Monday, 12 February 2018

Engineering East Midlands from Leicester skills with regional knowledge

Leicester is not new to JMS but our offices on Oxford Street are.

With over twenty years providing our services for the Midlands solely from our Nuneaton office, the addition of JMS Leicester brings welcome support, with Peter Stokoe leading the new team from The Innovation Centre, Oxford Street.

Peter (pictured below, second from the left, visiting the Nuneaton team) has lived in Leicester for over twenty years.

Socially, Peter is a keen follower of the Leicester Tigers. Professionally, his major project experience nationally, brings an enviable quality to our skillfull Midlands strength.
local issues

Seeing, hearing, networking and understanding local issues are vital parts of our service, which is why JMS put our feet firmly on the ground in those parts of the country we identify to have maximum development potential.

By managing development projects regionally, supported by technical skills networked nationally, Leicester draws on group design expertise across nine offices in the UK and Europe.

This delivers the power of a major resource through the knowing eyes and ears of a highly efficient, professional service, locally.

Local Experience

From the roof of our new home at The Innovation Centre (above) you could throw half a dozen (imaginary) stones which would land within a pace or two of a previous JMS project.

These are just a few representative examples of JMS creative solutions for Leicester.

Student Accommodation on Oxford Street

Just one of a number of developments requiring Structural Engineering solutions from JMS (above left). was a 8 storey building offers 251 one and two bedroom apartments as accommodation, which are specified to one of the highest standards for students of Leicester’s De Montfort University.

Leicester Royal Infirmary (LRI)

At the Leicester Royal Infirmary, JMS has been responsible for a dozen highly technical structural projects including the design of the structural works for a new CT Scanner and the 'shoe-horning' of a 56 Ward high tech building into the available footprint between existing wards of the Windsor, Sandringham, Osbourne and Robert Kilpatrick buildings.

The building (above right and right) consists of 80 units which make up the mainly 2 storey block, which rises up to three storeys to link into the existing skywalk., Market Harborough

TGW’s new office (above left and right) and development facility needed a fresh open feel with minimal internal columns. The cladding was clean and crisp creating a stylish fa├žade.

One particular technical challenge was to incorporate a dynamic crane in the building’s front glass display case with a 15m clear span to fit the curtain-walling.

Trout Ponds Farm, Sheepy Magna

This was a new development of 24 dwellings (left) offering a mixture of affordable housing, bungalows and 4 bedroom detached properties in the desirable village of Sheepy Magna.

JMS provided full Engineering services including Foundation, Superstructure, Road and Drainage design, including Section 278 Works to form the vehicular access.

The access road was designed as a tanked permeable paving SuDS system to retain the first 5mm of rainfall on site. It would reduce the rate of runoff from the development into the downstream sewerage system to acceptable Greenfield runoff rates. The permeable paving also provides a level of treatment to pollutants prior to discharge into the sewerage system.

The Leicester Office 
open for business on 01163 800725

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

Saturday, 13 January 2018

And Norwich makes three - for JMS East Anglia in Chelmsford and with our Head Office in Ipswich, our new office in Norwich gives us comprehensive coverage of Civil and Structural Engineering services in East Anglia.

Norwich is recognised as one of the fastest growing commercial and residential development areas in Britain and districts such as Norwich and East Norfolk  have experienced year-on-year construction contract value growth of 916% and 744% respectively

According to a report from Barbour ABI and the Construction Products Association: "The Government is focused on raising the levels of major infrastructure projects, in particular sector themes such as offshore wind farms, energy plants and motorway upgrades have considerably boosted construction value in more rural areas."

The office is new, but Norwich is not new to us

Headed up by 'local lad' Mark Weston, the office continues our association with the area, building upon the reputation we have built over the last 20 years. Opening the office increased our operational presence in the area and allows us to get involved in new projects and to provide local support and expertise to ongoing developments previously serviced from our Ipswich base.

Thetford Road, Watton

This is a large residential development consisting of 110 properties, infrastructure and associated parking. The existing geology in the area meant infiltration devices could be used for the Northern part of the development, although the existing ground water levels in the Southern section meant Environment Agency buffer requirements to base of soakaways could not be achieved. A more traditional drainage network was designed to convey the surface water run-off to the existing ditch network.

The new surface water drainage network adopted by Anglian Water used a flow control chamber to restrict flows from site. The existing ditch features on site were modified to provide the necessary attention for a 1 in 100 year storm event plus 30% climatic change.

Blue Boar Lane, Sprowston

With our initial appointment in 2011, JMS continued to be involved in the design and detailing of the highway and drainage infrastructure to serve a development of 1,233 houses for a consortium of three of the region’s largest house builders.

Highway access was taken from an existing roundabout. On-site highway infrastructure includes two new roundabouts and the construction of culverts to cross an existing watercourse. The ground conditions of low strength silts presented a particular challenge that was overcome by utilising in-situ ground stabilisation to eliminate the requirement for extensive muck-away and for replacement material to be imported.

The development was also crossed by a foul water rising main forming part of the Water Authorities’ strategic regional assets that was diverted through the development area under a Section 185 Agreement.  The surface water drainage strategy was designed to utilise swales and basins to replicate the drainage regime of the site pre-development. 

Old Hospital Water Tower, Aylsham
An example of creative thinking was here in Aylsham where we were involved in the engineering to convert a redundant water tower dating back to 1923, restoring it into a bespoke family home.

The 18 metre high building formed part of the former St Michael’s Hospital, on the edge of Aylsham, where it was transformed into a seven storey property. Residents were given a spectacle after the two cast iron water tanks at the top of the tower were removed and replaced with a sleek glass sunroom with a zinc roof.

This was part of the Bure Place development comprising 38 properties, combining houses, apartments and bungalows - and a seven storey tower !

 And above ground...

The latest project, right in the centre of Norwich, is Elliot House on the top of Ber Street.  What was once offices, including NHS administration facilities has been converted into 45 much needed city centre apartments.

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

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

More pins in the JMS map and a look ahead to 2018

Happy New Year
      from Brightwell

It would be wrong to look forward without first touching on some of the many highlights of 2017. What a year!

Whilst much of the effort in Suffolk was fuelled by getting the new head office up and running in Brightwell - our sub-terrania masters in London kept digging for gold with an unprecedented number of basement developments; Chelmsford launched the new website for the additional JMS service of residential Travel Plans with the new website TP Coordinators (here).

The Greece office basked in their expertise in the technical wizardry Concrete Framing; and the Midlands office expanded their portfolio of Health Sector work.

In short, buildings went up, basements went down and infrastructure ran smoothly - all creatively and successfully engineered by JMS.

Oh - and did we mention - we celebrated our 20th Anniversary in September.

So ... 2018 ... who knows?

Well, to begin with, we are kicking the New Year off with three new offices in three new cities - Norwich, Leicester and Limassol !

This has obviously meant the addition of new staff - eight in the last few months - to ensure our high levels and range of service continue.

The construction industry perspective

Our growth at JMS is built on the back of the continued industry growth, both experienced and predicted, across just about all of the construction sectors we are involved with.

The Government seems to be sticking by its guns in terms of infrastructure and investment therein. It has promised to continue as detailed in the National Infrastructure Delivery Plan 2016 - 2021. This includes the most ambitious plan to build new homes since the 1970s.

The Homes & Communities Agency (HCA) takes on the responsibility for easing the deliverability of building projects through the release of land on which to build and speeding up of planning permissions and regulations.

Major national road and rail infrastructure plans do create regional development opportunities in their wake, with the Norwich Northern Distributor Road (NDR) a prime example.

Growth needs skills

The CIBT (Construction Industry Training Board) has published Industry Insights for the construction skills network 2017 - 2021 (download a copy here). It makes interesting reading.

Their prediction, based on skills needs, is that up to 20,000 new construction jobs will be created in East Anglia in the next five years.

The forecast is a significant advance on the figures published last year, which suggested 14,000 new roles would be created in the industry by 2020.

Regionally, infrastructure growth is expected to be stronger, at 4% a year, fuelled by major projects including flood defence work in Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth, a £1.5bn upgrade to the A14 in Cambridgeshire, expansion at the Port of Felixstowe and a £450m renewable energy park near Peterborough.

With our head office in the centre of this and Chelmsford and Norwich set either side, JMS are perfectly placed to support this unprecedented growth.

The addition of our new office in Cyprus allows us to tap into a significant resource of knowledge and skill to compliment that of the Greek office, whilst opening up the new work stream of a growing economy.

Regional knowledge, regional service 

Seeing, hearing, networking and understanding local issues is a vital part of our service resolution for 2018. That's why JMS put our 'FitBit' measured feet on the ground in those parts of the country we identify to have maximum development potential.

By managing development projects regionally, supported by technical skills networked nationally, we provide the power of a major resource through the knowing eyes and ears of a professional local service.

As I close I'll point out just one more thing - we managed to talk about the construction industry, skills and the future all without mentioning the 'B' word. But it hasn't gone away.

Thank you for all your effort and support in 2017 and here's to a great New Year.


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

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

I would walk 500 miles...

It was towards the end of our JMS 20th Anniversary Party on 1st September that Daniel and Anna-Maria handed out gift bags to everyone there.

In them were FitBit wrist bands and instructions to sign up with Stridekick for a programme of inter-office and individual 'fit to work' contests.

Was Daniel trying to tell us something - pot kettle black to that we thought (but didn't say).

The banners either side of the door should really have been the give away - The JMS Fit-Bit Challenge ... Work, Rest, Play. Several of the older members gathered thought we would get a year's supply of Mars bars - or anything else you could happily do without trainers.

After a relatively slow start, the competitive edge kicked in and we began to stride out for our office and, for some (Graham) a personal fitness regime soon followed.

Ben is refusing lifts from the station to the office and the whole Brightwell team regularly exercise their bodies to keep their civil and structural minds fit for purpose.

For their new team song, just click on the image below:

The lengths some people will go to to get up the leader board is quite extraordinary. Andy from the Nuneaton office flew to New Zealand to do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. In the image below he did 39,000 steps including a 1,000 metre climb to the shadows of Mount Ngauruhoe, the inspiration for Mount Doom in Lord of the Rings, part of which was filmed there.

What's your JMS Fit-Bit Challenge elvish tale

Step out and share some of your Fit-Bit stories. Send your tale and images to Michael and we'll publish a Fit-Bit special in the New Year.

JMS - 20 years on and fitter than ever !

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

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.