often a surveyor doing a valuation/homebuyer’s report will ask for an Engineer’s report where they have structural concerns. Our methodical and thorough process involves:
analysis (gathering evidence on the issue including a site visit - and sometimes ‘opening-up’ by a builder),
diagnosis (using our experience to interpret the evidence and decide the most likely root cause) and
recommendations on how to solve the problem.