News from Stirling Maynard

WELCOME to our first newsletter of 2016. In the coming months we will be sharing news from our team and revealing details of some of our many exciting projects.


State-of-the-art extension for primary school

STIRLING Maynard is proud to have completed a state-of-the-art extension to a Peterborough primary school.

After working with our clients Peterborough City Council and Kier Construction, Woodston School now has a new hall, eight additional classrooms and staff facilities together with enhancements to the existing building.

Using steel framing for the superstructure enabled our team and architect Frank Shaw Associates to design large open spaces and fully glazed elevations on the site.

Our role on this project was to evaluate the design options and provide detailed civil and structural engineering design and specification services. These included:

• Foundations, ground bearing slabs and suspended slabs

• Structural steel framing

• Structural remodelling of administration / teaching areas

• Below-ground foul and surface water drainage.

• External paved areas and sports pitches.

Storage requirements for the surface water drainage design was provided by a pond within the grounds of the school enabling it to be also used as a wildlife pond for pupils – a fantastic addition to the site.


March completion
for Southfields 

SOUTHFIELDS Primary School in Peterborough is getting a fantastic new look in 2016, thanks to our team.

Working in partnership with architect Woods Hardwick and contractor Kier Construction, work on the school in Stanground is expected to be finished this March.

Major extension and remodelling
This project sees Southfields school benefit from major extension and remodelling with five additional classrooms, remodelling of three existing classrooms, extensive structural remodelling to staff administration areas and provision of linking structures between the existing and new areas of the school.

By using steel framing for the superstructure we have been able to create large open spaces and fully glazed elevations.

The drainage design required upgrading and refurbishment of the existing sub standard drainage system together with provision for the new build areas. 

Our work on this project included:

• Detailed pre design condition survey of existing school buildings,
   external areas and drainage systems

• Evaluation of design options and input into Value Engineering exercises.

• Detailed Civil and Structural Engineering design and specification services
   including: foundations, ground bearing slabs and suspended slabs

• Structural remodelling of administration / teaching areas

• Structural steel framing

• Below-ground foul and surface water drainage.

• External paved areas.


All is not as simple as it appears

AT first sight this extension to The City College, Peterborough may seem like a fairly straightforward project.

However, the need for a new storey to be constructed over an existing single storey building had to be achieved without any underpinning of foundations.

In order to provide additional teaching space we had to come up with a design that introduced a steel sub frame into the building to distribute additional loading between existing foundations and new transfer frames.

By doing this we were allowing the original foundations to work to their full capacity without any strengthening or underpinning.

No compromise
In order to achieve this, lightweight structural concrete and a lightweight steel frame and cladding system were used to keep additional loads to a practical minimum without compromising on form or appearance.

The project, completed in September 2015, was made even more challenging by the fact that no record drawings or other information was available to help determine the form of the building.

So intrusive investigations and historical research were carried out in order for us to successfully carry out the work for our client Peterborough City Council/Kier Construction. Architect was Saunders Boston.

In summary, Stirling Maynard’s work included:

• Preparation of Briefs and supervision of intrusive investigation works

• Detailed Civil and Structural Engineering design and specification services including:

• Detailed analysis of existing structure to demonstrate adequacy to carry additional loads from
   new floor foundations, ground bearing slabs and suspended slabs

• Structural steel framing

• Structural remodelling of ground floor areas

• Below-ground foul and surface water drainage

• Evaluation of design options and input into Value Engineering exercises.


Pulling out all the stops to beat high tides

WITH predicted high tides looming our team pulled out all the stops to beat the clock and ensure extensive repairs were able to go ahead at RSPB Titchwell March.

Despite a tight time frame we successfully developed a major repair scheme for this important Norfolk wildlife reserve which was damaged in a devastating storm surge affecting the East Anglian coastline in December 2013.

The site, which contains fresh water reedbed and lagoon habitat for threatened wildlife such as bitterns, marsh harriers and water voles, suffered considerable damage and needed urgent repairs.

Tight deadline
For the RSPB with a tight deadline, we prepared an outline design and specification for a reinforced earth replacement embankment, which, due to ecological constraints could not encroach outside the footprint of the original sea wall.  We then prepared the NEC Contract documentation for the project to be awarded on a design and build basis to Lancaster Earthmoving Ltd, who developed the outline design into the detailed design and constructed the scheme.  As part of the Design and Build process, Lancaster appointed Stirling Maynard to complete the detailed design to enable construction.

Whilst the Contractor was on site, the RSPB took the opportunity to undertake additional erosion protection works on another section of damaged sea wall ahead of the East Bank works.  This meant a significant amount of work had to be compressed into a relatively short amount of time, working to a deadline determined by high astronomical tides at the end of November 2014.

Stirling Maynard provided assistance to the RSPB throughout the construction state, regularly visiting site and attending Progress Meetings.

All work was completed on time and repairs held up well through Winter 2014/15.

Jim Duffin of Stirling Maynard says: “Within a few growing seasons the repairs carried out should become invisible to the unaware, helping to secure the future of the site for wildlife and visitors.”


Ringing the changes at King's Observatory

We’ve been busy providing structural advice and design work for the King’s Observatory in Richmond in recent weeks.

This Grade 1 listed building, built circa 1767 for King George III, is undergoing some major changes which are set to transform this national landmark and the landscape.

Kew Holdings Ltd appointed us to advise on the demolition and removal of a 1980s staircase and landings from the observatory, as well as the design of foundations and earth-retaining structures for a proposed new boathouse on the lake and design of an underground car park.

The observatory features a central block consisting of twin octagonal chambers with additional wings to the east and west faces of the building.

Since its construction, the building has had a variety of uses and owners, including scientific and meteorological research and commercial office use.

The most recent tenant was Belron Ltd who used the site as its UK head office from 1986 to 2011.

The main original structure of the building appears to comprise of load-bearing masonry walls, supporting timber floor construction. External walls are thought to be solid brick masonry with a stuccoed finish.

The building is surmounted by a central cupola which housed the original telescope.

The staircase to be demolished is within the north-east corner of the east wing and is thought to have been added during the 1980s as part of the change of use to commercial offices.

Miles Water Engineering, who we have worked with on several occasions, is the Contractor undertaking the work.

Work being carried out at The King’s Observatory follows on from the publication of the Thames Landscape Strategy Study, designed to protect and enhance parks, gardens and landscapes of special historic interest in the area.


Peter retires after nearly 40 years' service

AFTER nearly 40 years’ service to Stirling Maynard, Peter Beveridge retired as a Director in 2015.

Peter’s many years of service were recognised at a special retirement gathering attended by friends and colleagues.

Peter’s career began back in 1973 after he graduated as a Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering.

His first job saw him working in Liverpool where he gained valuable design experience on various structural projects and on-site supervision experience with a leading contractor.

Then after gaining Chartered status in 1977, he joined Stirling Maynard where he worked on a wide range of projects specialising in bridgeworks and special structures.

After becoming a partner in the practice in 1994, Peter became a Director on incorporation the same year.

As well as his vital project management and technical role he also took on the role of Financial Director and Managing Director.

Considerable experience
Over the years Peter (pictured right with our MD Jim Duffin) has been heavily involved in the design and supervision of many civil and structural engineering projects for the Highways Agency, Network Rail, local authorities, British Sugar and Corus, including the £28 million A47 Walpole/Tilney Bypass.

He also has considerable experience in the design, project management, construction supervision and contract management of new build and refurbishment schemes in the private industrial sector.

Over the years Peter has been responsible for a variety of research papers and reports and for Stirling Maynard’s commissions relating to the inspection, assessment and maintenance of multi-storey car parks, highway structures, hospitals and other public buildings.

He has also been project manager for two successive three year term commissions on various RAF bases with an estimated value of work of £50 million.

“With more than 40 years’ experience in civil and structural engineering as a design engineer, project manager and contract administrator, Peter’s service to Stirling Maynard has been invaluable and he will continue to work alongside colleagues as a consultant,” says Managing Director Jim Duffin.


Andrew Dugmore qualifies as Chartered Engineer

Big congratulations to our colleague Andrew Dugmore who has successfully qualified as a Chartered Engineer with the Institution of Civil Engineers.

This professionally recognised qualification comes after many years of study and work.

Andrew from Market Deeping, Lincolnshire, studied engineering at Leeds University before joining Stirling Maynard 14 years ago.

“It’s great to get to this point in my career and to be professionally recognised,” says Andrew. “I love the variety of the job and particularly working with organisations like the RSPB and National Trust on earth works projects.”


Special design for RSPB's hide

The RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) and its supporters have a fantastic new viewing structure to enjoy, thanks to our work at Middleton Lakes in Warwickshire.

As the building is constructed on flood plains we’ve been helping to create a building which allows flood water in and natural drainage.

The structure for the hide is a faceted cavity walled, flat roofed building of brick masonry walls, with a timber roof and concrete floor.

Its special design allows flood water to enter the building during periods of flooding, taking up minimal flood storage volume within the flood plain.

Structural elements are designed to resist seasonal river flood water, with features to allow drainage and natural drying.

The RSPB reserve is a 160 hectares site, formally opened in 2011, just south of Tamworth.


More news at your fingertips

For more Stirling Maynard news keep checking our website for the latest updates.