As urban areas expand and lateral building space becomes a precious commodity, developers are on the hunt for new ways to grow the size and value of their properties. Airspace development – the process of building above a property, within its ‘air rights’ – is increasingly providing the answer as it makes the most of unused space and allows developers to meet demand. It’s a rapidly evolving field and is a highly lucrative one: in London alone, the rooftop development market is estimated to be worth £54 billion. With the global urban population set to double by 2050 it’s a design solution we should expect to hear more and more about.
As of Monday 23rd March the team here at Lyons O’Neill are working remotely and all non-essential travel both to and from our offices is suspended until further notice. As a business we already have very effective remote working capabilities and we have been testing our systems over the past week or so and have all the necessary capabilities and resources for the entire office-based staff to work from home.
When it comes to engineering, what happens below the surface is as important as what’s built on top. Every site has a unique history and set of properties which will determine the design of the proposed structure, the materials used and even the programme sequence. This history can become especially complex when working on brownfield sites or in urban or industrial areas. The presence of previous structures and proximity to industrial activity increases the risk of contaminated ground which must be assessed and dealt with before construction can continue.
The final beam was placed on The Royal Greenwich Trust School on Wednesday 21 January in a commemorative topping out ceremony, to mark the completion of the school’s new extension. The multi million pound project will enable the school – which was founded in 2016 – to accommodate a higher number of students, and make way for brand new facilities. These include a drama and dance studio, atrium, sports hall, science labs and additional classrooms. We were appointed as Civil & Structural engineers on the project, overcoming a number of challenges, largely in part due to the site’s limited accessibility issues and historic development.
It’s been a very busy year at Lyons O’Neill: we’ve completed and embarked on an array of exciting new projects, we’ve seen our team grow and we’ve won industry recognition with a number of awards and commendations.
We are very pleased to announce that the Lyons O’Neill team has grown this year. Anna Bergman joined as as a Project Structural Engineer back in May, bringing with her years of valuable experience and industry knowledge. And as part of our Meet the Engineer series, we spoke to Anna to discuss life as an engineer. Including what first attracted her to the profession, what she enjoys most, and what advice she’d offer to other young women thinking of pursuing the career.
A successful project isn’t just about a stunning end result or fulfilling a client’s brief – it’s about the whole design and construction process. In any project, the relationship between the parties involved, how issues are navigated and the communication flow is as important as the bricks and mortar. Indeed, if any of these areas are lacking, the quality of the end product will suffer.
Unsure if you’re at risk of flooding?
The colder months can often mean a yearly gamble for those at risk of flooding. Which means those who are yet unsure of how their development will fare could be less prepared for any unfortunate damage, and its wider implications. Flood risk assessments provide early advice regarding flood risks. This knowledge can go on to prove instrumental when seeking a successful planning application.
We’re delighted to introduce our new Project Spotlight series, which will showcase the projects we’re currently working on and the engineering techniques involved.
In our first Project Spotlight we’ll be looking at our work at Reef Way SEMH School in Hailsham. This project involved a number of challenges but these were successfully navigated through the use of intelligent engineering solutions. Read on to find out more about the project, the factors involved and how our pre-planning services assisted construction.