Who are we?

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

Build Collective provides Structural and Civil Engineering design solutions for Architects, private and public clients throughout the UK, and become involved at various different stages of the design and construction process. Sometimes it may evolve from an informal chat about ideas and other times its a complete design, taking it from a few sketched lines to a completed product. We divide the work we do into three phases:

  • Planning - we help with the planning process, in terms of highways, drainage etc and provide ideas and concepts to architects

  • Design - we use our unique processes to design the whole package, from foundations to structural frame and architectural steelwork (Stairs, handrails etc)

  • Construction - we can also help in the temporary works design and help in resolving the issues that happen on site during construction.

We like to meet those involved in the projects, to get to know them and understand their concerns and worries of the project, we like to make sure we know who we will be talking to on the phone or communicating via email for the length of the project.

With the size of the business, each project is important, and we also appreciate that during any project that scope and budgets may change, so we try and make sure we understand and clearly convey what we will be doing for you.

We do so much more, see our Services section of all the Engineering related work we are involved in and can provide.

End Product

This will depend on the level of service that you choose, and for what you you intend the structural design for:

  • Structural Engineering, we provide design calculations for you to submit to building control and drawings for your builder to work from along with a specification.

  • Civil Engineering, we provide design for planning and building control, with drawings and specifications for your local water authority. 

  • PassivHaus, we work on structural solutions for PassivHaus structures in the UK, with due consideration to the special considerations for cladding, insulation, foundations etc..

  • Expert Witness Work, we can provide expert witness work to review issues with existing structures with defects to assess the probable cause.

  • Party Wall Act Etc..., we can provide the client with designs and guidance to satisfy a Party Wall Agreement.

  • CDM Regulations 2015, part of the process is to consider the health and Safety of each project we design.


Structural Engineering

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.


Civil Engineering

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.


PassivHaus

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.


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.

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.

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.


Build Collective Defined

We took a long time to think about the brand name, as most practices seem to start with the owners name and end up shortening to initials etc, we wanted to ensure that we captured who and what we are in the name of the practice, not just a single individual person, but a collective of individuals that want to work together on buildings and structures.

The plan is to make the business a Employee Owned. So as a group we considered the meaning of each of the words of the company (Build Collective) as well as the tag (Diversity in Design) like to see what we are trying to achieve.

Collective

collective-adjective [ before noun ]

done or shared by every member of a group:

collective action/effort/decision - It will require a collective effort from governmentproviders, and the media to meetour goals.

collective responsibility/rights - All directors take collective responsibility for board decisions.

Build 

Build-noun [ c or u ]

[ I/T ] to make a structure or something else by putting materials together in a particular way:

[ T ] Without a plan, you can’t build a house.

[ T ] Some owls had built a nest in the chimney.

[ I ] We decided to build on high ground, above the river.

Design 

design-noun [ Plan ]

C1 [ C ] a drawing or set of drawings showing how a building or product is to be made and how it will work and look:

Have you seen the designs for the new shopping centre?

B1 [ U ] also designing the art of making plans or drawings for something:

She's an expert on kitchen/software design.

He's studying design in Paris.

Diversity 

diversity-noun [ S or U ] 

the fact of many different types of things or people being included in something; a range of different things or people:

Does television adequately reflect the ethnic and cultural diversity of the country?

the fact that there are many different ideas or opinions about something:

There is a wide diversity of opinion on the question of unilateral disarmament.

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