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Structural designs for new buildings.

New buildings are usually built to the design of an architect, who defines the rooms and spaces and who decides matters of appearance. A structural engineer is then needed to decide upon the necessary strength, thickness and size of the load bearing components, while making sure (as far as possible) that the architect's vision and the client's requirements are adhered to. At Aleck Associates Ltd our wide experience and knowledge of construction methods and materials enables us to provide safe and economical structural designs for building types including traditional brick and timber, steel or concrete frames, or various combinations.

Structural alterations to existing buildings.

Buildings are always being changed. This includes the addition of extensions, partial demolitions, structural alterations and changes of use. The structural engineer has to understand the way the building was originally built in order to design safe and sympathetic alterations and to check that the elements of the building will not be overloaded by the new work or use. Few building owners are able to supply the original construction plans. With traditional building types it is usually fairly simple to understand the structure but with more modern buildings this becomes more difficult and site investigations may be needed.

Appraisals of existing buildings

Building owners, or those planning to buy, often want to know whether the structure is sound. This requirement may come about as a result of noticing cracks or sloping floors for example. Often, a surveyor or valuer looking at the property in connection with a change of ownership or mortgagor will notice defects, and recommend that a report be obtained from a structural engineer. A report from a structural engineer with technical knowledge and experience can usually give a useful insight into a building's problems or condition.

Services to contractors

Building contractors engaged by a client usually build according to the designs of the client's architect and engineer, but they sometimes need to engage their own structural engineer to provide them with in-house expertise. This may be needed to:

  • Give advice about alternative methods of construction which the contractor would prefer to those proposed by the client's design team, because they would give some advantage of time, safety or cost
  • Prepare a method statement showing how the work will be built safely. This is often required for work close to other buildings, and may have to be presented to neighbouring party wall surveyors for approval
  • Design temporary works, which are often part of the contractor's responsibility under the building contract
  • Design structural steel connections or concrete reinforcement schedules, which are often left to the contractor
  • Produce structural designs for the work when the contractor has been engaged on a 'design and build' contract.

Party Wall work

Party walls are walls shared between adjacent buildings, and work involving them is subject to special rules set out in the Party Wall legislation. Aleck Associates Ltd works closely with the specialists in this field, called Party Wall Surveyors, and can prepare designs for approval by the neighbouring owner, or appraise their proposals.

Architectural designs and Planning

Aleck Associates Ltd works with many different architects and architectural designers.
Some surveyors or draughtsmen will produce competent drawings economically, and their services may be appropriate when the client knows exactly what he needs. An architect on the other hand is trained to use his or her imagination, and can produce artistically inventive ideas for aesthetics and the use of space, when that is what the client needs.
We work with all kinds of architectural designer, and can often put our clients in touch with a suitable designer according to their particular requirements.

Contact us at …

Aleck Associates Ltd
707 High Road
North Finchley
N12 0BT
Telephone: +44 (0)20 8446 6765
e-mail website@aleck .uk