Who we are
Build Collective is a bespoke engineering consultancy with a flexible and nimble approach to civil and structural engineering design. We enjoy working with steel, concrete, timber, masonry and glass to provide excellent and efficient engineering solutions to the diverse problems posed by new and existing buildings, structures and landscapes.
We are committed to dealing fairly with our clients and we expect clients to be fair to us. We show this commitment through our fees, programmes and communication of reasonable expectations throughout our projects.
We are committed to environmental sustainability and strive to consider the future of each of our designs and their impact on the planet. We endeavor to use materials efficiently and, therefore, to 'play to their strengths' by using most suitable materials for the engineering problem at hand.
We are a knowledgeable and nimble team delivering good engineering creating in a learning environment. Enjoying design process, exploring new materials and concepts and through problem solving and through ingenuity we seek to achieve effective and elegant engineering solutions across all sectors and project sizes.
We think of all projects from a materials first principle, i.e. We as the necessary questions: have we got the right material being specified in the right place, this maybe for differing considerations of aesthetic, commercial or spatial reasons and just because that is what is normally used is it right or can we do better for you, the Environment and for future generations?
What we do
We provide structural and civil engineering. Most of our clients are either house owners or smaller developers, looking for structural and civil engineering services, this can start via a phone conversation, email, and also enjoy face to face meeting to understand the services you are after.
Initially we will provide you with a written quote and schedule of works, which you can review and consider in your own time.
We normally work with three stages
Stage 1 - site visit
Stage 2 - Initial design proposal (some clients remove this stage to save time and cost, we will require a clear focus on the preferred materials and design)
Stage 3 - Final design and drawing production
We provide design calculations to satisfy building regulations and drawings for the builder to use to construct/modify your building. This is an important legal requirement for the construction or modification of an building when there are structural requirements for habitable building.
The Institution of Structural Engineers describes our work as both an art and a science. We seek to excel in both the creative and analytical aspects of engineering using hand drawn sketches, CAD or 3D modelling to communicate our design to our clients and to co-ordinate with other members of the design and construction team.
We enjoy working in a collaborative way with our clients, architects and contractors. We believe successful designs are derived from understanding what each client is seeking to achieve and then tailoring our approach to add maximum value for each project.
We basically assess the loading being applied to the building from use, material and environment, to ensure that the building is capable of standing up.
Build Collective is involved with the smaller end of civil engineering works that are often an essential part to constructing any new building, such as retaining walls and drainage design. We can design retaining walls in reinforced concrete, masonry and gabions and we will design soakaways to BRE 365.
Build Collective manages all aspects of design that are essential for constructing any new building: retaining walls, drainage design, flood risk assessments, 3D ground modelling, geotechnical services - all these are engineered to suit clients as required. We can design retaining walls in reinforced concrete, masonry and gabions and will design soakaways to BRE 365.
As structural engineers we are more unusual in that we work and understand the principles of PassivHouse, this means that we work with details and materials that do not compromise the ethos of the PassivHous movement, we actually understand what you and your architect are trying to achieve. We ideally would love all buildings to be thought of and built in this way.
The PassivHaus standard is a detailed, fully measurable energy performance target for buildings. It is a ‘fabric-first’ approach to energy efficiency, relying on good quality materials and workmanship to produce building which cost as little as £15/year to run. The initial research was carried out in Germany on houses, but the standard has since been expanded to include all types of building. PassivHaus can include ‘bolt-on’ technologies such as solar panels and wind turbines, but this is not essential and most PassivHaus look so similar to ‘normal’ homes it is hard to tell the difference unless you know where to look.
The PassivHaus standard can also be applied to existing buildings in what is called an EnerPHit retrofit which generally involves works such as adding extra insulation and making the building airtight. This standard enables existing homeowners to reduce their energy consumption by up to 90%.
At Build Collective we offer full PassivHaus and EnerPHit refurbishment design services, as well as a consultancy service available to architects and designers wishing to meet the PassivHaus standard.
CDM Regulations 2015
All building work, needs to consider the Health and Safety aspects of the design, as a structural and civil engineering practice, we will when providing design information highlight any abnormal risks associated with the construction work, and will also inform you as a client your responsibilities and how you can ensure you comply to the act.
This is not something you can or should ignore, for anyone injured on your site if you fail to provide the relevant information to your builder or sub-contractors can place you at risk. We can with small projects carry out a risk assessment and provide you with the paperwork required to issue to builders.
This is normally the responsibility of the first person you contact with regards to your project even if its just for planning advice.
Expert Witness Work
With the level of experience within the team we can provide expert witness work when design has gone wrong, or if an element of a building has or is starting to fail, this is normally a service requested by a legal team in the event of an issue that is going to go to court.
Most of the expert witness work to date has involved the failure of boundary walls where you have two parties in dispute over who is reasonable and what has caused the failure. Due to the nature of the context of such reports we are unable to provide examples, but we are happy to discuss your current concerns you may have on a particular element of your structure.
Party Wall Act etc…
With any change to an existing house, or the construction of a new property, one has to consider the impact of the new works on the neighbouring properties, we will highlight any concerns during the design process. You may need to consider serving Party Wall Act etc notifications to the neighbours to allow the work to be carried out with due consideration of the adjoining owners.
This can be done using standard guidance provided by UK.Gov website, or by any of the professional service providers in your scheme.