News from Stirling Maynard

WELCOME to our first newsletter of 2017. In the coming months we will be sharing news from our team and revealing details of some of our many exciting projects.


Tilbury Fort Repair Work Investigations 

STIRLING Maynard has been conducting investigations into the English Heritage owned Tilbury Fort to determine the degree of remedial work necessary to restore the important historical site to its former stature.

Constructed during the reign of Henry VIII, the stronghold’s position on the Thames estuary served to protect London’s seaward approach from the sixteenth century through to the Second World War, undergoing significant alterations in the 1670s. Now classified as a scheduled ancient monument, the site attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year for its military history and architecture that has remained largely unaltered since the seventeenth century.

In recent years, parts of the fort have been closed due to structural stability concerns. Stirling Maynard was appointed to conduct structural and hydrological investigations into two problematic areas of the site; the munitions tunnels and the moats, to assess the issues raised in support of a Periodic Condition Survey prepared by LEP Architects for English Heritage.

The tunnels beneath the East Bastion and the South East Curtain Wall gun emplacements have remained closed for a number of years due to apprehensions about their continued structural stability. For our Structural Inspection Report, the munitions tunnels were visually inspected and photographed, with a 3D topographical survey of the tunnels and gun emplacements carried out to ascertain any correlation between the defects and signs of settlement observed in the earth embankments at ground level.

Tilbury Fort’s moats – which served as an integral part of its original defences – have deteriorated in condition over the years, with water levels much lower than recorded during the fort’s military lifespan. Our team investigated the moats’ decline to propose remedial works and operating procedures for re-establishing higher water levels. The investigation included a bathymetric survey, as well as visual inspections of the tidal outfalls, and silt sampling and testing. A topographical survey was carried out into each of the moats’ penstocks, which are used to control the water levels around the fort.

Considered by Historic England to be “England’s most spectacular” example of a late seventeenth century fort, the investigations carried out by our team have assisted in the preparation of budget costs for the site’s necessary remedial work. With this new insight, repairs to the tunnels and moats can now be planned to ensure Tilbury Fort is preserved for the enjoyment of future generations.


Stirling Maynard Wins Supplier of the Year Award

WE are pleased to announce that Stirling Maynard has received JBA Consulting’s ‘Supplier of the Year’ award for our team’s commendable design work on a range of structural projects.

Throughout 2016, we worked closely with JBA/JN Bentley Joint Venture to create designs for a range of bridge replacement and strengthening works for structures maintained by the Environment Agency under the JBA Bentley JV framework agreement. The award was presented in November by Richard Chubb of JBA Consulting – pictured here alongside the Stirling Maynard team.

Our firm has developed a strong working partnership with JBA/JN Bentley JV by delivering designs with agreed timescales and costs. Since September 2015, Stirling Maynard has been involved in projects for 16 different bridge structures located in Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire, assessed as being unable to safely support the required vehicular loading. Specific examples of the design work contributing to the award include:

• Repairs and strengthening of masonry arch bridges

• Overslabs to replace existing understrength deck superstructures

• Replacing an existing 18m long three pan structure over a drain with a new precast structure on piled foundations

• Assessment of structures and review of previous assessments to improve theoretical capacities

The exceptional performance of our team has led to further commissions from JBA Bentley on projects outside of the main Environment Agency framework. We would like to congratulate the individuals involved on their achievement and thank our colleagues at JBA/JN Bentley JV, whom we look forward to working closely with in the future.


Big Barn Refurbishment at Wimpole Estate

STIRLING Maynard has been working collaboratively to successfully complete a major refurbishment of the ‘Big Barn’ at Home Farm.

The farm is hugely popular with visitors to the National Trust’s Wimpole Estate and comprises historic eighteenth century buildings designed by the famed neo-classical architect, Sir John Sloane, as well as modern buildings to house cattle, rare breeds of sheep, pigs, Shire horses, and goats.

A project to refurbish the Big Barn was conceived in 2015 to realise the National Trust’s ambition of providing updated facilities for the farm’s rare breeds of cattle. Stirling Maynard was involved as a key member of the design team as the project progressed throughout the year and into 2016.

Our team contributed civil engineering advice to the multi-disciplinary team during the planning and costing stage of the project, and actively participated in progress meetings as the refurbishment entered the construction stage.

Stirling Maynard’s duties involved producing an assessment of the condition of existing below-ground drainage, and providing a new design, which included:

• Substructure works for the new animal enclosures

• Specification of pumping and land irrigation equipment

• New underground settlement tanks and holding tanks for “dirty water” runoff

• Replacement hardstandings surrounding the Big Barn

In addition to the refurbishment, the project included the construction of a new storage building at Cambridge Road Farm, which also forms part of the Wimpole Estate. This update to the site’s facilities will assist with the daily tasks involved in caring for the Estate’s many animals.

With the refurbishment now complete, conditions for the cattle housed at the Big Barn have significantly improved. In recognition of the achievements made to upgrading the farm’s operations and animal facilities, the project has recently been entered into this year’s RICS Awards under the ‘infrastructure’ category.


Celebrating 20 years with Aldi Stores

STIRLING Maynard's project to design a new-build store in Crayford is now complete, with its recent opening marking the 20th anniversary of a successful business relationship with Aldi Stores Ltd.

Since our first project for the international supermarket chain in 1996, Stirling Maynard has undertaken the civil and structural design of numerous new-build stores, with the new Crayford store representing the 50th to open (with which we have been involved within the south east region). Our team has also been responsible for around 70 store conversions or extensions, and numerous feasibility studies on potential sites, many of which are at various stages of procurement or progressing through the planning process.

Stirling Maynard has traditionally worked as a member of a dedicated design team, comprising architect/lead consultant, building services consultant, and highways consultant for Aldi's regional property director. The new-build stores have invariably been located in or close to town centres, involving the demolition of existing buildings to pave the way for the projects' construction. Geographically, the sites have ranged from Lincolnshire in the north to Kent in the south.

One of our initial roles within the design team is to determine any substructure design or remediation issues by commissioning a geo-environmental investigation. This measure is undertaken to ensure that the needs of the Environment Agency, Building Control, and each site’s planning conditions are achieved. In addition to the structural design of the buildings, Stirling Maynard is responsible for:

• Design and specification of external car parking and HGV trafficked areas

• Foul and surface water drainage including the production of a Flood Risk Assessment where required

• Approval in Principle agreements for sewer division works and highway structures

Over the years, building design has ranged from single storey retail/warehouse stores to three storey buildings with residential accommodation located above the store. Each store design is adapted to suit the specific challenges and constraints of the site, including making provisions for parapets, varying roof conditions, and different external envelope treatments to meet planning requirements.

In 2014, Aldi declared its intentions to accelerate its store growth with the aim of opening 1,000 stores across the UK. As we acknowledge the achievements made so far, we look forward to helping Aldi progress towards its current goal and assisting the supermarket chain with its future projects.


Troston Farms Repair Work

 STIRLING Maynard has been involved in the design of an essential repair scheme for Troston Farms Ltd, after an agitator malfunction resulted in critical damage to its Suffolk-based pig slurry lagoon.

The lagoon sustained serious harm to its geomembrane lining system, and was emptied to facilitate the necessary repairs. This process revealed that the 1mm thick liner had split, with slurry present between the liner and the geotextile.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that the 5000m³ lagoon was originally constructed by Anglian Water and later repurposed as a pig slurry lagoon as part of Troston Farms Ltd’s activities. The build up of sludge below the liner – observed during the emptying process – was evidence that improvements needed to be made to the lagoon’s original design for the farming company to continue using the facility to store slurry.

Troston Farms Ltd notified the Environment Agency, who provided guidance on the investigation and laboratory permeability testing required to investigate the issue. Stirling Maynard was then appointed to organise the task; designing a shallow testing regime to investigate an assumed 1m thick placed clay lining beneath the surface of the geotextile - thought to be present due to the permeable nature of the area’s natural sub-soils.

While the results of the laboratory test demonstrated acceptable values of permeability in most of the shallow sampled material, not all of the samples complied with the standards set by the Environment Agency. Our team’s investigation demonstrated that the assumed placed clay lining was not present, and although a substantial quantity of clay was discovered, it had been combined with other made ground.

Through discussions between Troston Farms Ltd and the Environment Agency, an agreement was reached to repair the lagoon using a replacement 1.5mm thick single HDPE lining system with a puncture resistant geotextile underlay. Miles Water Engineering Ltd provided the products used in the repair scheme due to their early contractor involvement input.

Stirling Maynard’s design scheme takes recommendations from the Environment Agency to incorporate a combined leak detection and gas ventilation system below the liner’s surface. The liner itself has been completely replaced to help prevent future incidents and ensure the lagoon is suitable for the storage of water and liquids for years to come.


Stirling Maynard and F.H. Brundle

AS we look forward to the new projects and challenges that 2017 has to offer, Stirling Maynard welcomes its 20th year of continuing collaboration with F.H. Brundle.

Working closely with Clients Project Manager, Tom Haggarty of Design Project Management Services, our teams have built an enduring business relationship spanning the course of two decades. In 1997, our first project for F.H Brundle involved the remodelling and refurbishments of a Victorian warehouse in order to relocate the family-run business’s office from Hackney to Stratford in East London.

Over the decades, F.H. Brundle has grown to become the UK’s largest stockist of wrought iron components, welded wire mesh, and expanded and perforated metal available from stock for immediate delivery. In 2011, Stirling Maynard facilitated the relocation of F.H. Brundle from Stratford to Essex due to the upcoming construction of the 2012 London Olympic Park. New warehouse premises were located at Rainham, and our team began work on a major refurbishment and remodelling exercise of the building, alongside the construction of new external parking and yard areas, and associated drainage.

The following year, our team remodelled and refurbished an existing warehouse for F.H. Brundle’s new premises in Middlemore, Birmingham. Over the course of our collaboration, we have also assisted F.H. Brundle with multiple projects on their existing premises in Southampton, Edinburgh, and Glasgow, with work including:

• New office block designs

• Condition surveys of premises

• Major warehouse refurbishments

• Structural inspections

• Mezzanine platform designs

• Assessment of cranes

Stirling Maynard is currently involved in a project for F.H. Brundle to provide a major refurbishment of their new premise in Burton on Trent. The project comprises and inspection of the premises, structural assessment of the building frame, design of overlay reinforced concrete slabs, and a remodelling of the site’s office area. We look forward to the project’s completion, and to assisting F.H Brundle as the business continues to expand.


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