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.

“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


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.


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

Container Area Extended At Southampton Docks

The last 15 months have been an interesting challenge for Romsey based consulting civil and structural engineering company WFBA.  Civil Engineering Consultant Paul Todd has been overseeing the refurbishment of 45,000 square metres of concrete paving to provide further storage for the extension of DP World’s container storage facility at Southampton docks. The works also include drainage improvements with the installation of new drainage channels and oil interceptors, new lighting and power distribution ductwork, installation of a new water main and provision of a 6-metre high boundary wall as an isolation feature from the adjacent waste management area.

Work has been substantially completed by the main contractor, Fordingbridge based Earlcoate Construction Ltd on behalf of DP World and Associated British Ports.

“It has been a challenging civil engineering project for WFBA,” said Paul. “We had to maintain access for all the ongoing adjacent activities whist completing the works to a tight programme. Our main technical consideration was to retain and reuse as much of the existing concrete paving as possible able to take the weight of the container transporters and the stacked containers. In excess of 30,000 square metres of new paving has been laid. The boundary wall is 440 metres long.”

The project also involved the design of foundations for the additional five 30m high mast lights and also the support columns for the extensive surveillance camera network.

WFBA have designed and overseen many projects for ABP including a number of multi deck car parks,  surface car parking, and a new cruise terminal.

WFBA’s consultant civil engineer Paul Todd at the new container site.

WFBA’s consultant civil engineer Paul Todd at the new container site.


Time To Refurbish Warsash Pier

The Warsash Pier, constructed in the mid nineties, is used for training courses offered by the Southampton Solent University’s Warsash Maritime Academy. It is now undergoing extensive refurbishment during the summer break under the direction of Romsey based consulting civil and structural engineering company WFBA. The project, led by WFBA’s Managing Director Bill Brown and his team, involves extreme pressure washing to remove the degraded paint system and rust from the structure, prior to repair and application of a new protection system.

“This is an SSSI site, so ensuring that controls are in place so that none of the waste arisings enter the water as we work along the structure has been a top priority.  This has been very challenging in this environment,” said Bill Brown. “The project also includes the replacement of corroded fixing bolts and concrete slab where bearings have failed.   Some of the piles also have to be replaced.”

Jeff Japes, Senior Building Surveyor for Southampton Solent University, said that the Pier will then be ready for the resumption of courses from September and face the day to day wear and tear caused by the constant use and weather conditions.



WFBA’s Bill Brown and Structural Engineer Oliver Stubbs with Jeff Japes prepare to inspect the quality of work on the Warsash Pier.