This month, around 1,500 residents of Whaley Bridge were evacuated from their homes as a precaution taken in the event of a nearby damaged dam collapsing. The dam held back 1.2m tonnes of water from the Toddbrook reservoir, and was put under strain after a sequence of heavy rain and thunderstorms threatened to cause overspill into the nearby town. Whilst the residents were safely allowed to return to their homes, the general upkeep of the dam has been called into question by government officials and industry experts alike. Heavy rain is expected in the north of England and structures are built with it in mind. It was however, the extent of the damage to the dam’s spillway which led to the evacuation of Whaley Bridge, leading engineers to question what went wrong.
This week, we’re giving you the opportunity to get to know one of our engineers a bit better. Whether you’re someone who works in the industry, a prospective student or just someone with a keen interest in engineering, we’re hoping to offer a telling insight into what life as an engineer is really like. We sat down with Lyons O’Neill’s Head of Civil Engineering Niall Greenan to chat about what drew him to the profession and what the job involves.
As some of you may be aware, Lyons O’Neill are proud sponsors of Loughton Football Club’s U12 team. The club was established in 1965 and offers exciting football opportunities on its own grounds for children aged from 7 to 16. Since becoming sponsors we’ve helped upgrade the team’s sports kit, providing them with fresh new tracksuits to help them look and perform their best!
This December, Lyons O’Neill’s Senior Structural Engineer James Protherough will be embarking on a 3000 mile row across the Atlantic to help combat plastic pollution. He will be joined by three school friends, Ewan, Ed and Jon to compete against 30 other teams in the hopes of beating a record time of 37 days and 9 hours, whilst championing a great cause and doing us proud.
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.