ABOUT US

Who We Are

CWT Structural Engineers Consultants are a market leading firm of Structural Engineering Consultants based in Rochford, Essex.

CWT Structural Engineering Consultants. Established in 1995, provide a flexible approach to a range of civil and structural engineering services for both commercial and domestic clients throughout the South East of England. CWT Partnership became a limited company in 2003.

We operate in the following sectors:

  • Office and commercial developments, including Hotels, Retail and Hospitality.
  • Educational developments, schools, colleges, and universities, including student accommodation.
  • Healthcare, Hospitals, Care home facilities and institutional building.
  • Churches and religious buildings.
  • Sport and leisure facilities including coastal and marine structures.
  • Industrial buildings and estates.
  • Historic and Listed buildings, including conservation and renovation.
  • Domestic projects, e.g. extensions, loft conversions, renovations, etc.
  • Housing development projects.
  • Conversions and change of use.
  • Foundation design including basements and structural impact assessments.
  • Refurbishment of existing properties including barn conversions.
  • Subsidence/heave investigations and repairs, including underpinning.
  • Landlord and tenant works.
  • We also provide structural engineering surveys/reports for subsidence/heave investigations, refurbishment, condition surveys, fire and impact damage.

CWT aim to achieve the highest design standards, adopting the most cost effective solution, utilising the latest technology and equipment.

Our extensive expertise extends to all types of Building Structure and Civil Engineering Works in providing an efficient, economical, and professional service to all our Clients and other members of the design team. Our experience and commitment enable us to identify potential problems at the earliest opportunity and provide viable solutions in co-operation with our clients and other members of the design team.

Our commitment to high technical standards is reinforced with constant reviews of our design and management procedures. The practice has a commitment to CPD and All Directors have up to date CPD audited and accredited by the Institution of Structural Engineers.   

We pride ourselves on providing honest and straight forward structural consultancy advice.


MEET THE TEAM

Director

Dominic G Speller BEng (Hons) CEng FICE FIStructE, is a Chartered Civil and Structural Engineer and has over 22 years’ experience in Civil and Structural Engineering consultancy. We provide professional expert advice to homeowners, private individuals, commercial organisations, local authorities, main contractors, and other built environment professionals. Dominic also works on a sub-consultant basis for other larger practices in the South East.

In the past Dominic was a Director and equity partner of a successful, medium sized, London based consultancy for over 10 years, as well as working an Independent Consulting Engineer prior to joining CWT.

Professional Qualifications

1998 – BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering

2003 – Chartered Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers – CEng MICE

2004 – Chartered Member of the Institution of Structural Engineers – CEng MIStructE

2015 – Fellow of the Institution of Structural Engineers – FIStructE

2016 – Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers – FICE

2017 – Chairman of the North Thames Regional Group – IStructE

2013 – 2020 Committee member North Thames Regional Group – IStructE

Director

Graeme C Ward IEng AMIStuctE is an Incorporated Structural Engineer with over 50 years of experience across a wide range of structural engineering projects. Graeme completed his initial training with process engineering companies and engineering consultants. Early experience and involvement with design and construction in the pretrochemical industry included many types of structures and foundations together with, industrial buildings, roads and commissions overseas.

Since 1983 Graeme has works for engineering consultants and has been associated with the design of housing, commercial developments, refurbishments, and restoration of historic buildings. In more recent years subsidence in the south east has involved an increase in preparation of structural reports and underpinning schemes. Throughout this period with consultants he has managed to maintain an association with projects in the petrochemical industry.

Graeme Ward is a founding Partner of CWT Partnership.

Consultant

Peter H T Tyler CEng FIstructE is a Chartered Structural Engineer with over 60 years of experience. Peter obtained his initial training with a leading consultant and has  experience of working in a local authority architects department.

Following a period in the highways department of a development corporation, involved in the design of bridges and subways, he returned to consultancy work as a Senior Engineer. He was later appointed as Associate in a local practice and was responsible for the design of many types of building structures as well as refurbishment and alteration of existing buildings. Peter has also checked and assessed the calculations produced by other engineers for local authority building control departments.

Peter was also a member of the North Thames Regional Group Committee of the Institution of Structural Engineers for several years up to 2015.

Peter Tyler is an ex-director of CWT Partnership and founding Partner along with Graeme Ward.

Our Services

What We Can Do

Services and Sectors

As consulting engineers to the built environment our work consists of designs for new building work, structural designs for building alterations, and appraisals of existing buildings in Essex, London, and the surrounding areas.

CWT typically work with architects, developers, loss adjusters, insurers, policy holders, contractors, and surveyors as well as building owners, home owners and tenants. The scope of our work ranges from small domestic alterations and extensions, structural appraisals, the structural design of new build residential and small to medium sized commercial and industrial properties, including multi-story structures and multi-unit schemes.

CWT have extensive experience and local knowledge of traditional and specialist foundation design, including new build and retrofit basements to residential properties, along with extensive knowledge of soil/structure interaction and can also provide advice on ground engineering matters relating to geotechnical issues, below ground drainage schemes, SUDs and flood risk assessments.

CWT are also well placed to undertake pre-acquisition feasibility and due diligence studies as well as acting as Client-Side professional representatives and checking engineers. Our insurance work, typically includes loss adjusters and policy holders, including defect diagnosis and repair specifications for subsidence, heave, and storm / impact damage. We also conduct pre-purchase Engineer’s Reports when your Survey or Mortgage Valuation discovers potential structural problems. Typical defects include subsidence, cracking, bowing walls, roof spread and general deterioration of the structure.

CWT can also provide method statements to support planning applications when local authority planning departments require a structural report to demonstrate the feasibility of a project. Another aspect of our practice is providing structural assistance for builders and larger main contractors, providing temporary works designs, structural steelwork details, and construction method statements. We can also provide advice on demolition sequencing and de-construction methodologies. We also carry out independent checking and approval of 3rd Party designs (CAT3 checking), offer second opinions on existing designs and undertake value engineering appraisals for contractors and private clients alike. We can provide Landlord approvals for leasehold tenants works and alterations along with assisting property and asset managers with defect, inspections, and maintenance aspects.

CWT have extensive experience in the conversion and refurbishment of existing buildings and take a particular interest in the conservation of historic buildings including listed buildings and structures.

CWT can also assist and attend at short notice or in an emergency to assess structural damage following an explosion, impact damage, fire, storm, or flood situations.

Our service can be tailored to your needs, from structural calculations and detail drawings for Building Control approval through to tender documentation, project management and independent expert opinion.

The Practice carries full Public Liability & Professional Indemnity Insurance with market leading providers Griffiths and Armour.

Structural Engineering

As experts in structural engineering, our consulting team have a wealth of experience and will work closely with you and your design team to provide the very best structural engineering solutions for your project, ensuring all requirements are met and that you stay within budget.

CWT offers a comprehensive range of services in the following areas:

Structural engineering design

  • Domestic New Builds, extensions, loft conversations & basement design
  • Housing Developments design
  • Foundation Design
  • Office and Commercial Development
  • Industrial Design
  • Design and Build
  • All building design in traditional materials, such as Masonry, Steel Frame, Concrete Frame and Timber.
  • Contractors Temporary Works and Method statements
  • Provision of Structural Engineering Calculations for submission to Building Control

Surveying 

  • Structural Surveys/Reports
  • Defect Diagnosis & Repair
  • Subsidence/Heave Investigations and Repairs, including Underpinning
  • Refurbishment surveys & design
  • Condition surveys

Emergency Response to Explosion, impact damage, fire, storm, or flood situations

Civil Engineering

CWT have worked with a number of commercial contractors and local authorities over many years and our experience is extensive. The partnership has developed both a civil engineering and structural engineering consultancy service as a natural complement to the subsidence investigation and structural reporting services. 

This arrangement allows for a close interaction at site investigation/scheme design stage and CWT can call upon a number of likeminded companies for site investigation services that are appropriate to your development. This can be arranged on your behalf by CWT through our specialist list of supply chain companies. 

With ever increasing building costs and challenging brown field sites becoming the norm, it is necessary to ensure not only correct solutions for the ground conditions, but also an economic design with a foundation system working efficiently with the structural superstructure solution.

Civil engineering services include designs for:

  • Traditional foundations
  • Rafts and Piled raft foundations
  • Pile and Ground beams / Pile caps
  • Earthworks
  • Retaining walls
  • Reinforced concrete retaining structures
  • Highway Retaining structures
  • Basements
  • Swimming pools
  • Water retaining structures
  • Structural design of highway pavements and car parks
  • Working in contaminated land
  • Working with and around protected trees and other infrastructure.
  • Constrained sites with tight boundary conditions.
  • Contractors Temporary Works and Method statements

We are also experienced in detailed liaison and technical submissions to 3rd party stakeholders such as:

Local Authorities, Planning Authorities, Building Control, Environment Agency, Highways Authorities, London Underground, Network Rail, Port of London, Canals & Rivers Trust, utility companies and statutory undertakers, financial and funding institutions etc.  

Commercial & Domestic Property Refurbishment

If you’re looking to refurbish or renovate your home or property, we can assist in a range of ways. CWT have extensive experience in the renovation and alteration of existing buildings, new and old remedial schemes and in performing structural inspections.

CWT are always happy to work alongside other building professionals to ensure that the client is receiving the appropriate help and advice. Whether you have planning drawings for your scheme prepared by an architect or you simply want to removal and internal wall to create open plan living, CWT can assist.

CWT have experience working with specialist contractors in listed buildings and designing remedial works to solve failures within buildings and liaise with Listed Builder officers if required.

CWT undertake thorough inspections and carry out full structural appraisal to design any required repairs or remedial works. We work closely with specialist contractors and Local Authority departments to ensure original materials are used where possible, used in conjunction with modern techniques to provide an economic and effective repair. Experience is complimented by extensive library of appropriate and up to date material, from the Building Research Establishment and BSI.

Working with your Contractor

We can help provide a seamless service from design to build working along side your contractor.

Other Services

The Partnership’s overall design philosophy is to provide a flexible approach aimed at achieving the highest design standards and provide cost effective solutions to meet the client and project need, utilising the latest proven technology and equipment.

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 places obligations on building owners carrying out work to or near party walls to provide information to describe such works and to demonstrate their appropriateness and the measures taken for the protection of adjoining owners. Under the provisions of this act, if the work is of a structural nature the party wall surveyors may decide to seek the advice of an independent structural engineer.

CWT has extensive experience in providing assistance to party wall surveyors and provides advice on the structural implications of construction projects covered by the Act, insofar as the works that may affect the party wall. This typically involves a review of the technical proposals, liaison with the Building Owner’s engineer and the production of advice and reports to the party wall surveyor. As structural engineers we are ideally placed to act for both building and adjoining owners under the Act.

Our Standards

Professional throughout

All projects are managed by a Director of the practice who is personally responsible for ensuring the smooth running of the project, timely issue of information and for Health and Safety aspects of the design.

Our offices are equipped with state of the art CAD drawings systems and engineering design software packages such as CADS system Smart Engineer, Tekla Tedds and Tekla Structural Building Designer. Our design systems are fully integrated and cloud based to allow efficient workflow. However, as traditional and experienced engineers, hand calculations and sketches are often still prepared on smaller scale domestic projects where appropriate.

The Directors are responsible for appropriate quality assurance procedures on their projects, which are maintained at each stage of a project to ensure appropriate checks are undertaken and flexibility is achieved in each technical situation.

The practice is fully compliant in the responsibilities of Designer under CDM regulation 2015, and has adopted computer integrated systems in achieving high standards of Health and Safety management.

The practice is fully conversant with the Party Wall etc. Act, 1996. And often works with Party Wall Surveyors as appointed engineer for both owner and adjoining owner.

FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a structural engineer?

Structural engineers help in the design process in buildings and structures, designing them to withstand the forces that act upon them. They work in close partnership with architects and builders and when construction has begun, structural engineers are often involved in inspecting the work and advising contractors.

Structural engineers also examine existing buildings and other structures to test if they are structurally sound, in particular if the building has suffered from subsidence, fire or flooding. Structural engineers have to make efficient use of funds and materials in order to achieve appropriate and economic solutions.

How do I know when I need a structural engineer?

The answer to this depends on what it is you are doing to your property, but generally speaking you would need to consult a structural engineer on any project that involves removing load-bearing walls or chimney stacks, cutting timbers out of a roof structure, widening doorways or windows, digging basements or lowering floors, or building on soft or contaminated ground, or near large trees. Basically, any job where you need a specialist to assess whether a new structure will be safe, or whether an alteration will affect the safety of the existing building. Your builder, architect or local building control officer should have a good idea whether you need to call a structural engineer.

What is the difference between an architect and a structural engineer?

Architects and structural engineers work in close partnership when they design buildings or design building alterations and extensions, but there are differences between them.

An architect designs the building to the client’s brief, creating a plan that will be based on for construction taking into account aesthetics, the building layout, door and windows, and the utilities of the electrics and the plumbing.

An architect deals with the form and function of the building, and while s/he will be able to come up with ways of making the structural engineer’s recommendations fit onto the plans, s/he doesn’t have the specialist engineering knowledge to assess the structural safety of the building.

Structural engineers work from the architect’s drawings and make sure the building works, by advising the use of various structural techniques. These very from types of load bearing walls, foundations and steel or timber beams for example.

Having a structural engineer’s report on your project will give you peace of mind but should also help you when you come to sell your property and the buyer’s solicitor starts asking difficult questions about alterations.

 

What is a structural inspection?

It is a visual inspection carried out by a qualified structural engineer to determine whether the building or structure is suffering from any structural problems and if so what are the causes and remedial options. If the building or structure has a defect that requires further investigation, the structural engineer will advise on the nature of the exploratory work. For example, trial holes to reveal the existing foundation, in order to determine the most appropriate and cost effective structural solution.

Why would I need a structural survey?

It is advised to have a structural inspection when looking into buying a property. This can be done privately and can help reassure you that the property is in good condition or will require work to rectify problems if bought. Alternatively, the mortgage provider will ask for a structural survey if any problems of a structural nature have been identified by the Valuation report or the Homebuyer reports and an opinion form a qualified structural engineer is required.

If you already own the property it is advised to have a structural survey if you are planning an extension or making any other alterations the building or structure.

What happens if extension/loft is already built without permission?

Structural engineers can inspect the building work, which may require intrusive investigation, to establish if the building work is safe and meets good building practice and regulations. We are able to report on our findings which will assist in applying for a retrospective regularisation certificate.

If you have any additional questions or queries then do not hesitate to contact the team. 

Useful Links

Recommended Links

IStructE Links:

IStructE  – 6 Questions to ask you engineer:

https://www.istructe.org/find-an-engineer/structural-engineers-near-me/search/handy-tips/6-questions-to-ask-your-structural-engineer/

IStructE – What is a structural Survey:

https://www.istructe.org/find-an-engineer/structural-engineers-near-me/search/handy-tips/what-is-a-structural-survey/

IStructE – Basement Conversions:

https://www.istructe.org/find-an-engineer/structural-engineers-near-me/search/home-advice-resources/basement-conversions/

IStructE – Building An Extension:

https://www.istructe.org/find-an-engineer/structural-engineers-near-me/search/home-advice-resources/building-an-extension/

IStructE – Converting your loft or Attic:

https://www.istructe.org/find-an-engineer/structural-engineers-near-me/search/home-advice-resources/converting-your-loft-or-attic/

IStructE – Creating and open plan space:

https://www.istructe.org/find-an-engineer/structural-engineers-near-me/search/home-advice-resources/creating-an-open-plan-space/

IStructE – Fitting a new Staircase:

https://www.istructe.org/find-an-engineer/structural-engineers-near-me/search/home-advice-resources/fitting-a-new-staircase/

IStructE – Structural Engineers and your Home project:

https://www.istructe.org/find-an-engineer/structural-engineers-near-me/search/home-advice-resources/structural-engineers-and-your-home-project/

IStructE – Cracks in Walls:

https://www.istructe.org/find-an-engineer/structural-engineers-near-me/search/worried-about-damage-to-your-house/cracks-in-walls/

IStructE – Flood & Storm Damage:

https://www.istructe.org/find-an-engineer/structural-engineers-near-me/search/worried-about-damage-to-your-house/flooding-and-storm-damage/

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