News

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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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 November 2016.

 

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.

Eagle House Wimbledon Village London SW19

We are proud to be associated with the repair and refurbishment of Eagle House in Wimbledon Village London SW19.

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

The building has been empty for many years and is now to be repaired restored and put back into use.

We are Advising messrs Octagon Developments Limited who are undertaking the work in conjunction with Criterion Capital.

‘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

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,
24 High Street , Wimbledon Village, London SW19 5DX
Tel: 020 8944 9955
Email: mail@pole.co.uk