Civil Engineering Presentations at Zurich

Recently, Paul Hughes of Hawkins’ London Office, together with Andy Ingle and Andrew Reeves of Hawkins’ Reigate Office, gave two Civil and Structural Engineering presentations for Zurich’s offices in London. The subjects of their presentations were: Defects in Concrete Framed Buildings, and The Importance of Ground Investigation.

Part of the first presentation focused on specific cases in which Hawkins’ civil engineers have undertaken due diligence for clients who wish to purchase a property from a developer. Some of the known issues that civil engineers have faced in their casework are: design and construction defects, understrength concrete, missing reinforcement (especially at columns), and even instances in which the original developer or contractor has gone bankrupt.

Civil engineers carry out design reviews and make sure that the scope of both the review, and the strengthening works associated with it, are implemented reasonably. One particular case study was used in this presentation, in which fellow civil engineers from Hawkins’ London, Glasgow and Manchester offices were also involved in the full design review: 

Hawkins Engineer Areas of Review
Mr Andrew Reeves Phase 1 Review. The loads and foundations
Mr Bernard Travers The SCIA finite element analysis and stability
Mr Paul Hughes The CFRP and through-bolt strengthening works
Mr Jonathan Watkins The column-slab interface analysis
Mr Richard Giles-Carlsson The new steelwork strengthening works
Mr Andy Ingle The drainage

Strengthening can be done through carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) wrap, through bolts, and through steelwork. As well as investigating ways to strengthen the structural aspects of a building, it’s also important to make sure that surface drainage and sewers are installed correctly and according to compliance requirements.


The presentation on ground investigations covered examples from five different case studies, focusing on:

  • The Importance of the desktop study
  • Conservative soil parameters
  • Use of imaging in investigation
  • Faulty foundations
  • Concrete sulphate attack

Civil Engineer Andrew Reeves (pictured) has written two longer articles on Ground Related Failures; the first article goes into more depth on Ground Investigation Issues, while the second focuses on Design Stage Issues.

For each of the five case examples, the civil engineers outlined the steps they take in order to produce a factual and interpretive report. And while plenty of time is spent testing, both on site and in the lab, they revealed that an initial desktop study is often crucial in the assessment of an area’s geology, soil, topology, and past usage.

If you would like to schedule a presentation from a civil engineer at your office, or to instruct a civil engineer on a design review, please contact us.


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