Friday, 27 October 2017

JMS and the Liver Birds of Liverpool liver bird is the symbol of Livirpool and has been since the city was given its Royal Charter by Henry III in 1207. 

The term 'Liver Birds'  has for years reflected the antics of 'Liverpudlian lasses', encapsulated on the small screen in the 70's BBC series of that name. Click the image (right) for a clip.

The young factory workers at the Binns Road Maccano / Hornby works might well have stepped out in lively Liverpudlian fashion at the end of their shift. 

The latest and arguably the most splendid Liver Bird was unveiled this month on the site of the old Meccano factory.

The bird was designed by celebrated artist Emma Rodgers (above), then constructed from 'Meccano pieces' fabricated by Art Fabrication. Andy Langly of Art Fabrication in turn introduced JMS Midlands to engineer the steelwork fabrication and its stylish foundations.

The project was to celebrate the inventor of Meccano and Hornby - Frank Hornby who was born in Liverpool and whose factory dominated the site now transformed into the new Liverpool Shopping Park where Emma's 11 meter tall Liver Bird stands proud. model Emma is holding above has been sitting proudly in the JMS Nuneaton office. Andy Kenyon did try to get hold of its big sister, but failed ... thank goodness.

Click on Andy's image right (as he attempts to switch off the CCTV) for a link to a time lapse video of the installation. 

This glorious construction dominates the entrance to the park seemingly singing 'Step inside luv', the words of another famous liver bird - Cilla Black. 

The sculpture was a joint commission by The Derwent Group, which owns the shopping centre, Spin Master, which makes Meccano, and Liverpool City Council.

Emma, who has already designed a number of Liver Birds for the city of Liverpool, as well as a statue of Cilla Black (left luv), which stands evoking every part of Cilla's character outside Liverpool's famous Cavern Club.

Emma said: ‘I played with Meccano as a child and it’s been wonderful to work with it again, only this time with a much larger end-product in mind.

“Andy and the team at Art Fab have been amazing to work with.

“They have brilliantly captured the intricacies of the design and translated my artistic vision by retaining the character of the bird perfectly on a monumental scale.

“It’s fantastic to see the two birds together which clearly shows the finished piece as a seamless replica of my original maquette"

The Liver Bird took more than a year to design and manufacture, used seven tonnes of steel and involved more than 1,000 hours of metalworking to JMS design.
 Emma with Andy of Art Fabrication (above & AF link)

David Lyons, chief executive of The Derwent Group which transformed the former Edge Lane Retail Park into Liverpool Shopping Park, said: “There’s hundreds of Liver Birds across the city but it’s a real privilege to say that we have one of our own, and the world’s largest, here at Liverpool Shopping Park.

 Well done to all involved.

We add value to every project we have been,
are, and will be equally proud to support.

Monday, 9 October 2017

East Anglian Foundations

Drive anywhere in the Ipswich area and you're bound to see  any number of these superbly branded trucks going this way and that.

Their new fleet of Volvo tippers practically dominate the A12 and A14 as they support the numerous construction developments that are so dramatically changing the shape of the Ipswich region of Suffolk.

Tippers 'R' Us recently completed a new recycling centre in Kesgrave near Ipswich for their own purposes. It is designed to handle in the region of 2,000 tonnes of material a day using a concrete retaining wall system to create bays to store a variety of products including construction and demolition waste as well as crushed materials and recycled stone and sands.

To process the materials, a new aggregates wash plant was to be installed - which is where JMS came in.

JMS were appointed to design the foundation bases and associated support structures on which the new plant would be installed.


Part of the equipment was designed in Italy by specialist manufacturer COMEC, situated in Treviso, Venice which was to integrate with the main processor, designed and manufactured by McCloskey Equipment in Didcot. 

The heavy duty machinery combines crushers, vibrating screeners and trommel screeners as part of the waste recycling plant.

Heavy duty foundations were needed for this heavy duty machinery, running 24 x 7.

Our job was to liaise with the international design team to engineer a package of structural calculations, details and drawings.

The images here, show the work in various stages of construction.

Following the successful construction and installation, we have been appointed to design a sheet pile wall for a water storage facility. 

Great teamwork internally and externally - well done to all involved.

We add value to every project we have been,
are, and will be equally proud to support.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Supporting the development of Suffolk's new 750,000 sq ft logistics hub

Port One, as it is so casually referred to, is St James Park by its official name. Located outside Blakenham, Ipswich, it is no less than a massive warehousing and logistics hub to support the ever increasing flow in and out of the port of Felixstowe.

Felixstowe handles 42% of Britain's containerised freight. That's more than 4million TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) , welcoming approximately 3,000 ships each year, including the largest container vessels afloat today – crucially, the port provides some of the deepest water close to the open sea of any European port.
Click on the image to see video

Suffolk’s business community has long argued that warehousing space is in short supply in the county. St James Park would service both local and regional needs as well as support onward freight from Felixstowe as it disperses inbound goods throughout the 'Golden Triangle'.

St James Park is a £72 million, 750,000 sq ft development headed by Curson de Vere. Curson say it has already received unprecedented levels of enquiry from national and international business extending to China and mainland Europe.

Warehousing means trucks, trucks mean traffic, traffic means congestion. But, arrangements ensure that freight haulage vehicles enter and leave the site via the A14, junction 52.

On the site itself, the infrastructure and the warehousing structures are being engineered by JMS Civil and Structural Engineering in consultation with both the developers and end users.

Structurally, we are dealing with a large span multi-bay warehouse and distribution unit. The main steelwork employs hot-rolled steel framing.

In multi-span portal framed construction such as this, valley beams are used to eliminate some of the internal columns. Alternate columns are omitted to maximise access and space within the unit. The valley of the frame is supported on a valley beam spanning between the columns of adjacent frames, which is often referred to as 'hit and miss' frames. The frames with the columns are the 'hit' frames.

Design efficiency is maximised using Masterseries MasterPort software:

Click on the image for a brief video demonstration
Drainage management on a site of this scale is practically an art form executed with precision engineering. Access and exit, standing, loading bays (of which there are hundreds) on a 24 hour rotation, 365 days of the year form just part of the challenge.

The drainage will be a combination of SUDS (sustainable drainage solutions) features from permeable paving, swales and infiltration lagoons to manage the surface water at source.
JMS have engineered a foundations solution as the site requires extensive levelling to form plateaus for each of the warehouses. The fill areas will be soil stabalised to achieve the bearing capacity and balanced cut and fill volumes across the site.

There is a need to achieve flood control; acceptable run-off rates; minimise pollution; re-charge groundwater; and all within an enhanced environmental brief as well.  Subsurface drainage has to meet its load bearing challenges and surfaces need to consider the attenuation requirements of vehicle oil and gas leakage as well as rainfall containment and flow management.

Just part of JMS' involvement in redeveloping the future of Suffolk.

We add value to every project we have been,
are, and will be equally proud to support.

01473 487 047

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

JMS' new Head Office opens at Brightwell Barns

It's a long way from Woodbridge School to Brightwell Barns. Not geographically of course, but in terms of a career for Daniel Staines and the growth of his Brightwell based business, the journey has been a long and industrious one.

After studying A-Level Engineering at Woodbridge School, Daniel opened his first Civil & Structural Engineering office in 1997 with his wife Anna-Maria Staines.

It has grown from a single fax machine on the landing of their home into a thriving business of over 40 employees networked across offices in East Anglia, the Midlands, London, Manchester and Thessaloniki in Greece.

Now, in 2017 - JMS celebrate their 20th anniversary by moving into their new offices at Brightwell Barns. Unusually, wearing their Civil or Structural Engineering hats (hats, hard, building for the use of) where they were key partners in the design of this unique and award-winning office setting.

Phase 5 has just been completed including the construction of their own new Head Office.

Not only does the location take advantage of the Suffolk countryside, Brightwell's sustainable office buildings have been constructed to include some of the latest green initiatives to the benefit of both the environment and occupiers. Design is centered on efficiency, creating a more productive workplace through healthier, happier occupants.

Part of the drainage systems includes a rainwater harvesting system. Here, natural rain water and grey water are harvested in a sympathetically landscaped pond and gardens. It is collected, filtered and reused for the internal grey water system.

Office lighting had been well considered and executed. It combines the maximum use of natural light through window materials and positioning, together with high quality energy efficient internal lighting triggered by infra red motion detectors.

 As well as positioning the windows to maximise natural light, they are double glazed and filled with argon gas. This carries less energy between the panes of glass, controlling the heat in and wasted heat out. Being frame built, the walls can take more insulation, making winter and summer extremes more efficiently manageable.

From this 'naturally' industrious setting, JMS regional offices and their staff network an internal systems-driven support structure, providing a comprehensive service for civil and structural engineering design and project management. Projects are managed by teams local to the development for hands on interaction with the assets employed on the build.

Smaller activities are resourced locally but bigger projects can (and do) seamlessly draw on the technical skills at other offices if necessary.

Create, innovate, automate is the JMS mantra.

It is the core message Daniel extends to each member of the JMS team and has clearly been the foundation of his success. History has been one of efficient growth and the future is bright at Brightwell Barns.

"We are just a few miles from Ipswich and the heart of commercial growth and infrastructural development in East Anglia..." said Daniel Staines.

"The new offices allow for the high level recruitment needed to fulfill our own growth plans for the region and across the country."

 "As well as many developments in Ipswich itself, we are heavily involved in the civil and structural engineering support of Port One, St James Park, the 750,000 sq ft warehousing development just outside Ipswich.”

“This is intended to support freight transport across the 'Golden Triangle' to the Midlands and north. And we are positioned centrally and regionally to follow the building projects such growth will naturally feed."

We add value to every project we have been,
are, and will be equally proud to support.

01473 487 047

Behind the scenes of Ipswich's massive Waterfront development - College Street

The Ipswich Waterfront is now thriving with the University of Suffolk's new buildings, restaurants and bars breathing life into the marinas and surrounding area.

Council Leader David Ellesmere commented recently that "the Stoke Bridge side has long been a sorry state and we want to enhance this to create a new and attractive gateway from the western end."

Such a vision for central Ipswich is one JMS share and, in fact, are practically very much involved in delivering.

As you drive from Fore Street into Key Street in the direction of College Street, you enter one of these major redevelopment areas. Imagine Regatta House (left) and Premier Inn (right) forming a 'gateway' to College Street. JMS have been involved in the structural development of both of these properties.

The 'gateway' to College Street: Premier Inn (JMS project) right, Regatta House (JMS project) left.
Through the gates and into College Street where, ahead, huge scaffolding banners announce the coming of 'The Mill House'. This is a concept creating 43 apartments with a three-storey extension built on top of the existing building - another project commissioning JMS's specialist services.

As Civil and Structural Consulting Engineers, we are engaged to support this and other construction projects, each literally a stone's throw from one another. Our role is to provide engineering expertise to all assets in the construction community - from architects, project managers and contractors, to developers and owners.

Projects, civil and structural, benefit from cost efficient creativity, finding ways to achieve pre-determined goals and surmount unexpected problems. We turn architectural aspirations into functional reality.

From substructure, drainage and infrastructure below, to foundations, supporting walls, load bearing steel work and additional floors on to existing high-rise.

The concept will create 32 studio flats and 11 one bed roomed flats with a three-storey extension built on the top of the building.

Just past the mountain of scaffolding is a boarded shopfront which is due for renovation. JMS are just preparing designs for its renovation to retail units.

JMS are contracted to both developments - The Mill House and the shops which face the island between College Street and Star Lane. The island has had all but a few buildings and St Peter's church demolished ready for urban development. Again, JMS are contracted to this also.

Driving on past the shops, the first building on the island is 4 College Street, a Grade II listed building in need of mush care and attention.

It is a 16th Century timber framed merchant's house with plastered walls, a quaint cottage with interesting features, all in need of preservation and sympathetic development.

The first floor along the front is jetted, as is the west elevation, although here the protrusion is not much more than the width of the bressummer beam.

Restored brickwork and roof repairs have been undertaken to weatherproof the building, as well as work to restore the archway at the back. It's understood that period front doors from its 18th Century roots will also be installed.

JMS have in turn been appointed as consultant engineers on the project.

Having already undertaken initial designs and worked with the developer on temporary shoring and repairs, JMS are now working with the other team members to fully restore the building and bring it back to working use.

This small piece of the region's architectural history had been on the 'at risk' register for over 20 years. It has finally been handed a life line that we are delighted to support.

This protected merchant's house sits very much in the shadow of Cardinal Lofts on the other side of College Street. From the image (right) you can see it rising behind the weatherproofed roof of 4 College Street.

Apartments and tiered balcony apartments above, offer one and two bedroom flats whose inhabitants have use of the pool and leisure centre in the building downstairs.

By now of course you may not be surprised to hear that JMS were contracted as consultant engineers in the re-development of Cardinal Lofts also.

Although this was one of the first projects JMS undertook along the Waterfront, we continue to work on further development with the formation of further apartments at ground and basement levels.

With 15 projects already under our belt in just this part of Ipswich, we'll be actively supporting the development of this vital gateway, to design and instruct the precision engineering necessary to let creative architecture grow.

Across pre-development, re-development and post-development, Ipswich has much to be proud of. And, named or unnamed, architects, project managers, contractors, developers, owners and of course Consulting Civil and Structural Engineers, all have much to be proud of also.

We add value to every project we have been,
are, and will be equally proud to support.

01473 487 047


Friday, 8 September 2017

JMS 20th Anniversary - 'from Woodbridge School to Brightwell Barns ... the long way'

The 1st September marked the 20th Anniversary of JMS and with it, family, staff and client celebrations.

It's a long way from Woodbridge School to Brightwell Barns. Not geographically of course, but in terms of a career for Daniel Staines and the growth of his Brightwell based business, the journey has been a long and industrious one.

In 1997, Daniel and Anna-Maria Staines founded JMS Consulting Engineers Ltd. It has grown from a single fax machine on the landing of their home into a thriving business of over 40 employees networked across offices in East Anglia, the Midlands, London, Manchester and Thessaloniki in Greece.

Despite head offices in Brightwell and extensive Civil and Structural engineering presence in Ipswich and throughout Suffolk, because of the geographical distribution of their growth, the party was held at the Devonshire Club, a stone’s throw from Liverpool Street.

It was a splendid location for such an occasion - a real family occasion. Talking to staff with an ever full glass of prosecco and constant flow of delicious finger food, they really did feel like part of the family.

"Daniel has set the business up so that we all have opportunities to grow with it and benefit from it" said Andy Kenyon, whose tenth anniversary with JMS happened to be the same week. 

In a short but heartfelt speech, Daniel referred to the borrowed fax machine on the landing of their house that started things off 20 years previously. He also explained why JMS was so named. There are many three letter abbreviations forming company names throughout the country, usually partner abbreviations or merger foreshortenings. 

But JMS was different and is different, profoundly...

 ...JMS represents Daniel and Anna-Maria's three sons: Joseph Staines, Michael Staines and Samuel Staines. With the family at their heart, is it any wonder the staff feel part of it.

Happy Anniversary JMS.

We add value to every project we have been,
are, and will be equally proud to support.

01473 487 047