News

Wimbledon – Roof refurbishment

3D Model of the new structure to remove the existing roof supports and maximize the living space. 

Murray Road – Rear Extension

One of our first Autodesk Revit projects, we created a full 3D model for this stylish rear extension designed by Holden Harper Architects.

Though not essential for structural engineering designs, we find that 3D models are invaluable in communicating complex designs to Builders and Home Owners

Testimonials on Google

We are very pleased to refer you to our on line “Google” reviews which are published by a range of clients, without any arm twisting to say nice things about us !!

Almost all are complementary and the only one which is not ( unfortunately our very first review some years ago !) was only in respect of a misunderstanding over pricing and in comparing our High Street prices with someone working from home, who was inevitably cheaper but was not providing a like for like service.

 

 

Mixed-use development in Peckham

A mixed-use development of a former workhouse in Peckham in conjunction with long-time collaborators Holden Harper Architects.

This particular project utilised structural steel frames and CFSF (Cold-formed steel framing) to achieve a light-weight, low-carbon and rapid-build solution.

Multi-house development with basements in Wimbledon Village

Partnering with H2 Architecture and Kenham Building, Pole Strucutral Engineers Senior Engineer Jakub Nowikowski has desigend a trio of luxury, concrete framed detatched houses with full-size basements in a very desirable area of Wimbledon Village.

For this particular project, Pole have been working on a ‘design and build’ basis for the Main Contractor rather than a ‘traditional’ contractural route. We enjoy partnering in this way with Contractors we know well, where the collaborative approach can deliver significant added value to the building owner.

Renders by James Eardley

Rear Extension – Wimbledon Village

For a small rear extension in the heart of Wimbledon Village, Pole Strucutral Engineers have utilised structural steel to create a ‘tented’ rooflight to maintain natural lighting into the main house.

Somerset Road Development

Pole Structural Engineers have delivered a trio of modern detached houses for a Developer in this desirable area of Wimbledon.

To achieve a solid, robust feel and to keep pace with the Main Contractors short lead times, in-situ reinforced concrete construction was utilised for its site flexibility.

School Mezzanine, Greenford

Working with long-time collaborator Annette Peters Design , Pole Strucutral Engineers designed a ‘kit set’ steel mezzanine for erection inside a 1950s school hall in Greenford.

Used as a 6th form common room, the mezzanine proved a cost-effective way for the school to create additional floor space of what was an underutilised section of the hall.

 

Simon Pole’s talk on Party Walls for Engineers to the ASELB

Simon Pole will shortly be presenting a talk on Party Walls for Engineers to the ASELB ( Association Of Structural Engineers For London Boroughs). This follows his series of popular Bi-Annual talks on the same topic to the I. Struct E ( Institution of Structural Engineers) each year for the last five or so years, helping Engineer expand their knowledge of The Party Wall Etc Act 1996 legislation and specifically how this relates to structural design issues, both for new projects adjacent to existing building and for refurbishments and alterations to existing buildings.

Simon Pole presentation at ASELB

Simon will be presenting on the topic of party walls to the Association of Structural Engineers for London Boroughs. He regularly presents on this topic at The institution of Structural Engineers and is actively involved with party wall surveyors at The Pyramus And Thisbe Club and The Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors.

Grade II Listed Farmhouse refurbishment & extension – Sevenoaks

Pole Structural Engineers undertook the refurbishment and extension of a Grade II Listed (Circa 16th Century) Farmhouse in Sevenoaks.

 

Finished Rear Extension Completed – Wimbledon

Another one of our Wimbledon projects,completed. Headed up by Engineer Jakub Nowikowski 

For more information on how to get a rear extension of this quality, please contact us at the office.

 

 

Modern Terraced House, Richmond Park

For this modern extension to a 1970s row of terraced houses on the edge of Richmond Park, h2 Architecture required an open plan ground floor with very minimal structure. To achieve this, Pole Structural Engineers designed a structural steel ‘jungle gym’ frame utilising CHS slender columns and movement frames to avoid unsightly cross bracing and give the impression of a ‘floating’ structure.

Filament Structure close to nature

We are loving the Elytra Filament pavilion structure https://www.vam.ac.uk/articles/about-the-elytra-filament-pavilion being pioneered by
the University of Stuttgart that are pioneering the integration of biomimicry, robotic fabrication and new materials research in architecture.

The pavilion explored the impact of emerging robotic technologies on architectural design, engineering and making.

Its design is inspired by lightweight construction principles found in nature, the filament structures of the forewing shells of flying beetles known as elytra. Made of glass and carbon fibre, each component of the undulating canopy is produced using an innovative robotic winding technique developed by the designers. Like beetle elytra, the pavilion’s filament structure is both very strong and very light – spanning over 200m2 it weighs less than 2,5 tonnes. See video on web link for details.

Architectural Kitchen Extension, Surrey

For a architecturally demanding side extension, Senior Engineer Jakub Nowikowski has utilised Autodesk Revit to create a complete 3D model of the structural steel frame, right down to the nuts and bolts. Renders form these models complement the initial hand sketches that Jakub is known for.

A particular feature of this design that we are seeing more and more often is the ‘floating corner’, where a cruciform arrangement of roof steelwork allows the corner to seemingly defy gravity.

At Pole, we see Revit and BIM modelling as the future of our industry and we are actively building this side of our business.

If you could like to discuss collaboration in Revit/BIM, please get in touch.

OPEN FOR BUSINESS

We are OPEN for business as normal. Please contact us by email in the first instance mail@pole.co.uk

We will be pleased to advise you, providing we are all able to work safely within the currrnet CV-10 Government guidelines

Temporary Works – New Bond Street

A growing section of Pole Structural Engineers work involves the design of Temporary Works and construction sequence for Main Contractors.

This particular project for a high-end fashion label involved Project Engineer, Jorge, specifying a complex arrangement of props and braces to allow the ‘hollowing out’ of a large New Bond Street property to accommodate a feature stair and lift.

Malta Film & TV Survey

One of the more further afield jobs, Pole Structural Engineers recently undertook a structural survey of a historic Maltese castle for the filming of MTV’s True Love, True Lies 2 with Danny (& Dani) Dyer.

Pole undertake regular film and TV work and enjoy the variety and creativity required to ensure that the show goes on.

Sketch sketches and sketching!

For Scheme design and either small projects or simply when a complex detail needs to be communicated, we find that architects, builders and clients like nothing better than a 3D hand sketch.

We particularly enjoy this type of communication and are very lucky to have some talented artists in our team, as can be seen by some of the enclosed sketches.

Eagle House Wimbledon Village now completed

Very pleasing to see our project at Eagle House High Street Wimbledon Village completed.

Eagle

5 Star Reviews – Very Thankful

Thank you from all the staff at Pole, we are very grateful for the kind words and the comments and we will, “as always” keep up the good service.

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Fabulous Location for our Pole Team!!

This project in Whitsand Bay headed up by Teresa Cheuk, is a memorable project for our Pole team.

We could not wait to see the final result and what a fabulous property it turned out to be.

Contact us to see how one of our super team can help you.

18 05 10 3D Withnoe TerraceIMG_306618 05 10 Photos Collection from the website Withnoe Terrace

 

Substantial Property Refurbishment – Wimbledon

Fantastic house and basement refurbishment.

Jakub Nowikowski headed up this project in Wimbledon.

Properties of the month Princes Way Wimbledon

 

Somerset Road, Wimbledon – 3 x New Build Houses 2017 Structural Phase nearly complete

This development involved construction of three new residential properties with basements beneath. Construction of the new basement required installation of a piled retaining wall around the perimeter of the new development in order to form new concrete a “box” structure.

The properties are located in Somerset Road in Wimbledon. Latest Photos January 2018.

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Harrodian School, Barnes, London SW13

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A single storey mansard structure extension over the entire footprint of the existing main school buildings, creating 1,115m2 (approximately 12,002 square foot) of additional classrooms for the school.

The construction works were undertaken in phases, whilst the classrooms carried on as normal and around the school curriculum.  The total project cost is in the region of £2.5M.

The mansard structures were designed in rigid steelwork frames with timber decking infill for the new floor and roof.

The new structures were set above the existing flat roof, such that no interruption was encountered during the works.

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Plants that cause devastating damage – Buddleia

After a recent visit to a residential garden wall, backing onto a commercial car park, Simon Pole and Jorge Martinez-Torregrosa, witnessed the damage that can be caused by a simple garden plant called the Buddleia.

A clear reminder to always check what is on the other side of the wall before planting. For further advice give us a call.

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03 Close up of dead budlia bush and lifted brick coursing IMG_5929

07 Close up of cracks and open mortar joints with rootsIMG_5963

Simon Pole Expert Witness

Simon Pole has recently provided expert reports and appeared in court as an Expert Witness in two cases.

The first of these was in a high profile case in the High Court, in a case called  Chaturachanda v Fairholme which concerned a London basement project and whether the neighbour held a right to veto the specifics of the projects on the basis that the underpinning comprised Special Foundations, as defined by The Party Wall Etc Act 1996 .

The second case was a tribunal and concerned historic alterations to a listed building in Oxted in Surrey.

Grand Designs LIVE a Great Success

The Grand Designs Live show at Excel was a great success with professions from all over the world.

Simon Pole had a full schedule as an “Ask the Expert” and discussed all manor of design enquiries including new homes with  basements and even a 20m high, brick built octagonal chimney for a property in Norway.

 

If you would like to receive any structural advice or have a property you would like us to visit, please contact us here at the office on 020 8944 9955

 

 

Simon Pole Institution Of Structural Engineer lecture

Simon Pole presented a new paper on party walls and engineering matters to The Institution of Structural Engineers South East Counties AGM.

Simon previously spoke at the Institution Of Structural Engineer event for the Management of existing  structures event. He delivered a presentation about Party Wall matters and how this impacts on the management of structures adjacent to major building work. The slides from the talk are located within the “technical” section of the website.

‘RBKC stop illegal basement’

 

Unauthorised basement excavation halted by planners

Planners from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea have ordered the owner of 77 Stanhope Mews East, SW7, to stop an unauthorised basement excavation or face prosecution.

The Council received reports from members of the public that the owner was preparing to carry out excavation works inside the property. Planning Enforcement Officers visited the site and warned the owner that legal action would be taken if excavation began without planning permission.

Despite numerous warnings a visit by an enforcement officer, on 20 August, confirmed excavation work had begun. The concrete floor had been broken and two large holes had been excavated which were two metres deep. The spoil that had been dug out was piled up at the side of the holes. As a result the Council’s Planning Enforcement Team issued a Temporary Stop Notice on Tuesday 26 August to halt the unauthorised basement development. If works continue the owner will commit a criminal offence which could lead to a maximum penalty of £20,000 in a magistrates court and unlimited if heard in a crown court.

Cllr Timothy Coleridge, Cabinet Member for Planning Policy, said: “The Royal Borough will not tolerate developers who ignore planning law. Hopefully the property owner now ceases these excavation works but, if not, our Planning Enforcement Team will use all available legal powers to protect residents from this unauthorised development.”

Basement developments can have a big impact on the lives of neighbouring residents which is why a number of planning conditions are attached to grants of planning permission to mitigate this. Any unauthorised basement extension is of concern because planners will not have had the opportunity to assess the impact the development will have on the local area.

Party Wall I Struct E paper

Simon Pole published a paper in the journal for the Institution of Structural Engineers,

The article, for engineers is a viewpoint or opinion article, relaying the experiences of working with many Party Wall Surveyors who wish that more engineers would be familiar with Party Wall procedures.  The article concentrates on foundation and basement construction and the complex issues surrounding Special Foundations.
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Luxury new house in Surrey

Luxury new house in Surrey circa 15,000 square feet with basement parking and lower ground floor pool etc. We are designing the house using commercial office technology due to its large room sizes and to remove the relatively slow brick and stonework from the critical building path. It also provides a safe and watertight floor by floor construction to allow other activities to commence below.

Party Wall Engineering

Simon Pole  presented a lecture on the role of the advising engineer to the Surrey branch of the Pyramus and Thisbe club.  The slides used for the presentation are enclosed within the technical section of the web site for those interested.

Simon also presented to the institution of Structural Engineers  on the role of the Engineer both as designer and Advising Engineer to the party Wall Surveyors

Eagle House Wimbledon Village London SW19

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Eagle House High Street Wimbledon Village is now complete and luxury flats are for sale but the photographs gives you some idea of the significant works that contributed towards the stunning project.

We are proud to have been associated with the repair and refurbishment of Eagle House, with our long term friends and client Octagon Developments Limited

The listed building, which is 400 years old is one of Wimbledon’s oldest and largest properties.

Crossrail

We are advising various landlords whose property might be affected by tunnelling.  Some 50 properties around Soho Square and surrounding streets are affected by the Tottenham Court Road station and running tunnels. Cement grouting is proposed beneath many of these properties and our task is to advise whether this is necessary and the likely risks/ commercial implications for this strengthening work.  We are working with Steve Barker at BSVP Building and Project Consultants www.bsvp.co.uk

Basement Risks

A report by CROSS (Confidential Reporting on Structural Safety) has reported concerns regarding poor health and safety practice during retrofit basements.  They report:-

NEW BASEMENTS BENEATH EXISTING PROPERTIES

A reporter is concerned about the construction of some basement in London.  He has reviewed two projects covering basement works in relation to Building Regulation checks on the structural aspects.

The following characteristics were seen by the reporter:

  • they were probably two projects with the least percentage of costs spent on architectural and structural design that he has come across in three decades of practice,
  • there was a definite danger to the builder, based on the submitted designs,
  • they were very likely to cause major problems for the neighbours,
  • It was suspected that the works would be outside the competency of all parties, and this included the client and the Building Inspector.

After the reporter expressed concern he said that the projects were passed to another engineer.

The increase in major or complex basement constructions in London in particular is a concern as the implications do not always appear to be appreciated by those involved. Such projects may not be ‘building work’ but ‘construction projects’, with an attendant necessary increase in competency.

Indeed it has also been reported that in London basements under terraced houses are being constructed without any engineering input and no regard to the Party Wall Act, ground water movement, or the effect on neighbouring dwellings. Danger during construction is beyond the scope of  Building Control, but it is essential that this is considered during the process.  There are usually understandings  between Building Control and HSE such that once a project gets underway on site unsafe actions are referred to HSE.

The aim however should be intercept these projects prior to construction and perhaps this report reinforces the need for licensing certain types of work.  It is to be hoped that available guidance would be consulted or competent specialists brought in as required.  Competency of those in the chain of responsibility is very important and features in many reports to CROSS about failures.  “Simplifying design and construction” from the Basement Information Centre gives general advice and is soon to be updated.

Basements are the new loft conversion

Basements are clearly the new loft conversion.  Everyone is digging down!  Great way to gain extra space.

See Projects Residential for further details

Structural survey enquiries from home-owners and purchasers

The housing market is thriving in London and the Home Counties.   We are currently busy with lots of survey enquiries from home-owners and purchasers.

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Community Projects

We are involved in community projects currently helping local schools with projects ranging from library refurbishments to new buildings.

Wimbledon Village Business

The Wimbledon Village Business Association is a network for all types of business in Wimbledon Village and provides networking, general advice and help to lobby local concerns.

It is an extremely valuable business and networking group for the shops and offices in Wimbledon Village.

www.wimbledon-village.com for all local business and retail information.

We are currently working with Merton Council to try and increase the amount of visitor parking for customers.

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Wimbledon Young Professionals Group

Organised by Morrisons Solicitors www.morrlaw.com (contact Oliver Taylor on 01737 854565) a relaxed networking group has been set up for younger professionals at all levels of career development. This is to encourage tomorrows movers and shakers and for local businesses to get to know each other in a relaxed manner.
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Wimbledon links

www.Wimbledon-village.com
for everything in Wimbledon Village; news, events, find a business, etc

www.Mertonchamber.co.uk
for general business advice and for Merton Borough wide information

www.Wimbledonbookfest.org

www.merton.gov.uk/environment/buildingcontrol.htm
for all Merton Building Control information

www.merton.gov.uk/environment/planning.htm
for Merton Town Planning

www.wimbledonsociety.org.uk

www.mertonbusinessawards.co.uk/2011-winners/
for merton business award winners 2011

Institution Reviews

Each year Simon Pole donates time to the Institution of Structural Engineers to help prospective Chartered Engineers prepare for their final exams.
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Pole Structural Engineers, Admel House,
60 High Street Wimbledon London SW19 5EE 
Tel: 020 8944 9955
Email: mail@pole.co.uk