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Civil engineering design covers a range of activities, from feasibility, through evolution of the chosen solution to the preparation of detailed drawings and specifications. Depending on the scheme, the process can also include calculation of loads and forces and the strength of the required structures, or the behaviour of rivers in drought and flood.

The essence is that the scheme should be fully thought through, and any calculations prepared and checked. The drawings and specifications are the means for transmitting the intentions of the designer to whoever is to construct the Works.

Most of our professional staff are qualified as Civil Engineers. In the UK, the qualifying body is the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE). The profession covers a wide range of activities, from traffic planning to tunnelling.

We have specialised in water and environmental engineering, but the implementation of these projects requires all the skills of the civil engineer in designing, planning and administering the contracts which often run into millions of pounds of capital investment by the Client.

Civil Engineers have shaped our world more than any other profession. From Victorian times, we have been surrounded by bridges (even wobbly ones), roads, railways, canals, buildings, all designed by civil engineers.

The number crunching part of design is now often carried out by computers, but it is essential that experienced and qualified engineers control the process. There is scope for spectacular failure if computer output is taken at face value.

Drawings are prepared, normally on CAD, showing everything the contractor needs to know to be able to order the materials and construct the scheme. Specifications give more detail of materials and workmanship, what is expected and what is acceptable. Bills of Quantity set out schedules of what has to be done, and how it is to be paid, and the Conditions of Contract set the contractual framework.

Under the CDM regulations, the designer is required to consider the safety of his design, not only during construction but also with the long term maintenance and eventually demolition of the structure.

The object is to develop an idea into something that can be built, and see the scheme through to completion..

Institution of Civil Engineers


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