At Lyons O’Neill, we love the opportunity to breathe new life into a development. Whilst every renovation comes with its own unique challenges and opportunities, the process required to transform a listed or historic building in particular requires a special level of respect and attention to be paid to the original structure. To many, these buildings represent more than just bricks and mortar, and our experience with this type of building has meant that we’re well versed in the techniques needed to ensure the balance between cultural value and modern functionality is always met.
As engineers, we have spent the past few months acclimatising to the challenges social distancing measures have presented us with, and have carefully considered the kind of service our clients may require during this period. As part of this process, we have closely observed the rising demand for prefabricated, temporary works schemes. The demand is linked to the immediate need for temporary healthcare facilities, such as the NHS Nightingale Hospitals, and poses the question: should we expect a sustained interest in these integrated services post-Covid?
Over the past few months, Lyons O’Neill has been featured a number of times in the press, to discuss a range of topics, and showcase some of our exciting projects.
Each and every stage of the building process requires careful planning in order to make the project a success. Site accessibility, the project location and the position of building sites on it are just as vital to success as any other element. If engineers were to neglect this process, the time taken to draw up intricate and detailed designs could be in vain, particularly if the necessary materials and construction workers could not easily be transported across the site to carry them out. Not to mention the impact these accessibility issues could have on project costs and deadlines.
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.