There’s more to a site than first meets the eye but it’s crucial to understand these hidden features if you’re to build a safe, stable and long-lasting structure. Whether it’s site sloping, the load paths of existing structures or water drainage, a thorough site investigation is an absolutely vital part of the engineering process. It’s only by doing your homework and fully understanding a site’s context that you’ll be able to find the best and most cost effective solutions to cater to each client’s needs.
As demonstrated by recent climate strikes, as well as the upcoming UN Climate Change Summit this year, individuals and corporations across every sector are facing pressure to be more mindful of their environmental responsibilities. That’s why we’re proud to reflect on the innovative ideas that helped us achieve an excellent BREEAM (Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method) rating for our work at Phoenix Community Housing’s new headquarters.
Modular construction has seen a recent resurgence in public interest. Just a few weeks ago Places for People made the largest investment by a housing association in the UK, agreeing a £100m deal to buy 750 homes as the government looks to increase its delivery of housing each year by 50%. Previously consigned to the mass house building projects of the 1950s, this building technique is being hailed as the biggest disruptive force to hit the UK construction sector and the role it plays is set to rapidly grow over the coming years. So, what exactly is modular construction and how will it help?
An engineer’s sketching pad may be a blank canvas but the site in question rarely is. Space is one of the most precious resources in urban areas and as populations grow no town or city can afford to have disused space. However, earmarking a plot for a different use and making this change a reality are two different stories. When building on brownfield sites you need a team who can navigate the problems posed by its previous purpose and ensure any new structure does not suffer.
It’s hard to believe it’s June and we’ve reached the summer. The first half of 2019 flew by, hastened by the number and range of exciting projects we’ve been working on. It’s been a privilege to continue to work in many different sectors and bring our experience and expertise to bear on some unique projects.
Embracing new technology and more efficient ways of working is central to engineering success – both at an individual company level and within the wider industry. Digital construction techniques have the potential to transform our sector and help us reach our growth and sustainability goals, but change can be hard to precipitate. However, industry case studies can be a great way to inspire confidence and share knowledge of new techniques. Read on to find out how the use of pioneering digital technology helped us with one of our most recent projects, the Nexus Training and Production Facility.
When it comes to preparing designs for a project, an engineer’s role is to find the most efficient and cost-effective solution for a client which answers all their needs, as outlined in the brief. Based on extensive site investigations including load tests, geotechnical surveys and even historical archive research, the engineering team will put together plans which they believe will work best. The client agrees on one, the decision is communicated to the construction team, and work begins on site.
This past month Lyons O’Neill have again been featured in the press, with Director Kevin Lyons speaking about his engineering path as well as the current housing crisis and the solutions we need to embrace.
As an engineer, it’s incredibly rewarding to work on a project from the initial sketch right through to the client handover, seeing designs take physical shape and adapting plans to the site and client requirements. However, engineers can assist in a number of ways and at different stages of a project and an interesting role we often assume is that of the checking engineer.