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 claire.bayly@gleeds.co.uk

WFBA  034David Ardley, Nick Groves, Richard Summers and Shane Mason  at the Marriott in Portsmouth_.jpg

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 PR33  Richard Mancey and Nick Groves.jpg

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. s.jpg

(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.

 

More Projects For McCarthy and Stone

The team at Romsey based consulting civil and structural engineering company WFBA has been awarded its 21st project for the UK’s leading retirement housebuilder McCarthy & Stone.  The new build property in Winchester is to be designed by Inspire Design, one of the 3 framework architects appointed by the developer to design buildings that will be both functional and attractive at the acquired location. 

 The first McCarthy & Stone project involving the engineering team was Wickham, Hampshire in 2014. Nick Groves, Director at WFBA, said that the diverse designs by the architects  to meet site constraints ensure that the qualified team assigned to McCarthy & Stone projects never have to assess the same design twice, albeit there is a well considered layout strategy as part of the brand.

 “The various sites across the South and South West of England are all multi million pound new build projects that we are involved with from the initial concept design and planning stages through to delivery on site. Our experience with McCarthy & Stone and other national developers enables us to provide engineering solutions to enhance the success of the group and the wider design team,” said Nick Groves.  “We are pleased to play a significant role in successful project delivery for the retirement house builder.”

 WFBA has increase their professional team from 18 to 26 has been achieved over the last 12 months to expand their services to Architects, Developers and Planning Authorities across the UK.  The scale of projects can vary from a £15,000 private home extension to a £35 million commercial development.  Over 20 hotels for the Travelodge chain have also received the input from WFBA. One of the more unusual projects within the leisure industry was the latest roller coaster rides at Paultons Family Theme Park.

Demand for the WFBA team’s services has also increased over the last 12 months seeing turnover grow from £900K to £1.35million

Vacancies for Structural and Civil Engineers November 2017

Due to our continuing success in winning challenging projects, WFBA are seeking both Structural Engineers and Civil Engineers to join our team in Braishfield.  We have a varied portfolio of work across a range of industry sectors, including Education, Healthcare, Residential, Commercial, Retail and Marine.   If you have a proactive, solution focused approach to design and are interested in joining a dynamic and growing organisation this opportunity could be for you. 

Structural Engineers

We are currently seeking 2 Structural Engineers who can ideally design in most structural materials.  You should have a proven ability to work alone but with supervision commensurate with experience. You must have a good relevant degree minimum 2:1 and above (Structural or Civil Engineering) or an equivalent qualification and have a minimum of 2 - 4 years UK based Consultancy experience

As part of the Structural Engineering team, you will be responsible for undertaking structural design, calculations and drawings for a wide range of projects using all structural materials.  You must be well organised, have good communication skills, work well in a team and have the ability to coordinate effectively with other disciplines.

Positions available

·         Graduate Structural Engineer (grad+2 min)

·         Structural Engineer (grad+4 min)

Civil Engineers (Infrastructure)

We are currently seeking 2 Civil Engineers (Infrastructure) to join our Civil & Structural Engineering Consultancy and provide technical assistance on a range of Engineering projects across the UK.

Candidates are required to have achieved a Civil Engineering degree minimum 2:1 and above and have a minimum of 2 - 4 years UK based Consultancy experience and you must be well organised and able to demonstrate your working usage of AutoCAD/Civils 3D/WinDes (MicroDrainage) software.

As part of the Civil Engineering team, you will be responsible for undertaking Civil Engineering & Infrastructure design, calculations and drawings for a wide range of residential & commercial projects and have exposure to working on Section 38, 104 & 278 agreements. You will need to have good communication skills, work well in a team and have the ability to coordinate below ground drainage, services and pavement design. Flood risk assessment and marine experience would be advantageous

Positions available

·         Graduate Civil Engineer (grad+2 min)

·         Senior Civil Engineer (chartered or very near chartered)

To be considered or if you are after more information for the role, please send your CV or message to Nick Groves on nick.groves@wfba.co.uk

New Travelodge Hotel for Portsmouth

 
UPDATE FINAL Portsmouth Main Front View.jpg
 

WFBA have been celebrating news that the construction of the 11 storey, 152 room hotel with under croft car parking, will start in November 2017. 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.  Our 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.  “We are pleased to provide a vital link in the further expansion of this successful hotel chain.”

 

Hampshire based Management Contractor DNA IC Limited have been coordinating the design and build process on behalf of CHG Property Developments Ltd and will be building the new addition to Portsmouth’s skyline.

 

Helping Travelodge Expand

 Nick Groves at the Andover Travelodge

Nick Groves at the Andover Travelodge

Director Nick Groves says that the expanding hotel group Travelodge has given his Romsey based consulting civil and structural engineering company WFBA very little time to rest as they have gain the instruction to apply their expertise to the 9th hotel project within the last 18 months.  This takes the total to 20 Travelodge projects since 2004.

 

In the South and South West of England, hotels at Weston Super Mare and Andover are the most recently opened, Harrow is in the final phase of construction and sites at Burnham on Sea, Swindon and Portsmouth are in the final stages of planning. Other project locations await instruction. Whilst for each project the Travelodge model is fairly standard, the sites are all different and require careful consideration as to the viability of the development in respect of the ground conditions and drainage solutions. Budgets are keen so design solutions need to be keen also.

 

“The latest sites are all multi million pound new build projects that we are involved with from the initial concept design and planning stages through to delivery on site. Our 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.  “We are pleased to provide a vital link in the successful hotel chain.”

 

What Do Constructive Investigations Prove?

 Bill Brown

Bill Brown

Bill Brown of Hampshire based consulting civil and structural engineering company WFBA is one of a few experts in the region who undertake independent forensic investigations that help to determine what mistakes have been made, either during the design or construction on site, when a project is subject to a legal dispute. Due to the in-depth focus and effort required, he tries to limit his time to four investigations a year on behalf of clients or solicitors.

 

Very few of the claims reach the specialist court, the Technology and Construction Court in London, as many are settled through robust dispute resolution between the parties and their insurers to avoid the huge costs of litigation.  Bill, with over 40 years’ experience as a structural engineer, says that it is often found that insufficient communication between the main three parties, project client, the design team and the building contractor, to be the main cause of the problem eventually leading to a dispute once the building becomes the subject of arbitration.

 

“Many cases show that there has been a lack of clarity between the parties involved, with no clear lines of communication and responsibilities flowing through the design and construction phases. The construction and design teams should always work close together as extremely expensive problems can occur if this is not the case. It is very much in the best interest of the client to ensure that his design team are properly engaged and frequent inspections are made as work progresses to ensure design integrity is maintained,” said Bill Brown.  “Often the investigation finds an element of blame across all the parties involved due to a series of errors and what can largely be considered as innocent mistakes, there is not always absolute guilt.  These could be avoided if the proper checks and controls are in place”

 

WFBA’s Consulting Engineer Paul Todd is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitration and will also be called to assess a series of infrastructure related claims every year. Both Bill and Paul ensure that their reports are circulated within their professional team of specialists so that they continually benefit from the findings which help to avoid similar mistakes and the process is useful for validating their own systems.

 

“Simply by ensuring the design team are not disengaged from the construction stages and frequent audits and inspections are undertaken, potential construction project failures can be rectified before minor problems grow into major claims, even on projects with very tight budgets” confirms Bill.

"Alpaca Andy" Joins As Senior Technician

 
 Andy Davis with award winning Yoko

Andy Davis with award winning Yoko

 

Romsey based WFBA has appointed Andy “Alpaca” Davis as a Senior Technician at the expanding consulting civil and structural engineering firm.  Andy, from Totton, studied at the Southampton Technical College and prior to WFBA, held a similar management role with an international company.

 

When not working on multi-million pound construction projects for clients including McCarthy & Stone, Travelodge, and Southampton University, and some of the UK’s leading Architects, Andy with his wife Sally care for 6 male and 7 female Alpacas.  After 4 years of breeding, five of the animals have gained top awards in local shows, including 1st in Class and reserve Champion at Romsey Show, 1stin Class and reserve Champion at Ellingham and Ringwood Show and 1st in Class and Champion at Honiton Show.

 

Nick Groves, Director at WFBA, says that Andy has one of the more unusual hobbies within the team of 26 employees: “It can be a stressful environment working on projects varying from a £25,000 private home extension to a £35 million commercial development so having a rural pastime can only be a good thing!”

 

Construction and Property Breakfast Club Builds On New Sponsorship

 
  Justin Galloway Acheson Construction Ltd, Tony Deacon Gleeds, Nick Groves WFBA, Richard Summers and Tony Boyle of Boyle+Summers.

Justin Galloway Acheson Construction Ltd, Tony Deacon Gleeds, Nick Groves WFBA, Richard Summers and Tony Boyle of Boyle+Summers.

 

The Southern Construction and Property Breakfast Club, which now attracts over 70 professionals from the building and construction industry to its quarterly meetings held at the Ageas Hilton, has been boosted by a new team of four leading sponsors from the Solent region.

 

The group will now comprise of contractors Acheson Construction Ltd, architects and masterplanners Boyle+Summers Ltd, property and construction consultants Gleeds, and consulting civil and structural engineers WFBA. Each of the companies will be responsible for the organisation of this important networking event, and selecting the invitees from a range of professionals including Developers, Contractors, Project Managers and Cost Consultants, Consulting Engineers, Architects, and Planning Specialists.

 

“The Breakfast Club is an excellent opportunity to network with fellow construction professionals, share views of the industry and gain insight into new opportunities, and we are all delighted to be sponsors of the re-formed Breakfast Club,” said WFBA Director Nick Groves.  

 

Technical Director Supports Portsmouth Uni Architectural Students

 
 Alastair Craig

Alastair Craig

 

Romsey based consulting civil and structural engineering firm WFBA has supported Architectural Students at Portsmouth University by lending their Technical Director Alastair Craig to offer 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 what they can offer.  By spending around 30 minutes with each student helps the young designers consider how to best use a wide choice of building materials available to them to not only make a building project both functional and visually impressive, but also robust and sustainable for the long term future.

 

“The sessions with the part one and part two students are designed to show the important early input an engineer can offer to a design. It’s an interesting and in my view essential approach to the project based course work as this training will help them to consider and appreciate the many factors that influence  a design to determine what can be achieved and built on a given site;” said Alastair

 

At WFBA, the busy team of 25 are currently applying their skill and knowledge to a number of major projects for clients including McCarthy & Stone, Travelodge, and Southampton University, as well as wide ranging selection of projects across England for many key Architects. The scale of projects can vary from a £25,000 private home extension to a £35 million commercial development.   WFBA annual turnover now exceeds £1,200,000.

 

New Faces Support New Building Projects

Romsey-based consulting civil and structural engineering company WFBA is continuing to introduce additional members of staff to their expanding team.  Harry Hunter graduated from Plymouth University in 2014 and since then has been working within the infrastructure team for a practice based in Exeter. Harry has relocated to Hampshire and to WFBA and is now working towards Chartered Accreditation with the Institute of Civil Engineering.  His appointment at WFBA will strengthen our civil engineering team and our offering to existing and new clients.

Two new team members are from the Hampshire region.  After 8 years with Southampton based AKS Ward, Graham Machin joins as a Senior Structural Engineer engaged on a variety of projects including a new eleven storey hotel scheme design for Portsmouth.  His ambition is to gain his Chartership within the next few years. 

Romsey’s Tom Marshall started with WFBA as a summer intern in 2015.  Now having gained his Master of Science in Civil Engineering at Cardiff University, he has been appointed as a Graduate Structural Engineer and supports the established team that problem solves on a range of intricate and sometimes frustrating projects! 

WFBA Director Nick Groves, who founded the company in 1995 with Managing Director Bill Brown said; “We are fortunate to be recommended by existing clients across a diverse range of market sectors which has contributed to the strong ongoing demand for our consultancy services. The scale of projects can vary from a £15,000 private home extension to a £30 million commercial development.”  

Anyone who joins the £1,000,000 turnover company will not only work with architects and developers within Hampshire but on construction projects throughout the UK.   These range from new Travelodge Hotels, retirement homes across the south for McCarthy and Stone, housing developments, complex refurbishments and one-off prestige projects.

 
 

Career Fair Hope For Expanding Romsey Company

Romsey-based consulting civil and structural engineering company WFBA says that by attending the University of Southampton Careers Fair for the first time, they are hopeful that they will be able to recruit the number of graduate engineers and enthusiastic undergraduates for summer placements as the business expand amid a national shortage of skilled people.

“We have already increased our technical team by 7 this year and based on our current and forecast workload will be able to accommodate the same growth in 2017,” said Managing Director Bill Brown who founded the company in 1995 with fellow consultant Nick Groves.

Anyone who joins the £1,000,000 turnover company will not only work with architects and developers within Hampshire but on construction projects throughout the UK.   These range from several new Travelodge Hotels, retirement homes across the south for McCarthy and Stone, small housing developments, complex refurbishments and one-off prestige projects.

“We are very pleased with our expansion across the country and the diverse range of projects are appreciated by our team of experienced professionals.The scale of projects can vary from a £15,000 private home extension to a £30 million commercial development.  We are fortunate to be recommended by existing clients across a diverse range of market sectors which has contributed to the  strong ongoing demand for our consultancy services.”  

The ability to support projects has been greatly influenced by our investment in the latest BIM (Building Information Modelling) software which enables greater collaboration between the design team and their clients.

 
 

Outside of his role in the office, WFBA Technical Director Steve Hollick's big passion is football. Nowhere is this better displayed than on the touchline and training ground of AFC Totton where he is 1st Team Manager. WFBA are proud to sponsor one of our local football teams and wish them success in the forthcoming season.