Construction Industry

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Specialists in building design, construction, repair, conservation and extension of all buildings both large and small. We are concerned with the foundation, walls, columns, beams and roof members which form a building structure and ensure its stability.

Charlotte has extensive experience in the analysis, design and detail of complete structures with varying degrees of difficulty from single to multi-storey buildings, including underground structures and individual structural elements. Our expertise ranges from the latest technology in steel framed buildings, to concrete framed buildings, to load bearing masonry buildings with precast flooring, reinforced concrete and metal deck floor elements, timber framed buildings including underground concrete tanks and culverts.

We provide detailed general arrangement and reinforcement drawings with schedules, designs and details all steel connections and provides details of masonry requirements.

 Assessment

Structural surveys undertaken have ranged from single houses to wide area condition surveys. Detailed Finite Element Model analysis has enabled us to undertake detailed assessments of large complex models to intricate bespoke analysis of individual members.

Our digital approach to record keeping means that condition surveys are readily presented to building owners and other stakeholders. Our systems also facilitate fast comparison studies and fetching of high quality photographic records.

Design

Our design process is heavily client focused with serious consideration given to cost savings and reducing complexity to improve buildability. Our in house 3D design software enables us to accurately communicate our design to fabricators and builders.

Supervision & Certification

Regular site inspections with detailed photographic logs are crucial to ensure structures are correctly constructed. Only through regular site visits can full certification of structural elements be achieved.

Structural Engineering Services

  • Steel Design and Detail
    • Portal frame connection Design and Detail
    • Simple connection Design and Detail
    • Moment connection Design and Detail
    • Baseplate Design and Detail
  • Concrete Design and Detail
  • Foundation Design and Detail
  • Timber Design and Detail
  • Masonry Design and Detail
  • Light Gauge Steel Design and Detail
  • Bridge Design and Detail
Charlotte Murphy Consulting provides an extensive range of services in the civil engineering sector. We specialise in civil works for large and small scale developments. These usually entail the following services:

  • Surface Water Network Design and Detail
  • Storm water disposal – preferably using Sustainable Drainage Systems (SUDS)
  • Surface water attenuation Design and Detail
  • Foul Sewer Network Design and Detail
  • Earth Retaining Structures

Civil engineering services involve the analysis, design, detail and diversion of existing watercourses, complex storm water solutions, and foul water pumping chambers and on site foul water treatment systems.

In addition to Structural and Civil Permanent Works design Charlotte Murphy Consulting Engineers provides Temporary Works Design with a quick turn around.

We understand that correct design, co-ordination and execution of temporary works is essential to the overall success of any project in meeting time, budget, and safety, health and environmental constraints. 

As an Assigned Certifier, Charlotte Murphy Consulting Engineers will undertake to inspect, and to co-ordinate the inspection activities of others during your construction, and to certify the building or the works on completion.

The role of the “Assigned Certifier” in compliance with the Building Control Regulations Code of Practice is outlined below.

Building Control Regulations Code of Practice

The Assigned Certifier is assigned by the Building Owner as required under the Building Control Regulations. They undertake to inspect, and to co-ordinate the inspection activities of others during construction, and to certify the building or works on completion. The role of Assigned Certifier does not include responsibility for the supervision of any builder. They may or may not be a member of the design team.
The Assigned Certifier should: –

  • Provide and sign the relevant statutory certificates – the form of undertaking at commencement and the Certificate of Compliance on Completion;
  • Co-ordinate the ancillary certification by members of the design team and other relevant bodies for the Certificate of Compliance on Completion;
  • Identify all design professionals and specialists, in conjunction with the Builder, from whom certificates are required;
  • Identify all certificates required and obtain them;
  • Co-ordinate and collate all certification of compliance for completion in conjunction with the Builder;
  • In consultation with the members of the design team, plan and oversee the implementation of the Inspection Plan during Construction;
  • Prepare the Preliminary Inspection Plan and oversee adherence to this plan, and on completion provide the Inspection Plan as implemented;
  • On termination or relinquishment of their appointment make available to the Building Owner all certification prepared and inspection reports carried out;
  • Act as the single point of contact with the Building Control Authority during construction;
  • Seek advice from the Building Control Authority, in respect of compliance matters relating to the building or works where disputes or differences of opinion arise between the parties to the project; and maintain records of inspection.

We only offer this role on projects where are already appointed to provide a full engineering service.

In 2005, the new Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act was enacted, replacing the 1989 Act. Under the Act, the new Safety Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations 2013 came into force on 1st August 2013.
For the first time the new Regulations brought significant responsibilities to owners of private domestic dwellings and introduces additional responsibilities on other duty holders, including designers.
The Construction Safety Regulations 2006 require the Client Company to appoint a Project Supervisor Design Process to oversee health and safety throughout the design & planning process, including alterations in the design, and the design of temporary works, which means that involvement right up until completion of the project is necessary on new construction projects.

The role of Project Supervisor Design Process (PSDP) is a separate appointment as required by the Safety, Health and Welfare (Construction) Regulations 2013. It must be made in writing and must allow for sufficient resources i.e.: adequate fees, for the role to be carried out in accordance with the regulations.
The PSDP shall “organize cooperation between Designers on the same project and, so far as is reasonably practicable, ensure coordination of their activities in relation to the design of the project with a view to protecting the safety, health & welfare of persons involved in construction work”.
This includes organizing cooperation and ensuring, so far as is reasonably practicable, the coordination of the activities of all temporary works Designers.

The Guidelines state “The PSDP should pay particular attention to potentially catastrophic issues such as overall instability of the structure during the various stages of construction.” In coordinating the activities of the various Designers where the integrity of a structure during construction is an important safety issue, the PSDP should insist (and be in a position to insist) that one designer takes overall design responsibility for the stability of a structure during the envisaged construction process and that a suitably qualified engineer be employed to liaise with the Design team.

The guidelines state “The requirement of the Construction Regulations for the PSDP to co-ordinate the design of works, including the design of temporary works, does not eliminate the need for the appointment (generally by contractors) of competent temporary works engineers who understand the complexity of the forces involved in temporary works-permanent works interaction and who can design the temporary works to take account of these forces” Charlotte Murphy Consulting Engineer is completely involved in each of the safety elements below:

Design Process Safety

Throughout the design process, including alterations to the design, provision is made to eliminate or reduce potential hazards resulting in improved safety performance for construction stage and future maintenance and construction works.

Health and Safety Plan

The Safety Plan prepared by us provides a detailed risk assessment of the project and enables the PSCS and Contractor to implement an effective construction safety plan in advance of starting work on site and so reducing the potential for accidents and losses during construction.

Safety File

The Safety File is a key document intended for the safety of end users of the building or those who will extend or maintain the building in future and is effect the building maintenance manual for the completed project. As part of our duties as PSDP, we take delivery of the file from the PSCS and review the file for delivery to the client. The Project Supervisor for the Construction Stage (PSCS) is normally a separate appointment of the Building Contractor. The PSCS must “coordinate arrangements among contractors to ensure the provision of the relevant information, in writing, necessary for the project supervisor for the design process to complete the safety file”. They PSCS must also provide in writing to the PSDP all relevant information necessary to complete the Safety File.

Charlotte Murphy Consulting Engineers conservation services provide solutions for bringing old and listed buildings back into beneficial use, harnessing sensitive design and traditional fabric to the realistic performance needs of the market place.
We have built up extensive experience as Conservation Engineers in the refurbishment of Protected Structures. Working closely with other design team members, we approach design works to existing Protected Structures with a methodology based around creative and sympathetic solutions to the challenges that arise.
With each Building Conservation Project, we draws on our experience and knowledge of historical and Protected Structures in order to provide practical and suitable solutions to the challenges that these buildings bring.
For all Building Conservation projects, we carry out a detailed survey of the property prior to commencement of design works in order to ascertain building element materials, condition and also their relationship with the original structure.
Charlotte Murphy Consulting Engineers can supervise the construction of residential, commercial, or agricultural projects for the purposes of ensuring compliance with Planning Permission and Building Regulations.

We can manage the construction of the project and direct people to make sure building projects are completed safely, on time and within budget.

We are also responsible for making sure that construction projects run smoothly. Our service involves a series of scheduled visits to the site at pre-determined stages such as foundations, wall plate, roof stage, etc.

In addition, unscheduled visits are undertaken to monitor progress and ensure compliance. The service normally includes the provision of a full building specification and construction drawings, the issuing of interim and final certificates of compliance with Planning Permission and Building Regulations, and stage payment certificates for the purposes of drawing down funds from the relevant lending institution.

The principles behind the successful delivery of on-time within budget projects are as follows:-

  • Provide expert advice from day one;
  • Set clear objectives and define scope;
  • Tight control of budgets;
  • Performance measurement through key performance indication

Building Survey

A Building Survey is an investigation and assessment of the construction and condition of a building and it will not normally include advice on value.  The survey will generally include the structure, fabric, finishes and grounds; the exposure and testing of services are not usually covered. The extent of the survey will be subject to specific agreement between the professional advisor and the client; any advice on costs of repairs will be subject to separate agreement. It will not normally include exploratory or intrusive work. The report will normally only include reference to visible defects and guidance as appropriate on maintenance and remedial measures. The report may recommend that Elemental or Specialist Investigations are undertaken or other specialist advice obtained relating to specific issues.

Elemental or Specialist Structural Investigation

Elemental or specialist structural investigation, also known as defects damages/building pathology, will be carried out where concerns exists over specific parts of, or defects in, a property. Example of the specialist work is the detailed study of movement, cracking, bulging, timber decay or testing of building services. These may be required to assess the relevance or implications of conditions found within the building or unusual incidents affecting it.

Feasibility Study

A feasibility study is an exercise to assess the design and cost implication of a proposed project, the product of which is a Feasibility Report.

Inspection of Buildings Under construction

Inspection of Buildings Under Construction are required for a variety of purposes, including typically statutory requirements and Latent Defects Insurance, which may dictate the frequency and scope of inspection and reporting format; these should be agreed between the professional and the client.

Investigation prior to alteration

An investigation prior to alteration will sometimes be required when alterations work is to be undertaken in a building. Subject to the necessary authority, it may involve opening up, measuring, calculations to check adequacy of structural and service elements and detail tests.

This investigation can be more detailed than the building survey and is likely to involve the services of a number of specialists. The scope of this type of survey will be specific to each individual job and, if necessary, the brief maybe altered as finalizing on site dictate

Measured Survey / Dimensional Survey

A measured survey sometimes referred to as a Dimensional Survey, will involve taking measurements of a building and/or its site in order to prepare accurate drawings to scale. Such a survey may indicate taking levels. The purpose for which the drawings will be required, their scale, detail and acceptable tolerance should be agreed beforehand.

Other surveys which our Firm can provide are as follows:-

  • Access Appraisal
  • Access Audit
  • Fire Risk Assessment
  • Fire/Storm/Water damage inspection for Insurance purposes.

Schedule of Condition

This will record the condition of the building(s) at a particular time and it may be supported by photographs, sketches and drawings.

A condition survey is often necessary prior to construction works commencing in the vicinity of the survey property. The survey may also be required by the management or owner of a property who becomes concerned by defects, cracks, possible landslip that has arisen or may arise.

The property can be a building, road, bridge, boundary wall, quay wall, land, embankment etc. The survey provides a record of the condition of the property and the visible and readily accessible cracks and other defects that exist. These defects including the good state of the property can be surveyed and later compared to the condition of the property at some time in the future. The survey usually falls into one or more of the following categories;

  • Commercial Survey,
  • Residential Survey,
  • Infrastructural Survey e.g. Roads, Bridges, Pier Walls,
  • Boundary and Party Walls
  • Geotechnical / Ground monitoring Surveys

The condition of the properties is recorded using digital video and still photography. In some situations specific crack measuring, mapping and monitoring may be required at the request of the client. Tell-tale crack width gauges can be installed over cracks and crack monitoring can be recorded and noted at various intervals. Other devices can also be used depending on the type of monitoring required. Defects are noted and recorded, e.g. alignment, verticality, settlement, ground movement etc. Assessment and monitoring of the properties can provide an early indication of what may happen in future thus identifying early remedial action requirements.

Copies of the surveys are provided to the relevant people on a portable external hard disk drive when required. The survey serves as a record of the condition of the property at the time of the survey.

Schedule of Dilapidation

This will identify the works of repair of tenanted premises in relation to repairing obligation under the terms of the lease. It may be prepared for service on the landlord or tenant, depending on their respective lease obligation. It is common to indicate general guidance on how to carry out the repairs required.

Sub-soil investigation

Sub-soil investigation is required to determine the physical characteristics of sites as they affect the design and construction of building (or civil engineering work) including the stability of neighbouring structures, sub-soil contamination and land features.

Health & Safety regulations for construction specify that you must engage the services of a suitably qualified PSDP for all building projects (built for commercial gain) where construction is likely to take more than 500 person days or 30 working days.
Charlotte Murphy is fully qualified to deliver a full range of PSDP services for all residential and commercial building and infrastructural developments.
  • Structural defects
  • Subsidence and Pyrites
  • Flood damage
  • Dilapidation