Latest recruit to the cycle club inducted!

An early morning introduction ride for our latest member of the club, Eddy Byfield.  Eddy is our summer placement student from Portsmouth University and only started on Monday but was keen to join in.  A very small party this morning with Patrick Fisher and Nick Groves taking Eddy around the short induction route.

 

WFBA Cycle Club members (left to right) Nick Groves, Eddy Byfield and Patrick Fisher

 

Tour de France Route Cyclist Brian Fundraises for Prostate Cancer

Its only 4 years since Brian Morton, 52 from Totton started to keep fit by entering cycling events across the UK, now he is to participate in the Grande Depart Classic on the 29th June which uses 120 miles of the imminent Tour De France route from Brussels.  Brian, encouraged by fellow cyclists and colleagues at Romsey based consulting civil and structural engineering company WFBA is targeting to raise at least £1000 through sponsorship for Prostate Cancer UK.    

“This will be a challenge for me as the furthest I have tackled to date is 100 miles in the Midlands Velo in May.  I’m told the route is reasonably ‘flat’ so that should help me cover the extra 20 miles,” said Brian Morton.

 Nick Groves, fellow cyclist and Managing Director of WFBA, said that the company will sponsor Brian with £250 on top of individual sponsorships from his colleagues and contacts within the construction industry.

 “We are keen to promote a happy and healthy workplace to fight against the stress and challenges of the busy company. Alongside cycling we also have a 5-A-Side football team which competes regularly against other businesses within the construction industry,” said Nick Groves.

 Anyone wishing to support Brian and donate to Prostate Cancer UK can visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/brian-morton67

 

(left to right) Steve Hollick, Yousef Al Hilly, Brian Morton, Nick Groves and Patrick Fisher.

 

Degree Apprenticeships Encouraged

The government subsidised Degree Apprenticeship schemes need to be embraced more by the construction industry in the region according to Steve Hollick, the Technical Director of Romsey based consulting civil and structural engineering firm WFBA.  Degree Apprentice schemes are available for a multitude of professions within the industry and only require a 5% contribution from most SME companies, which is very cost efficient for both employer and employee (who pay no fees!).  WFBA are taking the opportunity to support 2 part time degree students from their team this year to attend one day a week courses at University of Portsmouth to become chartered engineers.  Steve Hollick and his fellow directors are also encouraging their industry contacts to discuss the options offered with Omar Lakhssassi, Business Development Executive for Degree Apprenticeships at the University.

 “From our point of view, the incentive to upskill our engineering team is very strong and we are impressed with the syllabus, course content and the high standard of the lecturers we have met at the University,” said Steve Hollick.  “We co-host the Southern Construction and Property Breakfast Club and so actively encourage Omar to meet many of the leading construction industry decision makers to help get the importance of the degree apprenticeships that benefit the industry.”

 Omar Lakhssassi is hoping to raise awareness that the government currently subsidise 95% of Apprentice course fees so companies could sponsor a full degree for as little as £2500.

 “We are committed to giving support to the industry through courses covering Project Management, Quantity Surveying, Architecture and  Civil Engineering.  There should be no excuse not to enhance the skills of the region’s construction industry professionals,” said Omar Lakhssassi.

 WFBA has supported the University’s Architectural Students on a monthly basis with Alastair Craig, who is a Technical Director and also Chairman of the Southern Regional Group of The Institution of Structural Engineers by providing practical advice on design projects.   WFBA also encourages any students interested in a career in Civil Engineering to visit their offices to meet their team of 25 professionals to get a greater understanding of the work involved on projects on a day to day basis.

 Any company requiring more information on Degree Apprenticeships can contact omar.lakhssassi@port.ac.uk

 

 

Omar Lakhssassi with Steve Hollick at the University of Portsmouth

 

Vacancies for Structural Engineers May 2019

 
WFBA We're Hiring_Page_1.jpg

Due to our continuing success in winning exciting projects, WFBA are seeking Structural 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)

Please enquire further or submit your CV to Nick Groves at nick.groves@wfba.co.uk

 

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 www.wfba.co.uk 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 Steve.Hollick@wfba.co.uk

 
 

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 claire.bayly@gleeds.co.uk

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.