WFBA Supports Polystar to go up

A long established industrial area in Northam would probably go unnoticed by many people travelling in Southampton were it not for a modern factory unit with the Polystar Plastics logo above the other buildings in the area. That dominating image reflects the fact that since 1993, the family owned Polystar Plastics founded by Sue and Jai Talwar has expanded on the estate to become a £30m turnover manufacturer employing 160 people. Twelve of the units on the estate are already owned by the company that is now facing the next challenge as a consequence of their success and continued growth. With a 10% year on year increase over the last 5 years, they need to invest in a more streamlined production approach to maximise productivity.

Bill Brown, Director of the Romsey based consulting civil and structural engineering company WFBA, has been assisting Polystar’s Commercial Director Suchin Talwar since 2013 to change the way the existing buildings can be used, through modification, enhancement and expansion. “I admire the commitment to the workforce and the current range of buildings on the site. Many businesses would consider relocating, but Suchin and the family prefer the idea of developing the site to become a more efficient and productive operation. On a congested site, this often means that the only way is up, literally ‘raising the roof’!”

The current proposals under development include a new central raw materials product storage facility and additional process equipment. This will involve major investment on both production and factory construction of £7m and will take between 12 - 18 months to complete. Suchin Talwar knows that by developing the site, Polystar Plastics will have the opportunity to maximise production for their expanding client base of international organisations using machinery that can produce products at a high quality with less wastage.

“We can also keep employment within the area and will have the space to continue our closed loop recycling process that we offer clients and conduct research and development on potential innovations that will reduce wastage and costs within the industries we serve.”

The Talwar family admit that the strong and honest relationship with WFBA enables them to be more confident in their development plans, especially as the projects are self-funded by re investing.

“We appreciate Bills approach and have confidence in his suggestions as experience has shown us he advises the most viable and cost efficient construction solutions to reach the same height as our ambitions, particularly where we need taller buildings to accommodate the new plant and faster machines,” said Suchin.

The expertise of the WFBA Civils team will also be needed on this site to resolve local drainage issues. They are currently assigned to projects including the recently opened Brockhurst Gate Retail Park Gosport where they designed a cost-effective sustainable drainage solution, site wide infrastructure upgrades and operational facilities for Associated British Ports in Southampton and Lowestoft. The team are also involved in early stages of feasibility and reconfiguration of other large-scale operations in the region, improving plant/traffic flow, maintenance and storage facilities plus associated office space to secure, support and develop business both nationally and worldwide.

Visit for information.

(from left)  Jai Talwar with WFBA’s Bill Brown

(from left) Jai Talwar with WFBA’s Bill Brown


Ocean Cruise terminal Modifications, Southampton

Excellent progress being made both inside the terminal building and to the external areas in preparation for the next generation of larger ships arriving in 2020. The current phase of the upgrade work will be completed in sufficient time to ensure the terminal is operational for the coming 2019 season.

Firms Fitness Initiative Creates Football Team

If you work for a civil and structural engineering consultancy, there is a high probability that most of the working day is spent seated using an IT system.  Being keen to promote a happy and healthy workplace, Directors at the Romsey based consultants WFBA have encouraged their staff to form a 5-A-Side football team which competes regularly against other businesses within the construction industry.   

“It’s a great way of offering a challenge to the guys to get away from their desks and enjoy a healthy lifestyle. The football has become a weekly team building exercise with us training together and playing monthly competitive matches,” said Technical Director Steve Hollick, who used to play as a semi pro goalkeeper and is a former goalkeeping coach and manager for AFC Totton. 

The matches also act as a networking opportunity.  “It’s a superb way for the younger members of staff to meet their contemporaries from other companies we work with and put a face to a name.” said Steve.  “The WFBA team have enough players to challenge teams at 5, 6 or even 7 a-side and are able to travel to matches to suit our opposition, but normally the games are hosted around the Southampton area.” 

With spring approaching, the formation of a cycle team is now in progress so that other members of the company can participate using their rural office location as a base to enjoy the Hampshire lanes and countryside. 

Any business wishing to play against the WFBA team can contact


A better way to start a Friday?

What better way to start a Friday than a little outing around the Test Valley with the ever expanding WFBA Cycling Club. A chilly start but some stunning scenery in the early morning sun greeted the Peloton which welcomed Jamie Harper for his first outing along with Steve Hollick, Patrick Fisher, Nick Groves and yours truly.

#cycling #scenery #structuralengineering #WFBA


Left to Right: Brian Morton, Steve Hollick, Nick Groves, Patrick Fisher and Jamie Harper


Travelodge site in Portsmouth is coming along nicely!

Construction of the new Travelodge in Portsmouth is progressing well.

The cores have been completed up to 10th Floor and the steel frame has been erected around the tower up to 7th Floor.

The steelwork erection has been complicated up to this point due to site restrictions, but now we are away from the concrete core area, it should progress rapidly to the point of starting to deck out the lower floors within the next couple of weeks.

Having a blast!!

#WFBA #cycling club taking full advantage of the milder weather this morning for a quick blast around the Test Valley area. Today’s peloton included Brian Morton, Patrick Fisher, Alastair Craig and the Birthday boy Steve Hollick.

#WFBA #cycling #structuralengineering #itsfriday


Left to right: Brian Morton, Steve Hollick, Alastair Craig and Patrick Fisher


What a difference a month makes!

What a difference a month makes! Fantastic progress on our latest Travelodge project in Finsbury Park.

A challenging 8 storey concrete frame with a split-level lower ground and basement which required the installation of a combination of a Contiguous Piled wall and CFA piles close to the Piccadilly Line.

In the space of a month the entire lower ground and basement levels have been completed and the first section of the upper ground floor ready for concreting. Main contractor – Harvard Knight; Concrete frame contractor - Oliver Connell and Son Ltd; Architect – The Harris Partnership; Consultant Civil and Structural Engineer – WFBA.

Travelodge project in Finsbury Park

Travelodge project in Finsbury Park


Alastair Becomes Regional Institution Of Structural Engineers Chairman

The Winchester Guildhall was the venue for the appointment of the Institution of Structural Engineers new Chairman of the Southern Regional Group. Alastair Craig, Technical Director Romsey based consulting civil and structural engineering firm WFBA has taken the chair for the next 2 years of the institute that has membership of over 900 professional engineers in the region and works closely with universities in the region to encourage career development. 

The Institution has over 28,000 members working in 105 countries around the world and is an internationally recognised source of expertise and information concerning all issues that involve structural engineering and public safety within the built environment.  The core work of the Institution is supporting and protecting the profession of structural engineering by upholding professional standards and acting as an international voice on behalf of structural engineers. 

Both the President Joe Kindregan, who flew in from Dublin, and Saprava Bhattacharya the outgoing Regional Chairman congratulated Alastair on his new appointment. 

“During my tenure as Chairman I am keen to strengthen our relationships with local Universities and assist in improving the pathway from education to industry,” said Alastair Craig “Beyond that I would like to improve the support we offer our recently graduated engineers in preparation for their professional exams.  We have a new and enthusiastic committee and I look forward to concentrating our energy in these areas over the next year.” 

For the last 2 years WFBA has supported  Alastair’s has supported Architectural Students at Portsmouth University by providing practical advice on design project on a monthly basis.  During each visit Alastair has the opportunity to demonstrate the key role structural engineers play in the development of a building and how an architect can make best use of that experience and expertise.


Photo Caption: (from left) Outgoing Chairman Saprava Bhattacharya, Institute President Joe Kindregan and WFBA’s Alastair Craig


“Civils” Team Expands

The Civil Engineering team at Hampshire based consulting civil and structural engineering company WFBA, has been expanded.  The team, managed by Director Bill Brown, now includes Kirsty Dye, Rob Lowe and Kirsten Glen with the longer serving team members, Paul Todd, John Comer, and Sam Wicks.  Bill Brown said that the introduction of two very experienced engineers and the addition of Kirsten Glen from Plymouth University, who is studying Civil and Coastal Engineering and has just commenced a 1 year placement with the Romsey based consultants, will help them meet the increasing demand for solutions to construction issues, often created due to the shortage of normal building plots.

 Kirsty Dye joins following 15 years’ experience, specialising in adoptable and private sewer designs, working with the Environment Agency and Local Lead Flood Authorities to achieve full and comprehensive drainage solutions in compliance with sustainability principles. Since 2008, Rob Lowe brings a wealth of experience having worked for Hampshire County Council Highways and  latterly with a small number of commercial property developers as Engineering Manager.

 “The challenges for developers are getting increasingly more difficult as opportunities on simple, flat well-drained plots of land is outstripped by demand.  Often the value of the land is determined by what is done under the surface to make it fit for purpose,” said Bill Brown.  “We help architects and developers to be able to build something almost anywhere provided it is considered viable and can gain planning approval.”

 The Civils team are currently assigned to projects including Brockhurst Gate Retail Park where they designed a cost effective sustainable drainage solution, also site wide infrastructure upgrades and operational facilities for Associated British Ports in Southampton and Lowestoft; reconfiguration of a client’s 7 acre facility to improve plant flow, maintenance and storage activities to secure and develop the business.



(from left) WFBA’s Bill Brown, Kirsten Glen, Rob Lowe, Paul Todd, John Comer, Sam Wicks, Kirsty Dye


Hampshire’s WFBA Attracts Former Colleagues


The introduction of Patrick Fisher as Senior Engineer to the Hampshire based consulting civil and structural engineering company WFBA, makes him the 6th recruited from the same national competitor they all worked for some 23 years ago. The founder and Director of WFBA, Bill Brown, and fellow Director Nick Groves worked in the same team there prior to launching their own company in 1995.

“We are delighted to have Patrick as the latest member of the team having recently welcomed Senior Engineer Brian Morton just 6 months ago,” said Bill Brown. “We have a similar philosophy as our previous employer and believe lessons learned there combined with our own style of leadership, customer focus and project delivery has stimulated business growth.”

Patrick Fisher said that he and his counterparts at WFBA, are pleased with the great variety of clients and projects he has the opportunity of working on, a situation developed by the proactive consultancy which now has a turnover of £1.85m from its newly expanded offices near Romsey.

“We don’t want to sound like we are an old boys club, but the younger members of the 30 strong team of professionals do benefit from the knowledge and successful approach that can flourish from our example,” said Bill Brown.

The company is currently working on over 100 projects at various stages of completion, ranging from marine, commercial, residential, hospitality industries.

Photo Caption: (from left) WFBA’s Brian Morton, Bill Brown, Paul Todd, Nick Groves, Steve Fagan, Patrick Fisher.

Photo Caption: (from left) WFBA’s Brian Morton, Bill Brown, Paul Todd, Nick Groves, Steve Fagan, Patrick Fisher.


Construction and Property Breakfast Club Members Appraise 2018 and Predict 2019 Growth


The quarterly meeting of Southern Construction and Property Breakfast Club saw a boost of members when it located to the Portsmouth Marriott hotel. The club organisers and sponsors welcomed over 90 developers, planners, land agents and other construction key industry related people.

David Ardley, Director of international property and construction consultancy company Gleeds said that the aim is now to move the club meetings to various towns and cities within the next 18 months, describing it as roadshow that would enable people to link up with other professionals in a way that will benefit the construction industry. Richard Summers, Urban Designer and Director from Southampton based Boyle+Summers Ltd and Nick Groves, Director at Romsey based consulting civil and structural engineers WFBA, agreed that trying different venues was an interesting idea and hoped to see an increase in numbers and diversity of attendees from across the region: “A key factor in the success of the organising members, is our ability at being more creative with our solutions to maximise the use and value of land for our clients. This is a message we wish to share!”

Shane Mason, Regional Director with Acheson Construction in Chandlers Ford said that the Club is now becoming an important ‘must attend’ event for any serious developer: “It’s a very quick way of reaching experienced and knowledgeable professionals who can make a difference to the degree of success of a building project and its viability.”

“We are fortunate that the southern area is still a vibrant region for development in most sectors including commerce, leisure and residential properties,” added Nick Groves. “None of us can afford to be complacent in the current economic cycle and it remains important to continue offering competitive fees commensurate with the high quality service we provide, whilst ensuring a reasonable profit margin.”

Anyone wishing to attend the next club breakfast to be held at the Hilton at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton on Thursday 13th December should contact

WFBA David Ardley, Nick Groves, Richard Summers and Shane Mason  at the Marriott in Portsmouth_ quarterly meeting of Southern Construction and Property Breakfast Club

Photo Caption: (From left) David Ardley, Nick Groves, Richard Summers and Shane Mason greet members at the Marriott in Portsmouth.


We Were Behind Hampshires New Castle


Romsey based consulting civil and structural engineering firm WFBA attended the Paultons Family Theme Park to view visitors enjoying latest attraction within Peppa Pig world. WFBA’s Director Nick Groves said that they were proud to add a Castle to their list of more unusual projects that they have provided structural analysis and consulted with architects to ensure that The Queen’s Castle at Peppa Pig World will stand for many years to come.

“As the new Castle, complete with a family ride that travels through its two towers will see more visitors than many of Hampshire’s historic castles and fortifications, we are delighted to have been involved in this latter day landmark,” said Nick Groves.  

Paultons Family Theme Park Managing Director Richard Mancey said that the £3m Queen’s Castle officially opened at Peppa Pig World in May as part of a large extension to the land including two brand new rides, The Queen’s Flying Coach Ride and Grampy Rabbit’s Sailing Club! 

“Peppa Pig is now a worldwide phenomenon with ever increasing popularity amongst pre-school children. The UK exclusive Peppa Pig World here at Paultons has been enjoyed by millions of guests since it opened in 2011” said Richard Mancey. “We are pleased to utilise suppliers in the region including WFBA who can enhance our projects with their professionalism and enthusiasm.” 

The last project WFBA’s team supported was the popular Velociraptor and Flight of the Pterosaur rollercoasters within Paultons Park’s Lost Kingdom attraction which was opened to the public in May 2016.  Detailed structural calculations and setting out ensured that the foundations would carry the loads and forces specified by the ride designers.

WFBA attended the Paultons Family Theme Park to view visitors enjoying latest attraction within Peppa Pig world.

Richard Mancey and Nick Groves by Hampshire’s newest Castle.


Kirsten Joins Construction team at the Portsmouth Travelodge Site


The high-rise buildings of Portsmouth are soon to be joined by the 12 storey new Travelodge Hotel as preparations are made for it’s its accent into the skyline. Kirsten Glen from Plymouth University, who has just commenced a 1 year placement with the Romsey based consulting civil and structural engineering company WFBA, had the opportunity to visit the site next to Catherine House, the student housing flats on Stanhope Road, where Senior Technician Mark Montaniel and Civil Technician Sam Wicks have been ensuring that the drainage and below ground civil engineering work is fully coordinated  during the early stages of the build to ensure a smooth transition to superstructure construction. 

“The mix of disciplines involved to ensure the contractors can proceed with confidence is vital at this important stage,” said Kirsten Glen, who is studying Civil and Coastal Engineering. 

Working to designs by Maidenhead Architects SKDdesign, WFBA Director Nick Groves says that once opened in the spring of 2019, it will be the 20th hotel project for which the company has provided consultancy services. 

“Since April 2016 we have been looking at design options and assisting with obtaining planning permission, going thorough design development and producing final information for tender and construction.  Our team has used 3D modelling techniques to collaborate with the design and construction team in line with the principles of BIM.  The experience with Travelodge enables us to support the proven formula that works for the successful group, and its team of architects and construction management team,” said Nick Groves. 

WFBA’s Kirsten Glen, Sam Wicks and Mark Montaniel at the Stanhope road site where the new Portsmouth Travelodge will stand.

WFBA’s Kirsten Glen, Sam Wicks and Mark Montaniel at the Stanhope road site where the new Portsmouth Travelodge will stand.


Great Start For New Retail Park

Kevin Lendon  Mark Vincent,  Millngate MD Tony Sweeney   Bill Brown Steve Hollick Brockhurst Gate Retail Park, at Heritage Way Gosport Amiri Construction M&S Food, Lidl, Home Bargains, and The Food Warehouse by Iceland and a McDonalds drive thru

(From left) Amiri’s Directors Kevin Lendon and Mark Vincent,  Millngate  MD Tony Sweeney WFBA’s Directors Bill Brown and Steve Hollick.

 Good news in the retail sector can be hard to find but the new £9 m development at the Brockhurst Gate Retail Park, at Heritage Way, Gosport is a positive story for regional business.     The expanding Fareham based Amiri Construction and Romsey based consulting civil and structural engineering company WFBA joined developer Tony Sweeney Millngate Gosport Developments Ltd to not only celebrate the progress of the build with its imposing steel structure, but news that many of the 7 retail outlets have already gained  tenants.

Mark Vincent, Director at Amiri Construction, said that they are looking forward to an on time, on budget completion of the new retail park in November (2018):“We have had a month of brilliant weather to get the construction underway and we are delighted for our client who is expecting an even brighter future for the site.”

Tony Sweeney said that the location of the site will draw visitors from a wide radius around Gosport who will be able to enjoy the convenience of outlets from a number of national retailers including M&S Food, Lidl, Home Bargains, and The Food Warehouse by Iceland and a McDonalds drive thru.  These will create additional retail jobs for the area.


Variety Attracts New Team Members

(from left) WFBA’s new line up Philip Lee, Matt Hatch and Lewis Safe

(from left) WFBA’s new line up Philip Lee, Matt Hatch and Lewis Safe

Three new team members have been appointed at the Hampshire based consulting civil and structural engineering company WFBA.   Matt Hatch, Philip Lee, and Lewis Safe all admit that range and diversity of clients and projects were major factors in their decision to join the 27strong consulting team.

 Matt Hatch from Braishfield, with 30 years’ experience in the industry, joins as Senior Revit   Technician after 9 years’ experience with various companies in the region.  Having started in the industry using a drawing board, Matt now uses his knowledge of computer aided modelling technology to support various projects.  His first at WFBA was a new Travelodge development in North London. 

 Eastleigh’s Lewis Safe, as Graduate Structural engineer, will use his experience gained on residential construction projects with a previous company and his degree from Plymouth University to support the senior engineers on increasingly complex projects and work towards chartered status.    

 As Trainee Structural Engineer, former draughtsman from Poole, Philip Lee, will use his HNC in Engineering from Southampton Solent University to great advantage. In September Philip will embark on a  4 year degree in Civil Engineering at London Kingston University as part of the company commitment to staff development

 WFBA Director Nick Groves said; “Each of the new team members has been carefully selected not only for their experience and potential, but also to fit with our philosophy and team culture to ensure the business can continue to meet the demands of clients, architects, developers and planning consultants across the South.”

 WFBA’s expansion allows them to widen the structural and civil engineering services. The scale of project can vary from a £15,000 private home extension to a £35 million commercial development and turnover is expected to grow this year from £1.28million to £1.45million.  The company is set to expand into adjacent offices at their Romsey base in July.