Latest news and views from Pro Structures

Last Saturday, Vitali, Luke and Jenni cycled around 70km across the bridge and into the Wye Valley, in the St Peter’s Hospice Tour de Bristol. It was a great day out; more of a challenge for some than others, and all in a good cause.

Ron said: “I’m really proud of my team for doing this – it is a total privilege to have such committed and dedicated young engineers on board.”

If you’d like to help people coping with cancer, and their families, you can still donate: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jenni-oconnor-tour-de-bristol-15489

Preparing for take off

Whatever happens with the B-word, PRO Structures fully intends to keep serving our community of architects, developers and fellow construction industry professionals.

Structural glazing update 
PRO Structures is delighted to have recently completed design of the structural elements for the large curtain walling elevations of the new 16,200 m2 cargo service centre as part of Heathrow’s Project Ensemble (pictured below, for Ridgeway Glazing); glazed facade design for the new Thatcher’s Cider Factory in Winscombe for The Windowglass Co Ltd; and structural glazing design for the new Peugeot showroom in Maidstone, for Advanced Automotive Access.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Small is beautiful… green oak timber design in Sneyd Park, Bristol
Refurbishment/change of use from garage to dwelling in Julian Road

In contrast to, and every bit as interesting as our large glazing schemes, we recently worked with MLG Architects to carve a green oak timber framed living space out of a garage in Julian Road, Sneyd Park in Clifton, in liaison with specialist timber supplier Westwind Oak.

We designed new foundations, green oak timber trusses and oak column framing, as well as mortice and tenon connections, for this fascinating refurb/change of use scheme. Maintaining the building’s stability with this design, where one side is attached, the other detached and the client wanted as column-free and open a space as possible, was a challenge we were happy to rise to, and the results speak for themselves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New on the drawing board:
Union House change of use to 15 flats in Trowbridge, and a single-storey steel barn conversion in Bristol

At Union House, a disused 1970s office building in Trowbridge, we are justifying an existing reinforced concrete frame for additional roof extensions in a new build/change of use conversion, using a Masterseries 3D structural model. This scheme, which adds a new storey on both the front and rear elevations, will create 15 new apartments from the original office building.

Meanwhile, we will be converting an agricultural steel barn off Bifield Road in Stockwood, Bristol, into a new single-storey residential building, for Nicholas Morley Architects. To achieve a the build, we are modifying the existing steel frame, via localised strengthening while also strengthening the foundations for the revised scheme.

Below: PRO Structures’ MasterSeries 3D design model showing the front elevation of Union House.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Action Stations – Live on Site

The year has started well for PRO Structures, with numerous new developments on site:

  • Stonehouse Area H21 for Redrow SW – Foundations for the first of these Heritage range of houses are in the ground now, and the show home is being built. We have provided the sub-structure design for 130 new homes in total.
  • 33-35 High Street, Shirehampton – another change of use scheme, plus a new residential apartment block on adjacent land in Pembroke Road. The scheme, for which we are proud to have carried out the structural design, will complete this September, providing 16 new apartments across both buildings.
  • Union House, Trowbridge – Demolition of the existing external masonry cladding, as well as that of the internal load-bearing walls, is nearly complete.
  • Bishopsworth Police Station – Demolition of this former police station has just been completed for our client, Hawkfield Homes. The building’s crushed concrete and masonry will be used as hardcore, which will then be proof rolled to raise the ground levels on which 8 new proposed houses will be built, in a development which will be known as Anton’s Corner.

 

Launch of the PRO Structures Dream Team!
On April 6th, Vitali, Luke and Jenni will be completing – we hope! – the gruelling 65km Tour de Bristol up the Wye Valley for St Peter’s Hospice. If you’d like to help us to help those battling cancer, you can:
https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jenni-oconnor-tour-de-bristol-15489

Staff News

We are delighted to announce that on 1st April, a new graduate engineer, Chimdi Iboko, will be joining us. He will be part of our structural design delivery team, and will be working towards his IStructE qualification. We look forward to welcoming him on board.

 

That’s it from us for this edition – we hope you have enjoyed the read. Wishing you a happy, healthy and prosperous spring!

Ron and the team

 

 

So on a wild and windy day in March, the PRO Structures Dream Team came together outside the office for the first time, with a training ride planned from Bristol-Portishead-Clevedon (48k) on the 16th. We are so proud of all of them. It’s in aid of the St Peter’s Hospice 65k Tour de Bristol; if you’d like to support, click here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jenni-oconnor-tour-de-bristol-15489

We are feeling incredibly proud of our engineer Vitalijus, who completed the gruelling 74km Green Man ultramarathon around Bristol in 9 1/2 hours last Saturday. We are pleased to report that he can still walk, though he’s put his running shoes away for a week or so while he recovers. Top effort, and one which will hopefully stand him in good stead as we prepare for our team 65k ride for St Peter’s Hospice Tour de Bristol in April.

We’re proud to announce that PRO Structures has just launched it’s inaugural fundraiser for charity – Luke, Vitali and Jenni will be cycling 65 very hilly kilometres in April in aid of St Peter’s Hospice. Jenni is especially grateful to the lads for volunteering to cycle at her pace (what with Luke, especially, having grown up on a bike, being half her age, and almost twice her height…).
Do support us if you can: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jenni-oconnor-tour-de-bristol-15489

If you have an MSc in Civil or Structural Engineering, are keen to progress and have a track record in our field, have a can-do attitude, good communication skills with a positive working attitude, and want to work in a small but highly professional, fast-growing and committed team with a great reputation, then we look forward to hearing from you.

See our Work With Us page for more information….

We have recently added a few more case studies to our portfolio:

 

These showcase our abilities in working with historic buildings (St Luke’s Hall), complex and constrained sites (avoiding the roots of the Tall Pines in question), and designing a completely open and column-free cantilivered extension (Hill View).

Never let it be said that we don’t enjoy a challenge….

Tall Pines, Henbury Road

This project may otherwise have been an ordinary scheme, to design a garage. However, the site in question is located in a tree preservation area, with the main house built in grounds containing numerous protected trees.

The site for the adjacent garage was therefore highly constrained, needing to sit close to the house and following its classical style, while avoiding, and in some cases bridging over, the tall pine roots.

This meant that the structure, which is built in traditional load-bearing masonry with a suspended beam and block floor, needed to sit on eight foundation piles, each pile driven 6m into the ground while ensuring the protection of nearby tree roots which had spread under the garage footprint. PRO Structures worked closely with both the architect, Biddulph Architects, and arboriculturist Assured Trees, to both conform to the classical design of the main house – and this is a garage which even has a glazed dome roof and high-level storage in the eaves! – and protect the tall pines which give the property its name.

Pictures show the classical form of the garage adjacent to the main house, and the tall pines to the side whose roots reach under the garage footprint.

 

We just wanted to shine a spotlight on a couple of our more technically interesting recent projects – soon to appear online as case studies.

Firstly, St Luke’s Hall in Bedminster, where PRO Structures was proud to be part of an historic scheme to convert an 1870s ‘poor house’ into 14 new one- and two-bedroom apartments, with a wraparound extension to the side and rear of the original building. We had to design piled foundations to bridge over a substantial original Victorian sewer, while the superstructure design included split-level apartments on the ground and first floor (pictured below).

Secondly, our challenge at 77 Hill View in Henleaze was to carry out the foundation and superstructure design for an exclusive detached four-bedroom home incorporating an inset 2nd floor which is to be completely open and column-free.

Now on site, the south-westerly elevation will be cantilevered out completely (see plan below), while being open plan and unsupported by internal columns, so our main challenge was to design the concrete reinforcement in the supporting walls to ensure the building’s stability. To do this, we used Masterseries finite element 3D modelling work out the stresses on the concrete walls and design accordingly.

PRO Structures is thrilled to announce the completion of a new £400,000 vet’s practice called Wells Vets, which opened its doors to local pet owners on 1st October.

This state of the art steel portal frame single storey practice consists of a reception area, waiting room, three consulting rooms, and X-ray room, one surgery, a cattery and kennels, as well as staff facilities. The practice was designed and built by BJ Campbell SW in collaboration with Angus Meek Architects, opening us up to D+B opportunties.