News and Opinion

VR: An opportunity to create a new genre of buildings

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Our second Future Forty event was a great success and gave much food for thought on the future of Virtual Reality in the design industry. We asked our three presenters, including Hilson Moran’s Dave Lee, to answer the question: VR – Design Tool of the Future or Marketing Gimmick? The presenters were given the additional challenge to make their argument within the constraints of the ‘Pecha Kucha’ format of presentation – using only 20 slides, with only 20 seconds given to each slide.

The first presenter was Ares Simone Monzio Compagnoni from Factory Fifteen, a company who specialise in visualisation, animation and 3D representation – also our hosts at The Factory. Ares’ presentation extolled the virtues of Virtual Reality as the ultimate tool to understand how light will penetrate a building and demonstrated a workflow to achieve this.

Second up was Hilson Moran’s Head of BIM, Dave Lee, who took a slightly different stance. He felt that the limitations of existing software meant that VR wasn’t currently a tool which could facilitate collaborative design across the whole design team and that it was only really architects who were able to make good use of it at this point. He suggested that our focus and investment would be better spent on the model behind the VR, but looked forward to a future where new softwares will allow all members of the design team to make use of VR and AR (Augmented Reality) from the outset of the design process.

Our final presenter was Paul Nichols, Creative Director of Factory Fifteen, who was excited and inspired by a tool which he felt could facilitate a completely new way of designing. He argued that VR and AR should not be considered a replacement for existing design tools or ways of working, but an alternative and complementary one. In the same way that parametric design has given birth to a completely new visual language in our built environment, VR may well take us into other unexplored territories.

The presentations were followed by a lively Q&A session, with questions from attendees including Make Architects and Foster + Partners. It was suggested that VR might help our clients to achieve and buy into WELL standard buildings, by making elements such as light and floor-to-ceiling heights more tangible.

The problem of a lack of eye-to-eye contact whilst using a VR headset was also highlighted – how can we collaborate without human interaction or being able to read people’s faces and reactions to our designs? Factory Fifteen suggested that we should not be looking to replace traditional meeting set-ups with VR, while Hilson Moran suggested that future hardware / goggles might be more lightweight.

After the discussion, Factory Fifteen turned on their own VR set-up, allowing attendees to have a go at sketching in 3D. Since it was Shrove Tuesday, the evening was topped off with pancakes.

Thank you to all of those who came to the event. An up to date list of our upcoming Future Forty events can be found here. For further information on our programme or to participate in any of our events, please email Emilie Lemons, Head of Marketing and Communications: 


Ride with the Pros – Cycle Sportive

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As part of our fortieth anniversary year, Future Forty, we are offering 40 of our clients and colleagues the opportunity to join a professional cycling team BIKE Channel | Canyon for a day of cycling.

Riding out of our Farnborough office on 26th April, the group will have the chance to get an up-close look at one of our guest pro team, BIKE Channel | Canyon’s, race ready bikes, the Canyon Aeroad CF SLX.

If you would like to attend the event, please register here.

An up to date list of our upcoming Future Forty events can be found here. For further information on our programme or to participate in any of our events, please email Emilie Lemons, Head of Marketing and Communications: 


Emerging Technologies Hackathon Series: #2 Autonomous Vehicles

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Following the success of our first Hackathon in January, which looked at Wearable Technologies, we are holding our second hackathon in Cambridge on Monday 27th March, at Brookgate’s offices on Station Road.

We are inviting forty people from the industry to imagine the future of design and construction.

In teams you will have 2 hours to discuss, envision and present your ideas on how autonomous vehicles and other emerging technologies might resolve the transport and infrastructure issues in Cambridge now and in the next 40 years.

If you would like to attend the event, please register here. Pizza and drinks will be served!

An up to date list of our upcoming Future Forty events can be found here. For further information on our programme or to participate in any of our events, please email Emilie Lemons, Head of Marketing and Communications:


MIPIM 2017

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Hilson Moran will be attending MIPIM next month in Cannes, France. UK Commercial Director John Deasy and Director, Vince Ugarow, will be accompanied by our Client Relationship Manager Caroline Stephens.

If you would like to arrange a meeting with any of the above whilst you are there, please contact Caroline:


VR: Design Tool of the Future or Marketing Gimmick?

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Hilson Moran are hosting a Pecha Kucha-style presentation on Monday 28th February, at The Factory.

Virtual Reality has come a long way since the days of the Matrix, when the idea of a life lived through a computer seemed like pure science-fiction. Advances in both hard and software are now making such a vision more tangible. Costs have gone down and technology has improved, allowing many design teams to start using VR to illustrate the finished product to their clients through a 3-dimensional experience.

In the second of Hilson Moran’s events to celebrate their 40th anniversary, we ask our panel or presenters whether VR has potential as a design tool and to improve the quality of our built environment. Does it allow designers greater freedom to try options and our clients a better understanding of what they are investing in, or if it is just a flashy gimmick putting a shiny smokescreen over real function and form?

Our presenters include Hilson Moran’s Head of BIM, Dave Lee and Factory Fifteen Founding Director, Paul Nichols. 

If you would like to attend, please register here.

An up to date list of our upcoming events can be found here. For further information on our programme or to participate in any of our events, please email Emilie Lemons, Head of Marketing and Communications:


Wearables Hackathon

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Last night, Hilson Moran held the first of our Emerging Technology Hackathons, a series of workshops where teams of guests from the industry are asked to explore how new developments in technology might affect construction and the built environment. The series forms part of Future Forty – a year of events and activities in celebration of Hilson Moran’s forty years in practice. 

The subject of the first Hackathon was Wearable Technologies. Following a short presentation on Wearables by Hilson Moran’s Head of Research and Development, Dan Jestico, three teams of bright young sparks from the industry workshopped, discussed, imagined and visualised how wearable technologies might change the way that people interact with the built environment over the next 40 years.

Each team then made a presentation to our judging panel; Jason Hawthorne from Wagstaffs, Clare Murray from Levitt Bernstein along with Hilson Moran’s Dan Jestico and Stuart Bridges; before a winning team was chosen and presented with some magnificent plastic medals, a bar of chocolate and a certificate!

Interestingly, two teams came up with very similar ideas – PPE with integrated technologies which would improve efficiency, safety and, in one case, deliver live CPD on construction sites. The winning team ‘Team BETA Testers’ came up with an idea which used VR to make us more efficient and free up time for leisure.

An up to date list of our upcoming Future Forty events can be found here. For further information on our programme or to participate in any of our events, please email Emilie Lemons, Head of Marketing and Communications:


Future 40 – Celebrating the next forty years of Hilson Moran

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In 2017 Hilson Moran is celebrating its fortieth anniversary. In recognition of this achievement the practice is producing a year of events and initiatives which look forward to our next 40 years in design and construction, and consider how the industry will look in 40 years’ time.

Future Forty will celebrate innovation and communication, asking questions about the state of design and exploring modern methods of construction, new technologies and design tools.
Our Emerging Technologies Hackathon Series will delve into the possibilities offered to our industry by new innovations: How will wearables be used to make our buildings more efficient and improve the wellbeing of their occupiers? How will automotive vehicles impact upon the built environment?

In our Qatar and UAE offices, we will be looking at how advances in engineering are allowing us to design comfortable environments in this region, inside and out, while in Cambridge a panel discussion will explore the pros and cons of smart design and the Internet of Things.
Looking to develop our future engineers, a design competition asks engineering students to imagine how design and construction will change over the next 40 years, with the winning entrant awarded a work placement on Hilson Moran’s Research and Development Team.

Cementing Hilson Moran’s commitment to the North over the next 40 years and beyond, our Manchester office are relocating in 2017. Situated in the newly refurbished Neo Building, in Manchester’s City Centre, we are delighted that our new home will be in a building of our own design, with a fit-out designed to meet WELL standards.

An up to date list of our upcoming events can be found below. For further information on our programme or to participate in any of our events, please email Emilie Lemons, Head of Marketing and Communications:



Upcoming Events

Jan 2017 / Emerging Technologies Hackathon #1 Wearables, London 

Feb 2017 / Pecha Kucha ‘VR – Design tool of the future or marketing gimmick?’, London 

March 2017 / Emerging Technologies Hackathon #2 Autononous Vehicles, Cambridge 

                    / Launch of Student Design Competition: 

April 2017 Staff Travel Prize 

                  / Ride with the Pros - Cycle Sportive, Farnborough 

May 2017 / Future Forty Party, London  

 June 2017 / Housewarming Party, Manchester 

July 2017 / Architect Exchange 

Sept 2017 / ‘2057’ Staff Party  

Oct 2017 ME Events - TBC 

Dec 2017 / Staff Christmas Bauble Competition


Building Good Employer Guide 2016

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Hilson Moran has been included in Building Magazine’s Good Employer Guide for the fourth year running. 

The practice has once again have placed in the top 50 firms, in a listing which not only takes into account information supplied by the practice, but also uses an online survey, which is completed by staff anonymously, to gauge strength of feeling on the company’s performance in nine key areas: 

- Leadership
- Corporate social responsibility
- Employees’ opportunity to contribute
- Working atmosphere
- Opportunities for smarter working
- Career progression
- The company’s response to current market conditions
- The promotion of mental wellbeing
- How likely staff would be to recommend their company to a new entrant to the industry.
Currently employing staff across six offices internationally, Hilson Moran will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2017:

“As we approach our 40th year, we remain firm believers in the adage that a company’s staff is its greatest asset” says Managing Director Chris Plummer, “As such, we are extremely proud to have been recognised by our own staff, and by Building Magazine as one of the industry’s top 50 employers.”

Building’s full list can be found here.

Well CPD

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Hilson Moran recently hosted Breakfast talks in London and Manchester, where we showcased the new WELL accreditation. Hilson Moran’s Director of Sustainability, Chris Birch, presented alongside Michael Dariane, one of our Well Accredited Professionals (WELL AP).

Unlike other accreditation systems, which focus on buildings, WELL focuses on people. An evidence and performance-based system for measuring, certifying and monitoring features that impact human health and wellbeing in the built environment, WELL’s assessment focuses on the concepts of air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind.

Currently only 9 projects in the UK are registered to undertake a WELL certification and, as one of the first UK practices to employ WELL APs, Hilson Moran is leading the charge in delivering certified projects.

Our CPD focuses on implementation of the new accreditation, where it overlaps and complements existing sustainability accreditations and who the responsibility for each element lies with. If you would like to hear the CPD session, please contact 

Hilson Moran Innovating at Digicon

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Last week Hilson Moran Director, Vince Ugarow, took part in Digital Construction Week, giving a workshop on the topic of Computational BIM in the conference’s Innovation Theatre. 

Digital technologies have revolutionised the modern construction industry: Most new processes, however, have been developed to replace existing and dated practices rather than to innovate. Hilson Moran has been leading the field in efficient BIM design through computational technologies, most recently with basic visual scripting in Revit.

Our Digicon workshop indicated how some common problems have been overcome using scripting and focused on the power that computational design can offer the construction industry.

Usually associated with architecture and parametric form, Hilson Moran is using this software stream to create, manipulate and analyse system technologies. It is our belief that a multitude of common processes can be translated into a script that can be refined and rolled out across a range of projects, irrespective of the scale or challenges that they present.

Led by our Head of BIM, Dave Lee, Hilson Moran is currently exploring the automation of recurrent processes with scripting.

“Scripting will allow our industry to use computers as they were originally intended: to give man the freedom to eschew menial tasks and to use our advanced creative minds more productively” says Lee. “Our scripts allow our engineers to focus on design without having to waste time and resource manually inputting identical details or repeating design components.”

RIBA Tall Buildings Guide

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Tall Buildings: A Strategic Design Guide is an authoritative guide to the key issues and considerations associated with planning, creating and living with tall buildings.

Thoroughly reworked to reflect industry developments and experiences gained over the last ten years, this second edition imparts the advice and knowledge of more than 20 highly respected industry specialists. Key topics include: urban design and place-making; design, engineering and construction; the role of BIM; construction economics; and the all-important matter of legacy – including the challenges of adaptation and demolition.

The guide was written by Hilson Moran’s Technical Director, Nigel Clark, and WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff Director, Bill Price. Nigel has been involved in the design and construction of tall buildings for over 38 years, regularly speaking at conferences on all aspects of tall building design, with emphasis on environmentally progressive building design.

The guide is available to buy here.

ISO 9001:2015 Standard

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Hilson Moran has successfully transitioned to the new ISO 9001:2015 (Quality Management) and ISO 14001:2015 (Environmental Management) standards. 

We are amongst the first companies in the UK to complete this re-certification process, which confirms that Quality and Environmental issues are at the heart of the company’s design processes.

ISO 9001 provides an integrated approach to quality management, while ISO 14001 is centred on the management of environmental systems. Both of the ISO standards offer guidelines which ensure that services are safe, reliable and fit-for-purpose, but above all satisfy the client’s requirements.

Nigel Clark, Technical Director at Hilson Moran said: “We are delighted to have achieved our target of early transition to the new ISO standards and to be one of the first consultant engineers in the UK to receive this Certification. Once again this achievement confirms that we do what we say we will do. By embracing and implementing the required changes we will continue to offer the best possible service to our clients and to give them what they ask for.”


Hilson Moran is one of the first to become WELL Accredited

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Michael Dariane, Senior Sustainability Consultant at multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy Hilson Moran, is one of the first to be awarded the WELL Accredited Professional™ (WELL AP) credential through the International WELL Building Institute™ (IWBI). The accreditation recognises professionals who are dedicated to supporting human health and well-being in the built environment, adding a new focus to design in the UK.

The WELL AP credential is the new, leading credential signifying advanced knowledge of health and wellbeing in the built environment, and as a result its impact on design. It also covers the principles, practices and application of the WELL Building Standard™ (WELL), which Hilson Moran can now apply to projects for its clients.

Michael Dariane said: “We spend much of our day in the office so it’s important to work in an environment which is conducive to our health and wellbeing. It’s great to have a performance-based, industry-recognised system that measures, certifies, and monitors the impact of our built environment. I’m proud to be one of the first in the UK to attain the WELL AP credential and look forward to applying this into future projects.”

Chris Birch, Director of Sustainability at Hilson Moran, added: “There has been an increasing focus on wellbeing in recent years and this accreditation allows us to assess and measure an environment based on a set of criteria that determines its positive contribution to occupants. This is a really progressive step forward for our industry as a whole, extending measures focused on the environment to the users as well.”

The WELL Building Standard is the first to focus exclusively on the health and wellness of the people in buildings. The WELL AP Exam was launched in October 2015.

WELL is an evidence and performance-based system for measuring, certifying and monitoring features that impact human health and well-being in the built environment, through air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind.

To learn more about Hilson Moran’s commitment to health and wellness in the built environment, visit The WELL Building Standard and more information on the WELL AP™ is available at

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Hilson Moran showcases environmental strategy for Walkie Talkie Sky Garden

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Multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy, Hilson Moran, led a tour of the Walkie Talkie’s Sky Garden as part of the annual Green Sky Thinking Week run by Open City, an initiative set to showcase best practice sustainable design solutions and highlight current technologies, policy and thinking. Hilson Moran completed the base build and fourteen fit-out floors, eight CAT A and six CAT B, in the iconic 20 Fenchurch Street building. The tour was hosted on Friday 29 April to give attendees an insight into the environmental strategy behind the BREEAM Excellent-rated building.

The tour of the 155m-high Sky Garden was conducted by Dan Jestico, Head of Research and Development at Hilson Moran, and focused on how passive design and the various technologies integrated into the building systems work together to reduce emissions and contribute to helping London meet its 60% reduction in CO2 emissions target by 2025.

The Hilson Moran design for 20 Fenchurch Street included the first hydrogen-powered fuel cell installed in the City of London and is similar to that originally developed for the Apollo and Shuttle space missions. The fuel cell signifies the client Land Securities’ commitment to pioneering sustainable technology. It generates clean power and will help to reduce the building’s carbon emissions by 6-7%, which is at least 270 tonnes per annum, preventing the emission of more than 18,000 tonnes of pollutants compared to conventional combustion-based power generation.

The Sky Garden uses passive design to moderate internal environments. Natural ventilation is harnessed rather than relying on heating, cooling or mechanical ventilation. Other sustainable solutions include roof-mounted photovoltaic panels predicted to generate 27,300 kWh per year.

Dan Jestico said: “20 Fenchurch Street is an exemplar in environmental strategy for building design. The successful installation and operation of the fuel cell leads the way for sustainable building performance in London and further beyond, while other sustainable innovations demonstrate how green technologies can work together to significantly reduce carbon emissions. The tour was a huge success and we are pleased to be able to share our design strategy and to be working towards a more sustainable built environment as part of the Green Sky Thinking initiative.”

Encouraging the next generation of engineers

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Farai Mwashita, Mechanical Design Engineer at Hilson Moran, recently took part in a ‘Meet the Professional’ day organised by STEMNET London at Riddlesdown Collegiate in South London. The aim of the day was to give 6th form students insight into a career in engineering and inspire them for their future studies. The interactive session gave students the chance to ask Farai questions, who was able to draw on her experience and explain the various engineering career options available.

Farai said: “I took this opportunity because I am an avid promotor of engineering, particularly now that there is a shortage of engineers in the industry. Personal development and growth are integral to Hilson Moran’s company ethos and I hope my enthusiasm and commitment to the field inspired the next generation of young engineers.”

STEMNET London was established to inspire young people in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through working with schools and employers. As STEM Ambassadors, Hilson Moran is using its extensive industry knowledge to motivate and inspire budding young engineers.

STEM ambassadors at Riddlesdown Collegiate

Hilson Moran in Top 20 MEP Consultant Power List

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Hilson Moran has been shortlisted in the Top 20 of the 2016 MEP Consultant Power List for the second year running.

The annual Power List recognises the leading mechanical, electrical and plumbing consultants operating in the Middle East. A number of criterion including investment in staff, sustainable business practices and involvement in industry bodies are used to provide an extensive assessment of the shortlisted consultancies. 

Tony Morris, International Director at Hilson Moran said: “Since opening our first office in the Middle East over ten years ago, our success in the region has grown from strength to strength. Now operating with offices in both the UAE and Qatar, we are well positioned to respond to client’s projects throughout the region. We’re committed to investing in our staff, technology and exercising sustainable business practices across the organisation, to enable us to provide our clients with the highest levels of service on their projects. 

“We’ve been working on a number of complex and high-profile projects over the past twelve months, across a variety of sectors including masterplan/infrastructure, commercial, residential, sports, leisure, and transportation, which provides a strong basis for our continued growth in the region through 2016.” 

MEP Top 20 Consultant

Hilson Moran announces two key promotions

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Multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy Hilson Moran has promoted Andrew Ashfield and Andy Grint to Group Directors to further strengthen the firm’s management team at a time of growth. Both were previously Divisional Directors with the company

Andy GrintAndy Grint joined Hilson Moran’s London office in 2001 as a Senior Mechanical Engineer. Andy has over 25 years’ experience on a range of new-build, fit-out and refurbishment projects in various sectors. These include 240 Blackfriars Road, 12-14 Fetter Lane, the FA headquarters at Wembley Stadium and the multi-award-winning fit-out of international law firm K&L Gates’ London headquarters at One New Change.



Andy AshfieldAndrew Ashfield joined Hilson Moran’s London office in 1998 as a Senior Electrical Engineer. Andrew has over 30 years’ experience in engineering building services, over half of which have been with Hilson Moran. He has worked on many significant projects including the headquarters of Credit Suisse, 20 Fenchurch Street and the New York Stock Exchange Data Centre.

Chris Plummer, Managing Director of Hilson Moran, said: “The well-deserved promotions of Andrew Ashfield and Andy Grint are the result of their outstanding technical abilities, their valued contribution to Hilson Moran in the past and their potential for the future. They are great assets to our company and their promotions are consistent with our ethos of nurturing, developing and rewarding our people.”

What COP21 means for the built environment

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The United Nations Climate Change Conference also known as COP21 in Paris saw a new worldwide greenhouse gas emissions agreement consensus reached by 196 parties (consisting of 195 States and one regional economic integration organisation), which should come into force in January 2020. The agreement needs to be signed and ratified by at least 55 countries, accounting for 55% of global emissions to be enforced.

C Birch ColourChris Birch, Director of Sustainability and Andrew Moore, Principal Sustainability Consultant, comment on what this means for the UK construction industry.

The new treaty will require global warming to be limited to a 2oC limit compared to pre-industrial warming levels, with an aim for a 1.5oC limit, if possible. This will mean each signatory country must contribute to cutting global greenhouse emissions and publish progress reviews every five years, beginning in 2023, and define Intended Nationally Defined Contributions (INDCs) to cut emissions which will be monitored and updated over time to help drive further greenhouse gas reductions. 

Interestingly there is no mention of zero carbon or an explicit plan to phase out fossil fuels and it remains to be seen how policy and legislation will be developed to fulfil the promises set out in the agreement. Achieving the 1.5oC aim may require zero emissions by 2030-2050.

The UK was the first country in the world to introduce legally binding legislation to tackle climate change but, since the election in May last year, the Conservative government has made a U-turn on numerous policies that have been central to sustainable building design and construction practices. These include removal of renewable energy incentives, zero carbon buildings targets and the Code for Sustainable Homes, to name but a few. However at the same time they will be implementing the Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS), (also known as the Minimum Energy Efficient Standards (MEES)) for the private rental sector which makes it unlawful to let properties with an EPC of ‘F’ or worse, to be enforced from April 2018.

One key driver the UK construction market needs is a long-term and clear policy strategy, for both energy generation and energy consumers. The ambitious targets will be difficult to achieve without certainty needed to drive investment, and policy changes so far have affected the industry’s ability to innovate and get ahead of the game. Perhaps the worldwide coverage of the COP21 agreement will encourage the construction industry to continue as a global leader despite the recent dilution of policy.

One thing is certain however, climate change is back on the agenda globally and therefore should be firmly placed on the ‘risk registers’ of the world’s corporate institutions for the foreseeable future. We expect it will become an integral part of a company’s strategy and one in which the UK construction industry will play an important part. Future developments and building design will increasingly reflect how to meet carbon targets as new legislation comes into play and future proofing of buildings to mitigate the effects of climate change will become more prominent to enable owners to avoid obsolescence risk. Hilson Moran will continue to contribute towards the global and national carbon reduction targets through best practice sustainable design for its clients.

Season's Greetings from Hilson Moran

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Season's Greetings 2015

Hilson Moran introduces new Head of Human Resources

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C GallagherHilson Moran has recently appointed Clare Gallagher as the new Head of Human Resources.

Clare will be responsible for ensuring HR policies and initiatives are aligned with the company’s business objectives as it continues to grow. She will work in partnership with employees to help support their development and maintain expert services across all sectors.

Chris Plummer, Managing Director of Hilson Moran, said: “We are very pleased to have Clare on board to lead our Human Resources team. She will develop and implement our new employee strategy across the business which will help nurture staff, while attracting new talent to our growing business.”

With over 16 years’ experience, Clare has a proven track record of managing generalist functions of HR. Her experience ranges from leading HR departments to consulting with directors and senior leadership groups. Clare is MCIPD qualified and has experience in a number of sectors including financial services, airport, retail and pharmaceuticals.

Hilson Moran is a top 50 Construction Employer for the third year

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Steve at WorkHilson Moran has made Building magazine’s 2015 Employer Guide - the third year in a row. The prestigious guide names the top 50 employers in to the construction industry from over 200 entries.

Hilson Moran once again made the cut by scoring highly on training hours, smarter working and career progression as well as having a generous holiday allowance, pension scheme and private healthcare.

Chris Plummer, Managing Director at Hilson Moran, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be in the Building Good Employer Guide for the third year running. With the economy and construction industry picking up, our staff numbers have increased by 15% already this year and employee motivation and wellbeing remain at the very forefront of our business strategy. It is fantastic to have that recognised once again.”

Hilson Moran announces two key appointments

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Leading multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy Hilson Moran has announced two key appointments, further increasing the strength of its management team. Dave Lee takes on the new role of BIM Manager, while John Green is the new Head of Security Consultancy.

David_LeeDave Lee has over 11 years’ international experience in BIM management and delivery across sectors including residential, hospitality, aviation, healthcare and education. Prior to working for Hilson Moran, he played an integral role in ensuring the efficiencies of construction and operation of projects including Gatwick Airport Pier 5 and Al Wakrah Stadium in Qatar for the 2022 World Cup. As a leader in the advanced levels of BIM implementation, Dave will drive the consultancy’s existing BIM expertise forwards, further establishing Hilson Moran as one of the forerunners of BIM implementation in the industry.johnj green headshot

John Green is a security design specialist with extensive experience across a range of sectors and industries, including military facilities, aviation, rail transport, sensitive manufacturing industries and projects for the UK government. He joins Hilson Moran from Christie’s where he was a Regional Group Security Director and consulted on principle and global site capital schemes. As a consultant at Atkins, projects John has delivered include Counter-terrorism design and Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) on the London 2012 Olympic venues and additionally for Crossrail. John will be responsible for ensuring that an innovative and integrated design approach is taken and that high-level security strategies are implemented on key projects.

Chris Plummer, Managing Director of Hilson Moran, said: “Dave Lee and John Green bring their outstanding technical abilities and wide-ranging proficiencies in their respective fields of BIM and security to Hilson Moran. Their appointments add depth and knowledge to our design teams ensuring that we can continue to deliver leading services to our clients.”

The many U-turns of sustainable building

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Chris Birch, Director of Sustainability and Dan Jestico, Head of Research & Development discuss the many U-turns of Sustainable Building legislation.

C Birch ColourThe construction industry has recently witnessed a series of dramatic policy U-turns from the government around sustainability issues. It began when David Cameron allegedly ordered his aides to "get rid of all the green crap", blaming green taxes for the increases in the UK’s energy bills. Now the government has done another U-turn by announcing that it “does not intend to proceed with the zero carbon Allowable Solutions carbon offsetting scheme, or the proposed 2016 increase in onsite energy efficiency standards”, initially proposed by the Labour Government’s 2007 ‘Building a greener future’ policy statement, which confirmed that all new homes would be zero carbon by 2016.

With this one sentence, hidden away on page 46 of the Treasury’s ‘Productivity Plan’, it has potentially brought an end to eight years of productive collaboration between developers, engineers and architects to reduce the carbon footprint of the UK’s building stock.

Just consider the investment that has gone into preparing for zero carbon and greater energy efficiency. Not only is there the substantial cost of developing these standards, using taxpayers money, but also the cost to companies’ research and development activities, which represent  considerable time and money developing innovative products to support the construction industry to achieve new standards, only to potentially find themselves with no market.

Some of the new and innovative solutions they have developed have already helped meet ever tightening Part L standards and there has been unprecedented success, with a positive impact on both new and existing stock. A new house built to Part L 2013 standards emits approximately 44% less CO2 than its equivalent built to the 2002 standards. 

So why the U-turn when green technologies are available, the proposed compliance mechanisms were sensible and the industry was prepared to adopt them? Given the announcement was made in the context of a ‘Productivity Plan’, one can only assume that it is because the government believes the construction industry is inefficient because of these standards. At Hilson Moran, we don’t think this is the case. We believe that ‘sustainable design’ is simply ‘good design’. In a world of ever increasing energy costs, why would someone design a building that wastes energy and results in higher energy bills for its tenants? We believe that the loss of these targets puts good design and innovation in perilous danger of being put aside in favour of short term “productivity” gains. It also might understandably make research and development companies far more cautious about future investment if there is a risk of the government changing their policy again, or abolishing it completely.
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The demise of the zero carbon buildings policy also has knock on effects to other policies affecting buildings at both national and local level. The recent Housing Standards Review stated that from the introduction of zero carbon homes in 2016, local authorities will be unable to require new developments to achieve CO2 savings above those in building regulations. This was based on the fact that from 2016 all new homes would be zero carbon and therefore additional CO2 savings would be unnecessary.

Additionally, the Greater London Authority has recently consulted on alterations to the London Plan (London’s spatial development strategy), which contained policy responses to the Housing Standards Review predicated on zero carbon homes being introduced in 2016. The removal of the zero carbon requirement now leaves a large hole in these policies and has created a huge amount of uncertainty for developers, planners, architects and engineers in terms of required building standards. Coupled with the phasing out of the Code for Sustainable Homes, the upshot of this is that homes built post 2016 will be less sustainable and more energy hungry than those we are currently building. How is that keeping bills as low as possible for hardworking families?

Just days after the announcement hailing the end of zero carbon buildings policy, we learned of the demise of the Green Deal. The government confirmed it will no longer fund the Green Deal Finance Company and will stop any future funding releases of the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund. Following this, it then unveiled changes to renewable energy subsidies, affecting the support developers of projects such as solar PV and wind (above 50kW) will receive under the Feed-in Tariff scheme, raising concerns about the future of large scale renewable energy projects in the UK.

We are all left thinking “what next”?

A glimmer of hope can be seen in an open letter to the Chancellor from the UK Green Building Council. The letter, signed by senior leaders from 246 organisations, including Hilson Moran, warns that the policy U-turn has “undermined industry confidence in government” and that their actions will “curtail investment in British innovation and manufacturing”.  We hope that the government can see the error of its decision and put sustainability back at the forefront of UK building, where it belongs.

Hilson Moran set to adopt new ISO 9001:2015 and 14001:2015 standards

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N Clark ColourMulti-disciplinary engineering consultant Hilson Moran is set to complete the transition to the newly revised ISO 9001:2015 (Quality Management) and ISO 14001:2015 (Environmental Management) standards, which will help us further improve the service we offer to our clients, driving efficiencies and putting us at the forefront of quality and environmental standards.

ISO 9001 provides an integrated approach to quality management, while ISO 14001 is centred on the management of environmental systems. Both of the ISO standards offer guidelines which ensure that services are safe, reliable and fit-for-purpose. Both also drive best practice.

Nigel Clark, Technical Director at Hilson Moran said: “We have been preparing for the transition between the old and new ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 standards for some time now. We’re committed to implementing these standards as quickly as possible because the earlier we do that – the better it is for our clients and our business. Future tenders will require that these standards are met and, by embracing these changes early, we will continue to offer the best possible service to our clients.”


Hilson Moran’s 3D BIM wins Gold Digital Impact Award

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DIA 500Hilson Moran’s ‘Stand Out’ 3D BIM augmented reality app won ‘Gold in the Best use of Digital in the Property Sector’ category of the Digital Impact Awards on 14 October.

Hilson Moran is at the forefront of Building Information Modelling (BIM) design within the property industry and the unique app can be used to discover what goes on behind the façade of a building. Created by integrated communications agency Wagstaffs, the app uses both 2D overlays and 3D geometry to enable users to view the mechanical, electrical and public health elements in an augmented reality environment.

Stand Out Download App 2Vince Ugarow, Hilson Moran Director, said: “Our app lets people look beyond façades into the inner workings of buildings through the use of BIM. It’s a new and flexible tool that can be used to help clients and wider industry professionals understand the advantages of BIM technology.”

Louise Ball, Head of Marketing & Communications at Hilson Moran said: “We are thrilled to have won the award and to be recognised for our work in BIM. We developed this idea to overcome the challenge of the behind-the-scenes nature of what really makes buildings work and it has been exciting to see it through from a concept to reality.”

The Digital Impact Awards is a leading event in the Digital Marketing industry with over 20 categories across a range of sectors.

The app can be downloaded via this link:

Hilson Moran’s Vince Ugarow one of six CTBUH UK Chapter founding members

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V Ugarow ColourVince Ugarow, Group Director at Hilson Moran, is one of six founding committee members of the recently launched UK Chapter of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.

Vince is a Chartered Engineer with over 28 years’ experience in the industry having successfully led design teams on high profile UK and international projects. Vince worked on 20 Fenchurch Street in London where he managed the project from design stages through to post occupancy. He has been an active member of the Council for some time having been on the Steering Committee at the London Conference in 2013 and he will sit as Session Chair at the 2015 New York Conference later this month.

CTBUH has established a London-based UK arm to provide a place for debate and discussion about the role of tall buildings in the urban environment, with over 200 currently proposed to be built in London. The council also officially ranks the world’s tallest buildings.

CTBUH LogoVince Ugarow said: “The chapter is not looking to champion tall buildings for the sake of them. It is concerned with how tall buildings fit into the urban landscape. Having been responsible for the engineering of many tall buildings in London, we’ll be able to add insight and advice on the best solutions.”

Vince joins a committee, chaired by Alinea Consulting partner Steve Watts and including Peter Rees of University College London, Temoor Ahmad from Grimshaw Architects, AECOM’s Ian Skelton and Cecily Davis from Field Fisher.

Hilson Moran opens office in Cambridge

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M Murphy ColourHilson Moran, leading multidisciplinary engineering consultancy, has this week opened an office in Cambridge. The office, situated in the CB1 inner city masterplan by developer Brookgate, will be headed up by Director Martin Murphy who has extensive experience in the region. The office will offer a direct link to clients and provide all of Hilson Moran’s services and confirms the company’s commitment to the City and region.

MCB1_Masterplan_500artin Murphy said “Over the past few years our research has tracked a considerable increase in development opportunities in the East of England many of which we have been fortunate enough to be involved in including the CB1 masterplan, Botanic House, Cambridge Science Park and the fit out of the new ARM HQ. We are excited to now have an office in the region to further develop our existing relationships and pursue future opportunities to help the region fulfil its substantial potential.”

For further details please contact Martin Murphy on 01223 803840 or

For our office location please click here.

Acoustics in the workplace: how to cope with today’s multi-functional workplace

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Nick Jones, Head of Acoustics, discusses how to cope with today’s
multi-functional workplace

N Jones ColourIn today’s workplace, one of the top staff complaints is the inability to concentrate due to noise levels. As an acoustic consultant to many developers and end users in the commercial sector, that doesn’t surprise me, and with the way the workplace is evolving, it’s only going to grow in significance. In the future, it will need to be carefully managed, or it will affect our health.

Almost all offices today involve open plan areas and, since the advent of co-working, collaboration and team working have become the focus of many office environments. According to recent research presented at this year’s British Council for Offices (BCO) Conference by JLL, individual working has halved in recent years.

There are now multiple modes of interaction – formal, informal, virtual, social and face-to-face. There are also different settings for different tasks – traditional desks, sit-stand desks, soft seating, collaboration areas, break-out areas and so on. Then there are home-from-home leisure and hospitality elements creeping in: coffee shops, dining areas, gyms.

Acoustics in the Workplace Quote 2With the vast majority of office spaces now designed to encourage people to communicate and work with others, there are unsurprisingly significant noise implications and far greater potential for distractions and interruptions.

A ‘Wellbeing at Work Study’ by the BCO last year revealed that over a quarter of UK employees find the acoustics of their office unpleasant, and 20% of employees blame this on a noisy open plan environment. The biggest source of distraction is people’s voices. More recently, at the BCO Conference, open plan working was referenced as a crime against productivity! There are various statistics available, with the most shocking being a 66% decrease in productivity for open plan compared to cellular.

But noise doesn’t just impact employee effectiveness, it can be a major distraction and source of frustration and stress, which in turn can impact wellbeing. More organisations accept their responsibility in creating environments that support our physical and mental health, and it’s therefore essential when delivering these spaces that our design solutions help create an optimum workplace environment for everyone.

We need to adopt an integrated, systematic approach to the acoustical design of office spaces, to ensure the design takes into consideration and mitigates the known noise issues from the outset. Critical to this is knowing how the occupants are going to work. For example, is a lively ‘workshop’ environment desirable and will quiet, isolated zones be required?

AH_LowerFloorIt’s not always possible to predict every noise problem and some issues may present themselves over time. There are some simple retrospective solutions to help create a balanced ambience, including more screening between workstations; dividing spaces up – from the quiet areas for concentrative work, through to the break out spaces that support creativity and team work; and acoustic rafts and panels that help reduce overall reverberation and noise levels. 

Bad acoustics isn’t only a problem when it’s too noisy – it’s also an issue when it’s too quiet. Low ambient background sound can make seemingly quiet sounds distracting, and being overheard becomes a big privacy issue. Acoustics in the Workplace Quote 1To counteract this problem, a sound masking system can be used, raising the background levels so that voices or sounds that have decayed to a level below the masking will be covered up. This doesn’t necessarily prevent a person from hearing another person speak, but it does inhibit their ability to understand what is being said, which increases the feeling of privacy and in turn reduces distraction.

Workplace trends change over time, but open plan is here to stay. That means noise is too. For as long as collaboration rather than privacy is seen as a competitive advantage, the office will be formed of multiple places where people can inspire, interact and collaborate. It’s therefore essential that the design is holistic and embeds acoustics in the planning phase. Only then can organisations manage issues, provide a more productive environment for their employees, and support their wellbeing. 

Compliance or Prediction

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Dan Jestico, a member of the CBxchange Steering Group, argues that the energy consumption data from assessment tools as they currently stand should be seen as a compliance calculation only, not a prediction of actual performance.

D Jestico Colour 2The compliance software used to assess the CO2 emissions of buildings for Part L was never intended to be used as an energy consumption prediction tool. This is one of the many reasons why the performance gap between compliance and actual energy consumption data exists. However, the application of Part L results for planning policies and certification schemes means that compliance software is increasingly being used as a design tool, which can restrict innovation.

Many factors affect how buildings actually use energy and these are notoriously difficult to predict. Compliance calculations utilise fixed occupant usage patterns and therefore only represent an assessment of the specification of fabric and systems. This is necessary to provide a level playing field for assessment by Building Control.

Thus, the energy consumption data from assessment tools as they currently stand should be seen as a compliance calculation only, not a prediction of actual performance.

Debate continues about whether Part L compliance tools will ever be able to accurately predict building energy usage and indeed, whether they should even aim to. The Zero Carbon Hub have stated that from 2020, 90% of all new homes should be able to meet or perform better than the designed energy / carbon performance, so clearly, from the domestic side at least, there is pressure to close the performance gap.

cop quoteIn order to achieve sign-off from Building Control, it is only necessary to pass the CO2 emissions assessment, surpassing the minimum compliance standard. Yet planning policies and BREEAM schemes require buildings to exceed these standards, so designers are encouraged to achieve significant pass margins over the minimum compliance level. This means that the compliance tool has become a design tool, adding to the confusion over whether simulated energy consumption figures are an accurate prediction or just a compliance calculation.

As assessment tools need to be consistent across platforms and users, and applicable to all types of buildings, they’ve reverted to being the lowest common denominator of modelling strategies. The low carbon benefits of naturally ventilated buildings, buildings with free cooling or buildings with innovative mechanical systems are not always recognised by the current assessment methodology and this needs to change as the zero carbon future becomes the zero carbon present.

If compliance software is going to be used as a design tool, it should therefore be capable of providing meaningful feedback on building design, incorporating the benefits of innovation into the assessment methodology.

Conversely, the methodology needs to retain simplicity for assessing uncomplicated buildings, providing a cost-effective route to Part L compliance where suitable.

To assist in closing the performance gap, assessment tools could have an option to enhance basic compliance calculations with intended usage patterns to provide more accurate predictions of eventual energy usage.

This all points to a need to develop Part L assessment methods to suit a range of approaches, with options for more complex buildings, better predictions of energy usage and credit given to natural ventilation strategies. With Part L 2016 rapidly approaching, now is the time for the new government to prove its green credentials, and develop existing assessment methodologies into useful design tools.

Environmental double for UBM building

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Multinational media company UBM's new London office at 240 Blackfriars Road on London's South Bank has received a second accolade for environmental efficiency.

UBM LEED 500The fit-out for UBM, which occupies the top nine floors of the 20-storey building, has just been rated Platinum under the LEED environmental accreditation scheme. This follows the BREEAM Excellent rating that the whole building achieved during the original construction process.

UBM employed architect Gensler to design the fit-out scheme for its space and multi-disciplinary engineering consultant Hilson Moran was responsible for the sustainability assessments for both BREEAM and LEED.

UBM selected an agile working model employing hot desking which requires employees to clear their desks after work each day, and encourages the highly flexible use of the space.

Hilson Moran director Chris Birch said: "It is a given that buildings need to achieve high standards of environmental efficiency and to be built sustainably, but it is important that any gains made when building the original structure are not lost during the fit-out. Through careful design and planning, and close collaboration between all the consultants, high standards can be maintained throughout.”

Hilson Moran was also the mechanical and electrical engineer, sustainability, fire and lift consultants for the base build, designed by architect Allford Hall Monaghan Morris.

240 Blackfriars Road was developed by the Great Ropemaker Partnership, a 50:50 joint venture by Great Portland Estates and Ropemaker Properties, BP Pension Fund's property nominees. The building achieved practical completion in March 2014 and has 223,000 sq ft of offices and 4,822 sq ft of retail space at ground level.

Energy efficiency features incorporated in the original building include: high performance solar control glazing; efficient building services systems and appliances; LED lighting in office areas; efficient lighting and thermal systems controls; mechanical heat recovery via thermal wheels; high efficiency chillers for the offices; a centralised gas-fired hot water system for the offices; the use of a high efficiency low NOx boiler for heating; and the building has photovoltaic cells on the roof.

LEED, which originated in the USA, is claimed to be the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Based on the number of points that a project accrues, one of four LEED rating levels can be achieved, platinum being the highest.

Sky Academy Skills Studios opens in Livingston

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The Sky Academy Skills Studios in Livingston, Scotland, has completed. Leading, international multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy, Hilson Moran is the building services, and sustainability consultant, as well as the BREEAM assessor for the project.

Sky Skills Academy 500The facility has four studio spaces suitable for eight people at a time, and aims to provide 12,000 young people per year, aged 8 to 18, with a free learning experience that links to the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence and helps students build life skills. It also has an immersion room, which tells the story of Sky, and a welcome room, which provides a seating area for the students to eat lunch within the realms of the Sky experience.

Students are able to create their own TV report about a subject they are studying at school using Sky’s state-of-the-art technology, including broadcast quality cameras, green screens and touch screen edit tables. It also builds on the success of the first Sky Academy Skills Studios at Sky’s headquarters in West London, where 18,000 students have taken part in the experience since its launch in 2012.

Sky Skills Academy 500 2Mark Sessions, Associate at Hilson Moran, said: “The Sky Academy Skills Studios is based on an already successful model in London. It provides students with an inspirational space where they can develop their communication, creativity and team work skills.

“To make sure the students’ have a high quality experience, part of our role on the project was to install displacement ventilation, which is low velocity. This meets the stringent noise levels specified in the studios; a necessity for the best broadcasting environment.”

The project is targeting BREEAM ‘Very Good’.

Project Team:

RPM: concept architect
Hassell: delivery architect
Hilson Moran: MEP and sustainability consultant/ BREEAM Assessor
Space Solutions: project manager

Housing Standards Review

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The Housing Standards Review, concluded just over a month ago, was designed to streamline and simplify the planning process for creating quality, sustainable housing in the UK. Unfortunately, however, it appears to have caused a lot of confusion instead.

D Jestico The main issue is that different policies and standards relating to domestic planning applications will be implemented at different times, until the introduction of zero carbon homes in late 2016. So, depending on what date a planning application is submitted and the content of the relevant planning authority’s Local Plan, different standards will apply.

At a time when housing demand is at its highest, there is a fear that private developers might delay submitting an application until the conditions for planning are most favourable for their projects. Or avoid submitting on the cusp of change in case their scheme gets deferred.

In London, standards for small housing developments are to be relaxed, which we feel sends completely the wrong message. Currently, in the London Plan, housing development must demonstrate a 35% improvement on Part L to secure planning consent. From the introduction of zero carbon homes in 2016, it will drop to 20%, with residual emissions being addressed using the Allowable Solutions mechanism. However, developments of fewer than 10 homes will be exempt from Allowable Solutions, and developers may delay submitting a planning application until then because it helps with viability.

Quote DJLocal authorities are effectively stuck in the middle of conflicting advice from central government and the GLA. There’s also a lack of guidance on how projects ‘prove’ themselves in future. With the Code for Sustainable Homes no longer enforced, how do developments demonstrate their sustainability? What criteria are sustainable elements measured against? How do we ensure issues such as materials, ecology and pollution are addressed?

It is up to Local Authorities to implement the changes in their Local Plans, so they need to keep on top of the changes. Until that happens and things settle down, legal challenges may have to set precedence. In the meantime, planning officers will become the go-to for information on requirements to ensure everyone is working to the same targets.

The key changes:

  • From April 2015, Local Authorities can’t require new residential planning applications to achieve certification through the Code for Sustainable Homes.
  • Where an existing planning policy references the Code, authorities may continue to apply a water efficiency standard equivalent to the new national technical standard.
  • Flood resilience and resistance, and external noise will remain a matter to be dealt with through the planning process.
  • From April 2015, local authorities are expected not to set conditions with energy requirements above a Code level 4 equivalent, contradicting the London Plan.
  • From October 2015, Local Authorities can specify additional technical standards to be met through Building Regulations relating to access, internal space and water efficiency.
  • When the Zero Carbon homes standard is introduced in late 2016, new housing developments will have to achieve an approximate saving of 20% over Part L 2013, with residual emissions being addressed using the Allowable Solutions mechanism
  • Housing developments of 10 units or fewer will be exempt from Allowable Solutions.
  • From the introduction of the Zero Carbon homes standard, Local Authorities cannot specify energy targets above Part L through planning policy. In London, if a housing development is 10 units or fewer, it maybe less onerous to wait until Part L 2016 is introduced.
  • The timetable may change, although it is highly unlikely that this will happen prior to zero carbon homes being introduced in 2016.

7th Annual Façade Design and Engineering Middle East Conference Round-up

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The 7th Annual Façade Design and Engineering Middle East conference, which took place from 23-24 February 2015 at the Intercontinental hotel in Doha, was a huge success and the most well attended to date. It attracted over 250 leading architects, engineers and suppliers discussing key challenges faced in existing and upcoming projects, while also providing exclusive insight into how truly iconic façades are being achieved.
M Kitson ColourMatthew Kitson, Regional Director for Qatar at Hilson Moran, chaired both days of the event – key topics discussed include:

• Establishing how to incorporate intelligent façades to improve sustainability and comfort while lowering costs
• Determining the latest evolutions in glass technology to support the façades of the future
• Exploring how to translate the values of the past into the modern façades of today's cities
• Understanding the implications of GSAS and Estidama rating systems on building façades
• Discussing façade lighting designs and media façades to modernise and iconise buildings

Matt Kitson said: “There were many interesting discussions this year. Of particular note was a topic discussed by Prof. Ali A. Alraouf who spoke holistically about façades, and how designing buildings and public realm is all about people. He asserted that they should be designed from the inside out, considering, reflecting and inspiring their end user.

“Another interesting find, and one that I hadn’t come across before, was a wire meshing product which can incorporate LEDs – it wraps like a veil around a building and can change colour density. It also has solar gain control and control comfort levels. These are just two truly innovative ideas from a host of fantastic speakers and panelists.”  

Marie-Louise Schembri named as one of Building Magazine's Sustainability Rising Stars 2015

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Rising Star - EmluA principal sustainability consultant with Hilson Moran, Marie-Louise Schembri, has been named as one of Building magazine's 2015 top 50 rising stars of sustainability.

Marie-Louise Schembri, who is from Malta, started out as an architect, but took a post-graduate in environmental design and engineering after developing a strong interest in sustainability. One of the projects she is working on is the regeneration of the Royal Albert Dock, by London City Airport.

Marie-Louise said: "I am honoured to be listed amongst the 2015 rising stars in Sustainability. Sustainability is a true passion of mine and it is great to work at Hilson Moran and be involved in ensuring developments in London are being future-proofed with sustainability initiatives."

Building magazine went on to ask Marie-Louise some questions as part of the Rising Star article:

Have you been impressed by the government’s record on sustainability?

“The good news is we have continued on the road to zero carbon and the momentum hasn’t stopped. What’s perhaps disappointing is the lack of vision for the non-residential sector on zero carbon. We have a decent idea on what zero carbon will probably look like in the residential sector but on non-residential, we are just guessing.

“I would also like to see a realignment of priorities in terms of a decarbonised energy grid, making real investments for cyclists and improving air quality for pedestrians.

“We have come a long way and it doesn’t look like it can stop. We know how to do it and we are ahead of time in terms of what is expected, so there are no excuses for turning back. We are on the right track.”

What’s your key message for your peers?

“It’s time for people to think in a more interdisciplinary way, for architects to think more like engineers and for engineers to think more like architects . We need to break down barriers between different

This year’s top 50 list was compiled by leading figures in the sustainability sector, as well as past rising star members and Ecobuild speakers. It recognises individuals under the age of 40 that have been making waves in sustainability.

Foyles flagship wins at BREEAM Awards 2015

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107 109 Charing Cross Road MiscThe new Foyles flagship at 107 Charing Cross Road, London, has won the ‘Retail – Refurbishment & Fit-Out’ category at the BREEAM Awards 2015. The ceremony took place on Tuesday 3 March at the Marriott Hotel, Grosvenor Square, and was hosted by TV architect Charlie Luxton.

Hilson Moran was the BREEAM assessor and building services engineer for the project, which achieved a BREEAM Excellent score of 73.4% in 2014. The refurbished store was designed by architect Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, and has 37,000 sq ft of retail space, housing a range of over 200,000 different titles spread across four floors, and is the largest bookshop to have opened in the UK so far this century.

The building features a retained façade that has been thermally upgraded with new high performance windows, as well as exposed thermal mass, which enhances comfort and helps to smooth the temperature swings as crowds of visitors enter the store throughout the day. Air source heat pumps also provide low carbon heating and cooling to retail spaces. In addition a large PV array and green roof was also provided.

BREEAM QuoteSteve Johnson, Project Director at Hilson Moran, said: “We are delighted to have won this award for such a great project. Foyles flagship is an iconic building in London and we are thrilled at the result of the refurbishment, which has not only helped upgrade and modernise the internal layout, but has provided a better experience for the store’s customers.”

The BREEAM Awards celebrate the best in sustainable construction and recognise the achievement of those involved in the specification, design, construction and management of BREEAM certified buildings.

Foyles flagship shortlisted for BREEAM Awards 2015

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107 109 Charing Cross RoadThe new Foyles flagship at 107-109 Charing Cross Road, London, has been shortlisted in the ‘Retail – Refurbishment & Fit-Out’ category at the BREEAM Awards 2015. The winners will be announced on Tuesday 3 March, at a glittering ceremony at the Marriott Hotel, Grosvenor Square, hosted by TV architect Charlie Luxton.

Hilson Moran was the BREEAM assessor and building services engineer for the project, which achieved a BREEAM Excellent score of 73.4% in 2014 . The refurbished store has 37,000 sq ft of retail space, housing a range of over 200,000 different titles spread across four floors, and is the largest bookshop to have opened in the UK so far this century.

The building features a retained façade that has been thermally upgraded with new high performance windows, as well as exposed thermal mass, which enhances comfort and helps to smooth the temperature swings as crowds of visitors enter the store throughout the day. Air source heat pumps also provide low carbon heating and cooling to retail spaces. In addition a large PV array and green roof was also provided.

The BREEAM awards are made annually to the highest scoring building assessments certified under BREEAM schemes in the preceding calendar year. The awards recognise the achievement of those involved in the specification, design and construction of BREEAM assessed buildings.

Client: Foyles

Architect: Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands

Hilson Moran appointed for new Wales International Convention Centre

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Celtic Manor 500Hilson Moran has been appointed as the building services and sustainability consultant for the new Wales International Convention Centre at The Celtic Manor in Newport. It will also be undertaking vertical transport, fire engineering and security consultancy on the project.

Designed by Scott Brownrigg, the convention centre is expected to attract major events from across the world – it will include a state-of-the-art auditorium, exhibition hall and associated facilities, and will have capacity for around 4,000 delegates, making it the largest facility of its kind in Wales and the south west of England.

With a total capacity in excess of 20,000 sq m (215,280 sq ft), the main auditorium will hold 1,300 delegates with the flexibility to divide into smaller spaces. A separate main exhibition hall will stretch to 4,000 sq m (43,056 sq ft) and will be able to accommodate up to 2,000 guests for a gala dinner.

John Deasy, Commercial Director at Hilson Moran, said: “We are delighted to have been selected as part of the project team to design and deliver Wales’ International Convention Centre. This is a monumental project – we really look forward to helping create a lasting contribution to the local area.”

The International Convention Centre is scheduled to complete in 2018.

BB 93 Acoustics in Schools - Lessons Learnt

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Nicholas Jones, Head of Acoustics, discusses the recent update to Building Bulletin 93, Acoustics in Schools.

N Jones ColourDecember 2014 saw the much-anticipated release of the updated Building Bulletin 93 (BB 93), providing criteria and advice for those involved in the design and construction of schools.

The original BB 93 (“Acoustic Design of Schools”) was published in 2003 and presented various acoustic performance criteria for new school buildings. Critically, the document brought new school buildings under the Building Regulations, providing weight and importance to the new standards. Unfortunately, many of the acoustic criteria were at loggerheads with the sustainability aspirations (and cost limitations) of the new wave of schools. So to cut costs, many contractors relied heavily on the use of ‘Alternative Performance Standards’, whereby the BB 93 standards could be significantly relaxed. As a result, many schools were not able to benefit from the acoustically impeccable standards that BB 93 set out. 

The new document seeks to rectify this. Still enforced by the Building Regulations (and supporting the 2012 School Premises Regulations, 2013 Independent School Standards), a new set of relaxed standards have been included, which also apply to refurbished buildings. Additionally, clearer guidance on the use of the standards for nurseries, higher and further education institutions, and universities, has been given.

Alternative Performance Standards are still present in the new document; however, clearer guidance is given on the ‘relaxation’, ensuring that any justifiable alternative can be no worse than the new ‘refurbished buildings’ standards. And ‘justifiable’ means a full and proper case needs to be put forward by a qualified acoustic consultant, based on a specific educational, environmental or health and safety requirement.

A common difficulty with the original BB 93 was achieving the indoor ambient noise level limits where natural ventilation was proposed – usually openable windows – as more often than not, an urban or suburban school site anywhere near a road was just too noisy. The new document therefore provides expanded, pragmatic advice for various natural, mechanical and mixed mode ventilation options with definitions for each.

BB93 QuoteThere isn’t much change to the internal sound insulation criteria for walls, floors and doors; however, there is clarification for some of the trickier scenarios that arise on most school sites that were not really catered for by BB 93. – For example:

  • Serving hatches between kitchens and multi-purpose halls used to mean that the BB 93 criteria couldn’t be achieved and derogation needed to be agreed. There is now more pragmatic guidance for these scenarios.
  • Interconnecting doors and moveable partitions are common elements of modern schools, providing flexibility and connectivity between spaces. There was little allowance for these in the previous BB 93, meaning that, again, the sound insulation criteria couldn’t be achieved and derogation needed to be sought. Detailed guidance is now given in relation to these elements.

A particularly difficult element of the old BB 93 was the strict reverberation requirements in large halls, particularly gymnasia and sports halls. The requirements for the latter were virtually impossible to achieve – the Sport England requirements for two sets of painted, parallel blockwork walls played havoc with room acoustics! The revised standards are still onerous for this type of space, but less than the previous version and now they vary according to room size.

All in all, the new standards appear to represent a positive step in the right direction, promoting and maintaining good acoustic standards in schools without compromising wider aspirations. In relation to school design, we are all older and wiser now than when the original BB 93 was released in 2003, so only time (and implementation) will tell if lessons have been learnt and the new document achieves its goals.

For further information, please contact Nicholas Jones,


Fresh-air ideas to combat London's pollution

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By Ben Richardson, Senior Sustainability Consultant, Hilson Moran

Ben RDuring our daily commute, we breathe in all sorts of pollutants that adversely affect our health. A key and common offender in London is nitrogen dioxide, which is emitted by almost all vehicles on our busy city roads. Unfortunately, the concentrations of this pollutant are at their highest during the morning and afternoon rush-hours - the same time many of us are on our way to work.

There are some simple steps that individuals can take to minimise exposure and more significant actions the industry can and should take to ensure building, urban and public realm design mitigates the effects.

As individuals, we can reduce our exposure to pollutants by walking as close to the building and furthest from the road as possible. Better still, we could walk along a parallel backstreet where the concentrations of pollutants could be as much as 50% lower. It’s worth noting that under EU law, we should not be exposed to such high, short-term levels of nitrogen dioxide, >200 μg/m3, for more than 18 hours per year; if you only spend 5 minutes walking to and from work each day, that’s 42 hours per year (μg/m3 = micrograms per cubic metre of air).

Air Quality QuoteWe at Hilson Moran undertook some research into different routes and, taking an example of Liverpool Street Station to our London Bridge office location, we found that using the green route indicated in the map exposes the walker to an average of 50% fewer pollutants than the orange route (averaged over a year).

Most of us also use the tube as part of our daily commute. Concentrations of particles on the London Underground have been regularly recorded at levels higher than 1000 μg/m3 when averaged over 8 hours. By way of comparison, it is unusual for concentrations in the New Forest to exceed 20 μg/m3 over the same period. The short-term EU exposure limit for particles is 50 μg/m3 averaged over a day, so the daily tube commuter would benefit dramatically by walking some of their normal tube ride along a cleaner pedestrian highway. If we rolled out green routes, we could develop a series of north-south walking corridor’s through London. Transport for London (TfL) is proposing cycling ‘Quietways‘, to be completed by spring next year – why not have walking ’Quietways’ as well?

Whilst changing our commute routine would not solve the air quality issue in London, it would begin to have a positive impact on our health, benefitting our lungs and respiratory systems and possibly even relieving some of the pressure on our National Health Service.

Longer-term, the property and construction industry needs to be proactive, driving improvements in our cities and ensuring it takes proper account of air quality when masterplanning large developments, new cities or smaller schemes. 

Air Quality Map

Under European law, local authorities have a statutory duty to monitor and improve air quality. In many locations, Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) require planning applications for new development to be accompanied by an Air Quality Assessment (AQA) report.

AQA reports use the latest technology to determine the baseline air quality at the development site and atmospheric dispersion models such as ADMS predict the ambient concentrations of pollutants resulting from fixed plant and vehicles over time. Using this information, innovative ventilation options, low emissions technology and abatement solutions can be considered for proposed buildings to ensure high performance and overcome planning issues at an early stage in the design process.

Air Quality Quote 2These reports also help to inform the design or re-design of the pedestrian network. Footpaths are often located adjacent to roads due to convenience of design and construction, but to reduce exposure to pollutants these need their own design strategy, like bus routes or tube lines, and they need to make use of London’s less polluted backstreets. There is nothing to stop us retrospectively creating back street routes – all we would need is visible, simple signage.

Pedestrian highways are another consideration because pollutant concentrations reduce rapidly within the vertical plane. Although not always the best urban design option, where they are appropriate they could weave through, behind or around buildings, linked together to create networks of footpaths away from our busy roads.

There are many positive solutions already being incorporated in our city buildings. Natural ventilation is now commonplace, allowing for a building to use 60% less energy while drastically improving the air quality for occupants. Paint is now available that filters out nitrogen oxides from the air thanks to a chemical that reacts with sunlight and water vapours to absorb nitrogen dioxide at a rate of up to 20%. Taller buildings, while a hot debate, also help – the air is cleaner higher up.

All these solutions predominantly address the effects of London’s air quality problem. We could simultaneously address the causes, which is another subject entirely. Either way, at Hilson Moran, we propose that an even greater level of collaboration (and lateral thinking) on subjects like this, between engineers and sustainability consultants, planners, architects and urban designers, would open up discussion and provide intelligence and insight from all angles and ultimately might even help to quash London’s tarnished and clearly dire air quality image.

A Stirling Prize for great buildings

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By John Deasy, director at engineering and sustainability consultancy, Hilson Moran

J Deasy ColourWith the highly coveted RIBA Stirling Prize just a fortnight away, I can’t help but hope that we’re publicly rewarding the best buildings, the ones that perform at the highest level both in design and operation. We all remember the press surrounding the Scottish Parliament, a highly unsustainable building being lauded for its excellence.

As an industry, we’re trusted to create or refurbish buildings that fulfil their intended purpose while also helping to mitigate climate change, contribute positively to their community and promote health and wellbeing.

So we have the Stirling Prize, the most sought after and well publicised award in the industry calendar – it’s been televised, watched by many members of the general public and admired by creative minds everywhere, not just here in the UK. It can only be won by architects, not least of course because it’s organised by the RIBA, which was established to look after its members.

Stirling QuoteBut wouldn’t it be great if such prestigious awards could be inclusive and holistic. Rather than a separate Stirling Prize for engineering, which would in fairness probably be less cool, more restrained and less colourful than a room filled with architects, I’d rather see a highly publicised award for great building design – architecture + engineering + performance. Imagine if the engineer and the architect collected the award or indeed the whole team!

I’m reminded of the BAFTA awards where a TV show is announced as the winner and the entire cast plus writers, directors and producers all pile onto the stage – because it’s a team effort.

And this is not just an engineer saying engineering should be recognised because he’s an engineer. We’re not a profession that demands the limelight, but engineering services do account for 25-30% of the capital cost of a new build scheme and up to 45% of a refurbishment. There’s also a bigger issue at play here, one that remains a great concern and one that we seem to be doing little about. In short, our buildings are designed to perform better than they ever actually do. And yet we seem satisfied with proudly saying it’s a BREEAM Outstanding, or a LEED Platinum or a SKA Gold. We rarely do a post occupancy analysis and face up to the fact that in operational terms the reality is we’d be lucky if it’s just good.

Stirling Quote 2It’s not just me that’s worried about this. There are serious calls for the industry to address building performance coming from the top. The Government is concerned about the performance gap, because it directly impacts on its ability to deliver the national carbon reduction plan, not to mention how it impacts our international reputation.

The Zero Carbon Hub is also pushing for action. It published a report in July this year, setting out some priority actions for our industry. They all relate to gaining a better understanding about why our buildings don’t perform as they are designed to, creating commercially viable methodologies to demonstrate performance, providing a framework for feedback and ensuring training is provided to fix the problem.

The engineering institutions are also trying hard to promote the positive contribution that engineering makes to our built environment.

These are effectively calls for engineering and design excellence amidst a myriad of massive issues like climate change and health and wellbeing. Wouldn’t it be great to encourage more of this – a holistic, collaborative approach to building design – and then reward that publicly and with great pomp and circumstance.

So what’s stopping us? The greatest challenge certainly for my profession is that when people hear the word engineer, they tend to think of the man who fixes the heating or drives a train! They don’t consider the mechanical, electrical and public health specialist, structural experts or sustainability consultants.

John LondonAnother is that engineers, and by default engineering design, is invisible – we’re quiet folk and we get on and create our technical solutions so everything simply works. Engineering becomes visible only when something goes wrong. Sad but true. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be recognising buildings that have been so well designed inside and out that what’s notable is that nothing goes wrong!

We also need to consider the message we’re giving the younger generation. For the global issues we face in the future, we need more creative people to move into engineering fields. They’ll need to fix many of the problems.

An award that recognises the holistic approach and the value that every profession brings is all I ask. What a great evolution that would be for the Stirling Prize. Maybe it would inspire us all to work better together to find the solutions that we need. I’m in! How about you?

Hilson Moran completes fit out of the European Medicines Agency’s new HQ in Canary Wharf

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Hilson Moran has completed the fit out of a new 250,000 sq ft office for the European Medicines Agency (EMA) at 30 Churchill Place in Canary Wharf, London.


EMA signed a 25-year lease with Canary Wharf Group plc on approximately half of the 20-storey, 500,000 sq ft tower, which is set to be its new European headquarters. It has taken occupation of the basement, promenade, ground and first nine office floors; migration from its current offices will be complete by the end of July 2014. It is on track to achieve a BREEAM Excellent rating.

EMA_500Hilson Moran provided MEP, BMS, acoustics and sustainability consultancy services for the fit out, which comprises office accommodation, staff amenity space and substantial conferencing facilities for visiting European delegates. Hilson Moran also undertook the mechanical and electrical design for the shell and core of the building, as well as the fit out of EMA’s existing building at Westferry Circus. 

EMA_700Trevor Raynsford, Director at Hilson Moran said: “Working with Aukett Swanke, we have created an office environment that will stimulate both EMA staff and visiting experts, and provide a productive, enjoyable and technologically advanced place to work. Our extensive experience of working alongside leading architects in successfully delivering large scale, complex, corporate HQ projects, both at Canary Wharf and throughout the UK was a key factor in us being appointed to undertake this project.”

The tower at 30 Churchill Place is the last piece in the original masterplan for the Docklands development that began in 1988. It has been designed by KPF and Adamson Associates.

Retail Focus - Mall Facade Design to Improve Footfall

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Matt Kitson, Regional Director Qatar, gives his view on facade design to improve footfall and the future of retail spaces.

M Kitson Colour
How can Mall design (especially facades) improve footfall?

Maximising footfall and dwell time in malls and other shopping destinations is the highest priority for any retail developer around the world. The social aspect of city living also has an impact as people strive toward convenience and a place where you can not only shop but also socialise. So location, location, location is still a key driver in the success of retail developments coupled with the experience.

In addition designers of shopping destinations call upon a number of core ingredients to deliver these goals such as providing destinations for the whole family; delivering high standards of food and beverage experience; good parking and good alternative transport links such as bus and rail.

One important aspect of mall design that impacts dwell time that sometimes get overlooked is providing the shopper with thermal comfort during all times of the year and a high degree of daylight. This provides a visual stimulus for the shopper.

Retail Quote 1Independent research in the United States from retail malls and large outlets has shown that daylight can significantly drive footfall and increase dwell time. The Pacific Gas & Electric study of 1999 found that stores with daylight had up to a 40% increase in sales. In addition the HMG independent study of 2001 which examined 73 Wall Mart Stores where 24 of them had significant daylighting designed in to the fabric of the outlet had a 20% to 40% increase in sales.

Other benefits of this daylight design approach were better employer satisfaction and reduced operating costs through switching off/dimming of artificial lighting.

The trick for the designer is to use facades in a clever way to allow good proportions of daylight in to the space, while at the same time keeping the direct solar gain out of the space to deliver occupant thermal comfort. This can be achieved by positioning roof lights away from the predominant sun paths during summer and mid-season monthly periods, and employing external shading devices such as blades and mashrabiya. At Hilson Moran we refer to this as ‘designing for daylight and comfort’.

The designer can call upon a number of computer modelling tools that can be used to assess sun path, solar gain and daylight levels around and inside of retail schemes -Computational Fluid Dynamics & Dynamic Thermal Modelling. Hilson Moran employs these tools in-house and applies them on all of our retail schemes.

What makes a mall stand out in a region so full of them?

Avenues 1It’s true to say over the past 10 years we have seen an exponential growth in retail in our cities fuelled by the growth in population. Around 70% of the world’s population now live in, or close to cities, and they all need a place to shop for consumer items and food.

Qatar is no exception to this with an expected 5% increase in food consumption by 2017. This is one of the highest anticipated rises in the GCC.

However, retail can have a positive effect on tourism in our cities and one of the best examples of this in the Middle East is in Dubai with around 8 million visitors per year arriving to shop and enjoy the city’s hospitality. Dubai is now without doubt the ‘shopping capital of the Middle East’ with 70 shopping malls including the largest in the world, Dubai Mall, which in itself is a big draw.

Avenues 2Dubai Mall is quite an astonishing place due to its sheer size. You can basically get anything you want there; it also boasts an aquarium, water slide, and different dining experiences as part of the attraction.

However, it’s not just about the modern mall. There is also a wealth of traditional heritage design too. One retail destination that continues to be very successful and hold its own in the region is the Jumeirah Madinat which is slight modern twist on the traditional Souk. Here the facades are detailed using traditional materials such as wood.

Maybe the stand out mall of the future will be a marriage of modern and traditional approaches with both inside and outside spaces providing the shopper with more choice of experience.

How has Mall design progressed in recent years?

We are still seeing a great diversity of retail destination designs from the modern glass box through to the more traditional approach and we are starting to witness an amalgamation of this with schemes such as Marina Mall in Qatar and The Avenues in Kuwait. With both of these projects, the designers have started to use new facade materials such as ETFE coupled with a mix of shop frontage design to add variation and grain to the mall/street. Both have a good degree of natural light in the space which will help them stand out from the crowd.

What do you feel is the next stage?

There are some interesting facade developments on the horizon that may impact the way designers approach retail designs. Electrochromic glass - small electrical current changes the solar properties of the glass from 70% to 5% transmission over time - is now becoming more affordable and we will start to see this smart glass technology applied to the roof lights of our retail developments. This will allow the schemes to protect consumers from the sun in the day when needed, and become clear in the evening to assist with views out. This technology will also assist designs to maximise the amount of daylight during all hours of the day, improving foot fall and dwell time.

Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) - The Real Deal?

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David Spiteri, Principal Sustainability Consultant at Hilson Moran, discusses the ESOS Energy Audit.

David SpiteriEighteen months have now passed since the launch of the Green Deal, the coalition government’s ‘flagship’ policy aimed to revolutionise the way we improve energy efficiency in existing domestic and non-domestic buildings. 

The domestic sector is off to a semi-respectable start. Interest by homeowners resulted in a quarter of a million assessments lodged from the time of inception of the Green Deal in January 2013, until the end of May 2014. Although only 1.2% of these assessments went on to install energy efficiency measures using Green Deal Finance, the increasing number of assessments demonstrates the appetite for energy efficiency in the domestic sector.

The non-domestic sector is a different story. Actually, I doubt there is any story to tell. Assessing the cost-benefit of energy efficiency measures in non-domestic buildings is a complex task and requires highly skilled assessors. The non-domestic Green Deal assessment does not consider actual energy use; it relies solely on predicted energy consumption through the use of a standardised building energy modelling software. This uses a vastly simplified methodology as a basis for cost-benefit analysis and is, therefore, fundamentally flawed. Trusting this ‘approved’ methodology as the source of large investment decisions is inconceivable to many.ESOS Quote

There is, however, an alternative for the non-domestic sector.

The UK government has fulfilled its obligations under Article 8 of the European Union’s Energy Efficiency Directive through the introduction of the Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS). It will soon be a requirement for large enterprises employing 250 or more employees, or those that have an annual turnover exceeding €50m (and/or a balance sheet exceeding €43m), to undertake a mandatory energy assessment. An integral part of this assessment will be the measurement of at least 90% of energy use. This will apply not only to buildings, but also to industrial/commercial processes and transportation.

The ESOS Energy Audit will include recommendations for cost-effective energy saving improvements and will require director sign-off to avoid it falling on deaf ears. Recommendations will aim to directly save energy or lead to an indirect energy saving through improved energy management (such as improved metering). The good news is that with this in place, appropriate methodology will be used to determine potential savings in terms of energy and monetary value.

Sound ideal? Well...nearly. While undertaking an energy audit is compulsory; the implementation of recommended energy efficiency opportunities is not. This begs the question: is ESOS fit for purpose?

ESOS Quote 2Essentially, the success of this scheme will hinge upon the expertise and tenacity of energy consultants. First of all, it is critical to present an independent, comprehensive and robust assessment investigating a series of energy saving opportunities – from ‘easy wins’ (low cost) to the longer term investment opportunities (high cost). Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, energy consultants should have the drive, and ability, to sell these opportunities to the decision-makers in a language that will be heard, generally a monetary dialect.

With non-domestic buildings accounting for nearly a fifth of the UK’s carbon emissions, it is becoming more urgent than ever for Government schemes to start reaping their benefits. Energy saving schemes, such as the Green Deal, Display Energy Certificates and the Minimum Energy Performance standards all play a role; however, serious gaps in their implementation still exist.

ESOS provides the foundation to fill these gaps. Now it is up to the non-domestic retrofit industry to embrace it.

Are we a smarter nation? Investing in new infrastructure

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Jason Horner, Head of Infrastructure Services, discusses that with the UK population set to increase by a further 10 million by 2037, we need to invest heavily in new infrastructure just to standstill.

Jason HornerThe recent ‘State of the Nation’ report by the Institution of Civil Engineers has captured the need for significant investment in energy, transport, waste and water infrastructure to ensure continuous economic growth in the context of considerable population growth. What it doesn’t do however, is make any significant mention of the greatest economic and sustainable solution available – smarter infrastructure.

Infrastructure is designed to meet peak demands. As the population grows our peak demand will increase, therefore we have to ensure that we extend our existing primary infrastructure and build a backup to provide at least an ‘N-1’ level of resilience. If we flatten the peaks by spreading demand over a day, a season, or a year, then we free up capacity and increase resilience; effectively the same infrastructure can do more work. This increased efficiency can also improve returns on any capital invested.

Quote InfrastructureThis approach is not new and is widely used in energy and transport sectors. Both are investing capital in trial projects and research and development to deliver smarter networks that track, and therefore respond, to demand. More importantly this smarter infrastructure will allow demand to be reduced in order to respond to limiting supply: through the sale of electricity using standby generation plant in our industrial sector; or by consumers having technologies that react to changes in frequency when our national transmission grid is at capacity; or in the development of consumer tariffs where energy users opt to turn off non-critical apparatus during short-lived demand peaks.

This is the smart infrastructure solution, the sustainable infrastructure solution and ultimately the most economic form of investment. So are we a smarter nation?

New research by the BCO reveals the industry is over-specifying buildings by up to 40%

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BCO Research BookNew research by the British Council for Offices (BCO) has shown that the industry is over-specifying small power loads in offices by up to 40%. The BCO enlisted Hilson Moran to undertake a study monitoring typical loads on desks; this work will inform the forthcoming revision to the BCO Guide to Specification, due out in September 2014.

The study has revealed that far less energy is typically being used at desks than the average office building is designed to accommodate. At occupation densities of 10 sq m per person, 40% less power is actually required, and at the higher occupation densities of 8 sq m per person – although most office space use still falls between 8-13 sq m per person – research has shown that power consumption rarely exceeds 19W/sq m, 24% lower than the load recommended in the previous 2009 BCO Guide. For the first time it has been recognised that HVAC loads should be slightly lower than electrical loads to reflect the very short duration of peak electrical consumption in modern computer equipment.

BCO Research QuoteIn recent years, the reduction in power demand has largely been due to advancements in computer equipment and new ways of working. Most employees now work on multiple devices – tablets, smart phones and laptops – and are not often desk-bound for long periods of time. In the next few years, mobile and thin client technology is likely to reduce small power energy consumption in buildings even further.

Nigel Clark, Technical Director at Hilson Moran, said: “We hope to see our findings reflected in the next BCO's Guide to Specification, with a recommendation to reduce the power load allowance for desks. This is good news for developers, landlords and owner occupiers who will be able to reduce the specification of their buildings to reflect advancement in technology and new ways of working while reducing costs and helping them to meet Part L and energy saving targets.”

BREEAM 2014 - What do you need to know?

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C Birch

Chris Birch, Director of Sustainability, discusses what you need to know about BREEAM New Construction 2014.

Following ongoing feedback and consultations with BREEAM assessors, specifiers, industry bodies, and other stakeholders, BREEAM New Construction 2014 has now launched. The scheme applies to new buildings only, and includes shell only, shell and core (including Cat A buildings). A non-domestic refurbishment scheme covering refurbishment, first fit-out, fit-out and building remodelling, will be released in late 2014.

Of particular note, BREEAM 2014 has removed the green lease requirements for shell only and shell and core (including Cat A) assessments.

It should be noted however that Ene 01 Reduction of energy use and carbon emissions can require a contractually agreed green fit-out agreement; or the minimum requirements set out in relevant national Building Regulations must therefore be assumed. Using the minimum requirements set out in the Building Regulations may result in a failure to achieve the mandatory requirements for an ‘Excellent’ rating (5 credits) or for an ‘Outstanding’ rating (8 credits).

BREEAM QuoteBuildings that are shell only or shell and core will have a specific certificate awarded. The credit requirements are tailored to the type of scheme assessed, and as such, the section weightings will change compared to a building that is fully operational upon completion of the works. In order to obtain a full BREEAM certification, each tenant would be required to carry out a BREEAM non-domestic refurbishment assessment for its fit-out works. 

BREEAM 2014 consists of nine categories (the same as BREEAM 2011) with number of updates to credits, as well as a re-ordering of credit codes in certain sections; the majority of which are within the management section. Best practice standards have been updated to the majority of credits to follow best practice guidance from leading bodies in the industry such as BSRIA, CIBSE, British Standards, and UKGBC etc. There are also a number of new credits focused on material resources, climate change and future proofing buildings. 

These include:

Ene 04 Low carbon design

Focusing on energy efficiency and passive measures as well as low or zero carbon technologies. Energy strategies must now clearly follow the energy hierarchy and include all passive measures.

Mat 05 Designing for durability and resilience

To recognise and encourage adequate protection of exposed elements of the building and landscape, therefore minimising the frequency of replacement and maximising materials optimisation.

Mat 06 Material efficiency

To recognise and encourage measures to optimise material efficiency in order to minimise environmental impact of material use and waste. This can be demonstrated though following ‘BS 8895 Designing for material efficiency in building projects’ and ‘WRAP’ designing out waste workshops.


Wst 05 Adaption to climate change

To recognise and encourage measures taken to mitigate the impact of extreme weather conditions arising from climate change over the lifespan of the building. The credit requires production of a climate change adaptation strategy/risk assessment.


Wst 06 Functional adaptability

To recognise and encourage measures taken to accommodate future changes of use of the building over its lifespan. A building-specific functional adaptation strategy study is required.

Hilson Moran has a team of dedicated sustainability consultants, including licensed BREEAM Assessors and BREEAM Accredited Professional who can provide advice on BREEAM and guidance on achieving credits. Scheme registrations closed for BREEAM 2011 on the 30th June 2014.

Hilson Moran introduces new specialist infrastructure team

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Jason HornerLeading, international multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy, Hilson Moran has introduced a specialist infrastructure team to its business to respond to client demand and market trends.

The team will be led by Jason Horner, who has joined the company as Head of Infrastructure Services from WYG.

Jason is an infrastructure planning and procurement specialist with over 15 years’ experience in utilities and energy investment at a local, regional and national level. At Hilson Moran, he will drive forward large scale projects and masterplans involving utilities, major infrastructure and district energy, with a specific focus on developing sustainable infrastructure solutions, including combined heat and power (CHP) and district cooling.

Chris Plummer, Managing Director at Hilson Moran, said: “Over recent years we have become involved in many large scale infrastructure and masterplanning projects, such as our appointment last year on the Royal Albert Docks masterplan, a 35-acre site east of the City of London that will be transformed into a mixed-use scheme. The creation of an infrastructure team is a logical extension of our current activities in this market.

“Jason's appointment adds to our depth of expertise, not least from his involvement with major projects such as the Sheffield Energy and Water Infrastructure Study and the West Midlands Decentralised Energy Networks Study. He will be instrumental in growing the infrastructure team, and helping us to secure and deliver many more projects. We believe that by optimising the design of infrastructure, we can make a real difference for our clients.”

Acoustic Standards Reform

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N Jones

Nick Jones, Head of Acoustics at Hilson Moran, discusses upcoming changes to important Acoustic Standards.

Now is an exciting time in the world of acoustics. But isn’t it always? Change is afoot. Three very important documents in the world of acoustics – particularly building acoustics – are being amended. It’s difficult to say which document is the most important, as they each consider different areas, so we’ll start with the one most recently published.

BS 8233: 2014 “Guidance on sound insulation and noise reduction in buildings” is a weighty document, and can almost be considered a handbook for acoustics in buildings. It gives criteria for internal noise levels, sound insulation and reverberation in buildings as well as a wealth of information on how to achieve the criteria. The previous version (1999) was a central document for acoustics that Local Authorities and acoustic consultants have referred to across the UK for planning conditions and acoustic criteria. The new version, which is even more expansive, will no doubt be used in the same way.

Measuring SoundBS 4142: 2014 “Methods for rating and assessing industrial and commercial sound” is currently out for public consultation and provides a method for assessing the noise impact of industrial noise sources. The current document (published in 1997), although flawed, has been the standard reference point for Local Authorities across the UK for assessing noise from building services plant, and is referred to in planning conditions (and legal cases) across the land. The draft replacement makes recommendations for a more robust assessment method, although the new requirement for measuring weather conditions at the same time as noise measurements has already ruffled a few feathers. We hope the replacement will remove some of the ambiguity of its predecessor.

Haggerston_AcousticCeiling_500Building Bulletin 93 “Acoustic Design of Schools” was initially hailed as the answer to acoustic problems in schools (aircraft noise disrupting classes, assembly halls that echo, teachers losing their voices, etc.), intending to bring about a new era of high-performance school buildings under the intensive building programmes of the early noughties (see PFI, BSF, etc.). However, it soon became apparent that some of the acoustic criteria contradicted other design aspirations – for instance natural ventilation – especially since BB93 required a very quiet site (most weren’t) if you wanted your school to have windows that open. Sports halls were also tricky as they generally require two sets of parallel painted blockwork walls, which don’t meet the stringent BB93 reverberation requirement.

‘Alternative Performance Standards’ were also introduced which allowed, with the right justification, a relaxation of the BB93 criteria. These were used frequently (and in many cases, wrongly) to acoustically downgrade the design (mainly to reduce cost), thereby missing the original point of BB93.

The new document (currently out for consultation) promises a more pragmatic approach, with mainly the same criteria but critically, a more sensible way of applying them, particularly for refurbishments. It’s also much clearer which buildings are covered, as this was sometimes a bit vague under BB93.

All of these amendments will impact on building design and specification and may well lead to changes in planning conditions going forward. We recommend a watchful eye.

Part L - A Small Step Forward

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C BirchCentral to successive governments’ greening of the built environment is Part L of the Building Regulations. Expected back in April, but now finally with us, are the latest revisions of the greatly anticipated “Part L 2013”. So now it’s in the hands of the construction industry, was it worth waiting for?

Firstly and unsurprisingly, the Government is further reducing carbon targets. However, it has softened its stance somewhat and the new targets are significantly weaker than those proposed as part of the consultation exercise. On average, there will be a 6% reduction for domestic and a 9% reduction for non-domestic buildings. According to the DCLG, the new regulations will save 6.4 million tonnes of CO2 out of the estimated 246 million tonnes that are emitted by UK buildings per year (that’s 2.6 %).

While these cuts go some way to achieving Zero Carbon buildings, they don’t go far enough. Coupled with the delays in announcing the new Part L 2013, the industry is now left with a very steep climb to meet the deadline of 2016 for homes and 2019 for non-domestic buildings. This pressure will be keenly felt by engineers and sustainability consultants, who will be charged with designing and delivering schemes that can comply without breaking the bank.

In the coming months ahead of implementation in April 2014, the suppliers to the construction industry; manufacturers, software developers, architects and us engineers will join the three yearly push towards developing viable technical solutions to meet the new standards prior to the next revision in 2016. But this doesn’t mean that we’re actually going to meet them anytime soon. Inevitably, due to recent economic conditions, many developments which have stalled in construction will be able to continue under the old regulations; this means that buildings designed to the old standards will emerge for some time yet.

Furthermore, the design software needed to meet the new regulations is not available at present and, when it is, will no doubt go through the usual teething period while problems are ironed out. On this basis, it could be 2015 before any new part L schemes are on site.

Looking at the detail, we do welcome the full implementation of Fabric Efficiency Factors for homes, promoting a more sustainable fabric first design approach and hopefully discouraging the tendency to over specify renewables as a quick but costly fix. At the same time however, we are disappointed with the lack of ambition in the new regulations particularly in relation to the lack of new standards for refurbishments and existing homes, which represent the vast majority of UK emissions.

Cost is another issue. According to the DGLC, for the latest changes to Part L, the small increase in construction costs will be heavily outweighed by subsequent energy savings, suggesting a £384 million net saving for people and businesses over the average lifetime thanks to the new features. However, the cost is borne by the developers and contractors, and the saving by the home owners and tenants – and there is still very little evidence that home owners and tenants are willing to pay significantly more for sustainable buildings.

The Government’s solution includes measures such as the Green Deal and Carbon Reduction Commitment which should make the implementation of energy efficiency measures much more viable. However at present neither of these initiatives is delivering the carbon saving that was predicted at the outset. More attractive and long term incentives are definitely required.

In design terms, for major development, the deadlines for zero carbon buildings are just around the corner and further delays or dilutions to the targets, such as those experienced with the Carbon Reduction Commitment, Display Energy Certificates, Feed in Tariffs and the Green Deal, to name just a few, will only hinder the industry further. The coalition seems to be developing a reputation for making bold pronouncements about green growth, only to water down its ambitions when it comes to the nitty gritty of actual policy-making.

But as we creep out of recession, the construction industry is craving certainty to make long term investment plans and isn’t shying away from strong targets. These revisions to Part L may make for the “Greenest Building Regulations ever” issued by the “Greenest Government ever”, but it’s all about degrees. Let us remember that the UK construction industry is one of the best in the world and has an excellent track record in adapting to new standards and innovative construction methods – but it needs the certainty of a government that is willing to be both bold in its ambitions and reliable and consistent in its execution.

Designing high-impact mall façades that drive footfall and enhance shopper comfort

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M KitsonOn Tuesday 25 February, Matt Kitson, Hilson Moran’s regional director at its Qatar office, spoke at the 6th Façade Design & Engineering Summit held at Oryx Rotana Hotel in Doha, about the retail sector and the impact that façade design has on footfall and dwell time in shopping malls in the GCC region.

Matt’s talk focused on: 

  • Establishing how to develop façades that will optimise comfort within outdoor shopping malls such as glass covers, CFC studies, and façade engineering solutions
  • Designing a mall façade that efficiently maximises indoor daylight to enhance the shopper experience 
  • Examining the aesthetics of mall façades and how to achieve the appearance of luxury

Matt Kitson said: “Two key areas that tend to get overlooked when designing malls are thermal and visual comfort. Malls are designed to maintain air temperature; however comfort is derived from a number of factors. For internal spaces, these are air temperature, the impact of solar gain on surfaces and air speed.

“Daylight is also an important factor; it can significantly drive footfall and increase dwell time. Independent research shows that stores with daylight can increase sales by 40 percent, reduce operating costs, and provide better employee satisfaction. By understanding these two, it provides greater opportunities for designers going forward.”

“There are readily available sophisticated modelling tools now available to design consultants that allow us to quickly study and optimise occupant thermal and visual comfort and demonstrate the benefits to developers”

The Avenues 500“We can also learn a great deal from traditional historic architectural designs such as the old souks that carefully use street width and height to minimise solar gain and embrace mashrabiya shading to protect from the sun whilst providing a healthy level of daylight to the shopper”.

A scheme that Hilson Moran has worked on that demonstrates this approach is ‘The Avenues’; an 835,000 sq m shopping mall in Kuwait. Hilson Moran worked with architects Gensler on phase three, creating a grand avenue designed to have a good balance of thermal and visual comfort. It was achieved through the design of a lightweight roof made of a three-layer ETFE, Hilson Moran used its in-house Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) modelling and energy analysis on the proposed design and building services systems.


New report on Zero Carbon 2019 calls for zero carbon standard now

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D JesticoThe UK-GBC has launched a new report which examines the case for action on Zero Carbon 2019 in non-domestic buildings. It calls for the government to act now on a zero carbon standard that would allow the UK construction and property industry to gain a head start over the rest of Europe and take the lead in expertise and knowledge on low carbon buildings.

Dan Jestico, Head of Research and Development at Hilson Moran, has been an integral part of the Zero Carbon Non Domestic Task Group who have been working on the report with the since October 2013, and is also the Chair of the technical sub-group. The Zero Carbon Non Domestic Task Group was formed by industry experts to help define and build support for the ambitious definition of 'Zero Carbon' for non-domestic buildings.

The report also estimates that innovation in the non-domestic buildings sector could save £13 billion in avoided energy costs by 2050, and could create export opportunities that would contribute £1.7 billion to the UK ‘s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by the same year.

The launch of the report was accompanied by a letter to communities minister Stephen Williams, which has been signed by 21 industry leaders, including Hilson Moran’s managing director, Chris Plummer.

Hilson Moran announces two key promotions (2014)

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Leading, international multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy, Hilson Moran has announced two key promotions to further develop and strengthen the management of its design teams –Andy Grint and Andrew Ashfield will each take on the role of Divisional Director.

Andy GrintAndy Grint joined Hilson Moran’s London office in 2001 as a Senior Mechanical Engineer. Andy has over 25 years’ experience on a variety of new-build, fit-out and refurbishment projects in various sectors including 240 Blackfriars Road, 12-14 Fetter Lane, the FA headquarters at Wembley Stadium and the multi-award winning fit out of International law firm K&L Gates London Headquarters at One New Change in London.

Andy is responsible for team performance and delivery against programme and is involved at all levels of design from establishing the brief and developing engineering strategies through to the detailed implementation and construction monitoring.

Andy AshfieldAndrew Ashfield joined Hilson Moran’s London office in 1998 as a Senior Electrical Engineer. Andrew has over 30 years’ experience and is responsible for full design through to on-site monitoring of engineering building services and has worked on some of Hilson Moran’s most significant projects including the Headquarters of Credit Suisse, 20 Fenchurch Street, the New York Stock Exchange Data Centre and many projects for the Bank of England.

As Divisional Director, Andrew works closely with clients, other stakeholders and our internal design team to ensure the client’s expectations are met and where possible, exceeded, from project inception through to project competition.

Chris Plummer, Managing Director at Hilson Moran, said: “Andy Grint and Andrew Ashfield have demonstrated outstanding technical ability and leadership qualities and we are delighted to be able to recognise the contribution they have made to the firm with these well-deserved promotions.”

CIBSE launches new ‘Intelligent Buildings’ book

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CIBSE Intelligent BuildingHilson Moran director Phil King is amongst academics and industry professionals who have contributed to The Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) new book – ‘Intelligent Buildings: an introduction’.

The book introduces the concept of intelligent buildings to the wider construction industry. Phil King, a member of the CIBSE Intelligent Buildings group, wrote the chapter called ‘BIM: A collaborative way of working’.

The book details the importance of intelligent buildings – how they should be sustainable, healthy, meet the needs of occupants and businesses, and should be made to be flexible and adaptable in order to deal with change. It also focuses on the importance of the processes involved; from planning, design and construction, through to commissioning and facilities management – including post occupancy evaluations.

Phil King, said: “This book highlights the importance of the relationship between buildings and people; and how they can only work well if there is an integrated team, with an overall holistic vision.”

Hilson Moran shortlisted at the MEP Middle East Awards

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MEP Middle East Awards 2013 2Hilson Moran has been shortlisted in the Consultancy of the Year category at the MEP Middle East Awards. The winners will be announced at a gala dinner event in Dubai’s Fairmont The Palm Hotel on Wednesday 20 November.

The awards are a premier platform for the mechanical, electrical and plumbing sector in the United Arab Emirates, recognising its achievements and honoring individuals and companies that have contributed to its success. They also acknowledge the latest innovations, technology and processes that help drive down costs and ensure adherence to best-practice standards.

Tony Morris, International Director at Hilson Moran, said: “We have been providing a comprehensive range of design, masterplanning, environmental and sustainability consulting services in the Middle East since our first office opened in the UAE in 2006. Being shortlisted for this award is a great achievement, and will help to continue establishing our name in the region.”

Hilson Moran is a Top 75 Best Construction Employer

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Building Top 75 Hilson MoranHilson Moran has made Building magazine’s 2013 Top 75 Good Employer List – a prestigious guide to the construction industry’s top employers.

With more than 350 companies registering to be included in the guide, Hilson Moran made the cut by scoring highly on training hours and smarter working, as well as having a generous holiday allowance, pension scheme and private healthcare.

Chris Plummer, Managing Director at Hilson Moran, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be in the Building Good Employer Guide. We do all we can to ensure our people are happy in their jobs, with the maximum opportunity to develop and take on new challenges, so it’s fantastic to have that recognised.”

The guide contains the top 75 companies from the entries received, which has been increased from 2012 (when the top 50 companies were published) to take into account a higher volume of entries, particularly from SMEs.

Cranleigh Abu Dhabi Awarded Two Pearl Design Rating Certificate

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Campus on Saadiyat designed to reduce energy and water consumption by up to 20 and 35 per cent respectively

Cranleigh School 500Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), the master developer of major tourism, cultural and residential destinations in Abu Dhabi, announced today that Cranleigh Abu Dhabi, an elite school to open on Saadiyat, has achieved a Two Pearl Design Rating Certificate, awarded by the Urban Planning Council (UPC) as part of its Estidama Pearl Building Rating System. Following projects such as Louvre Abu Dhabi and the UAE Pavilion, this is the fifth Pearl Design Certificate to be awarded to a TDIC development.

The Two Pearl rating was achieved as a result of extensive energy modelling for the project and the development of operational strategies for energy, water and waste management within the school buildings and associated facilities. Once in operation, the school is expected to achieve a reduction in water consumption of over 20 per cent and a reduction in energy consumption of over 35 per cent when compared to a typical school building.

Dr. Nathalie Staelens, Head of Environmental Services at TDIC, said: “Our department worked hand in hand with the consultants and developers of the project to ensure that the best environmental practices are applied. This Pearl certificate is proof of TDIC’s commitment to enforcing the best environmental sustainability practices across its various developments where possible.”

The international environmental consultancy Hilson Moran was appointed to coordinate the project’s sustainability initiatives as well as delivering the mechanical, electrical, public health (MEP), fire protection engineering and acoustics designs for the prestigious new school.

Cranleigh QuoteTony Morris, Hilson Moran's International Director responsible for the Middle East operations, said: "With Cranleigh Abu Dhabi set to become one of the largest school campuses in the Emirate, as well as the first to offer boarding facilities, it is particularly important to ensure a high-quality environment for students. We have helped achieve this through careful selection of interior finishing materials, the provision of natural daylight and a sophisticated fresh air delivery system controlled by carbon dioxide sensors within the classrooms.”

As with Cranleigh School and Cranleigh Preparatory School in the UK, Cranleigh Abu Dhabi will incorporate separate, co-educational junior and senior schools, each with its own classrooms, faculty offices, administration offices, dining hall and libraries, set within green open spaces and extensive landscaping.

The campus itself is focused around the concept of a ‘green village,’ reflecting the structure of the original Cranleigh School. The buildings are strategically positioned around the green landscape to allow the best views towards the coastline and to optimise the benefits from the prevailing wind direction onto the site.

Display screens will be used to provide students with real-time information on the energy and water consumption of the building, adding an educational value and encouraging students to develop a responsible attitude towards resource consumption and sustainability.

The 70,000 square-metre school campus is being developed for local and expatriate families living in the region. The campus opening will be phased to welcome students from September 2014 and once completed will accommodate more than 1,600 students aged from three to 18. The school will start accepting applications for admission as of November 2013.

One Station Square in Cambridge Wins Planning Consent

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One Station Road, Cambridge[01/08/13] Brookgate has been granted planning consent for its £80 million One Station Square office development in Cambridge. The scheme, designed by architecture practice Pringle Brandon Perkins+Will, will deliver the largest Grade A office space in the city centre.

One Station Square is a part of CB1, the new city quarter in Cambridge, and directly opposite Cambridge Station. The six-storey building provides 129,000 sq ft of offices in large, open floorplates, with generous reception zones and top floor terraces. The entire breadth of the ground floor facing the square is retail space, with 12,000 sq ft of food, beverage and convenience shopping.

Energy efficiency has been a key driver for the project, which is expected to achieve BREEAM Excellent. The energy strategy developed by Hilson Moran is based on passive design measures – including high performance facades, maximising natural daylight and low energy lighting which all contribute towards an exemplary low energy building.

Sven Töpel, Chief Executive of Brookgate, said: “One Station Square is the latest Grade A office scheme to get the go ahead at CB1. The building offers corporate occupiers the opportunity to take modern space in Cambridge’s city centre with unrivalled connectivity to the transport network.”

The site is a key element of the wider CB1 masterplan providing a vibrant mixed use scheme for Cambridge city centre consisting of commercial, leisure and residential space built around a radically improved public transport interchange at the heart of Cambridge.

Project Team

Developer: Brookgate
Architect: Pringle Brandon Perkins+Will
Building Service Engineering, Sustainability, vertical transportation, fire and acoustics consultancy: Hilson Moran
Structural engineer: Mott Macdonald
Planning consultants: Savills

CTBUH names The Gherkin as the Inaugural 10 Year Award Winner

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30 St Mary Axe Entrance 500The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat has announced its first 10 Year Award recipient: 30 St. Mary Axe, London, United Kingdom, popularly known as “The Gherkin.”

The 10 Year Award has been created from this year to focus the industry on performance against design intent. It recognises proven value and performance, across one or more of a wide range of criteria, over a period of at least 10 years. This new award gives an opportunity to reflect back on buildings that have been completed and operational for at least a decade, and acknowledges those projects that have performed successfully long after the ribbon-cutting ceremonies have passed.

Hilson Moran was responsible for the shell-and-core design and the fitting out of the floors occupied by Swiss Re. Extensive use was made of computational fluid dynamics and dynamic thermal modelling to inform the cladding design, mixed mode ventilation and to optimise the design of the engineering systems.

The uniquely-shaped Gherkin, completed in 2003, cleared the way for a new generation of tall buildings in London and beyond. Ten years on, its tapering form and diagonal bracing structure afford numerous benefits: programmatic flexibility, naturally ventilated internal social spaces that provide user comfort while reducing energy demand, and ample, protected public space at the ground level.

The 10 Year Award will be presented at the CTBUH 12th Annual Awards Ceremony and Dinner in Chicago on November 7.

Hilson Moran appointed to Royal Albert Docks masterplan

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RoyalAlbertDocks4_500Hilson Moran has been appointed as the MEP and energy consultant on the Royal Albert Docks masterplan, situated in the heart of the Royal Docks Enterprise Zone, east of the City of London.

Owned by the Greater London Authority and developed by Advanced Business Parks (ABP), a successful Chinese commercial developer, the 35-acre site is set to be transformed into a mixed use scheme comprising office, leisure, retail and ancillary residential buildings, with a gross external area of 3 million sq ft.

John Deasy, Commercial Director at Hilson Moran, said: “With the commitment to a significant first phase, Royal Albert Docks will not only attract investment into the country, but it will also create benefits for local people, providing thousands of new jobs. Our role working with the design team will help us realise this important masterplan.”

RoyalAlbertDocks3_500Working with UK developer Stanhope and architects and masterplanners Farrells, ABP have a commitment to developing a minimum of 600,000 sq ft in the first phase, with strong interest for office space already being shown by Chinese companies.

When complete, Royal Albert Docks will have some of the best transport links in the capital, with direct access to central and western London via the new Crossrail station coming in 2018. It also benefits from close proximity to the University of East London and City Airport, providing direct links to Europe’s key business destinations.

Project team

Developer: Advanced Business Parks (ABP)
Development manager: Stanhope
Masterplanning architect: Farrells
MEP & energy consultant: Hilson Moran
Structural engineers: AKT II
Quantity surveyor: WT Partnership
Planning consultant: CBRE 

BIM - The Opportunity

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P King Colour

Phil King, Design Director, discusses the opportunities BIM can bring to the future of the built environment.

The Building Information Modelling (BIM) revolution is well underway. The UK Government has set a target to reach BIM Level 2 on public sector work by 2016, private sector clients are increasingly requesting BIM on their projects and the construction industry has been busy equipping itself with the systems and processes necessary to make it standard practice.

BIM improves the way that the industry works together, leading to better collaboration, coordination and exchange of information. For the client, it helps to mitigate risk, reduce costs, minimise waste, shorten programme and smooth handover and facilities management.

For the MEP (mechanical, electrical and plumbing) engineers, it means early involvement and a lot more detailed work at the front end, giving us the biggest opportunity we’ve ever had to reduce overall construction time and cost through the MEP services design. It also means that a higher volume of pre-fabrication and modularisation is achievable within the timescales, with benefits in quality, reduced snagging time, speed of installation and economies of scale. 

BIM in practice

BIM is a shared, digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a built object, on which critical project decisions can be based. When we reach Level 3 BIM, we’ll be using a fully integrated and collaborative process enabled by web services and using 4D construction sequencing, 5D cost information and 6D project lifecycle management information.

20 Fenchurch Street BIMThis means inputting more information and detail in the design phases, which takes up more resources. In fact, it marks a more fundamental shift in the way we’ve always looked at the costs associated with building projects.

Traditionally, the costs associated with each stage look like this:

Design                    1 Unit of Cost

Construction           10 Units of Cost

In Occupation         100 Units of Cost


Using BIM, they look more like this:

Design                      1.5 Units of Cost  

Construction             8 Units of Cost  

In Occupation           90 Units of Cost


Interestingly, this new cost structure supports Paul Morrell’s change programme, achieving both greater integration and a 20% reduction in building costs, not to mention the savings in operation.

Vince U BIMWith such a change in the overall cost structure should come a change in emphasis in the professional team’s fee structures. More time and effort at the design stage and less in construction should be reflected in the fees awarded. In reality, to achieve this we’ll need to be able to quantify money saved during the construction and operation stages as a result of early involvement.

Changes to contracts will inevitably come too. With lots of information comes liability, so appointments and building contracts need to encourage an open culture and cover the use of BIM as well as outputs (2D drawings, specification, 3D model or all three), responsibilities, including transfer of the model, and liability.

There should be a single owner of the 3D Model during the design and construction stages so all parties contribute to one model, avoiding confusion and delays. Additional responsibility and liability impacts would need to be reflected in the owner’s contract. On handover to the client, agreement on how the model will be updated after practical completion is needed.

BIM What We Need GIFLastly, there’ll be a change in how we work together – engineer to engineer. There will be greater coordination between mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, public health engineers and BIM operatives. We’ll need to think in 3D, work in areas not systems and eliminate paper mark-ups, using the software instead.

We’ll also use BIM to do much more, including the creation of 3D Geometric models for the following:

  • DTM – Dynamic thermal modelling
  • CFD – Computational fluid dynamics 
  • Comfort studies
  • Pedestrian Wind comfort analysis 
  • Natural ventilation studies
  • Fire & Smoke modelling
  • Acoustics modelling
  • Part L assessments
  • EPC Assessments 


BIM is an opportunity, not just for engineers and the built environment as a whole, but for the government too in meeting its cost reduction targets. Its success now and in the future depends on people, processes and the technology itself. But it won’t happen seamlessly and, as with any new technology and process, we’ll all need to evolve.

CTBUH 2013 Conference: 20 Fenchurch St Technical Tour

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As part of the CTBUH 2013 London Conference, Alan Cronin, Divisional Director Vertical Transportation, was asked to write a blog on the 20 Fenchurch Street Technical Tour which took place on Day 3 of the Conference.

Alan CroninSet to complete in 2014, 20 Fenchurch Street is already a feature of the London skyline. The 38-story, 177-meter tower has been nicknamed “The Walkie Talkie” because of its distinctive shape and stood proudly in front of the tour group as it arrived at the marketing suite directly opposite the site to begin the technical tour.

The tour started amidst the models in the marketing suite, where Kiran Pawar of Land Securities and Andrew Heath-Richardson of Canary Wharf Group described how the two companies had joined forces to develop 20 Fenchurch Street. The 16 tour members were then talked through the architectural aspects of the project by Marcos Blanes of Rafael Viñoly Architects and Andrew Ashfield of Hilson Moran, the Engineering and Sustainability consultant, who presented the overall services strategy for the building.

KP_500The group donned its Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and transferred to the Project Meeting Room on-site, where a presentation on the project began. What became most evident, was how important 4D BIM technology had been to the Project Team, which had used it at concept through to detail design, and now into construction, showing how using technology enabled lettable space to be maximzed, and the building designed to a density of occupation of one person per eight square meters throughout.

This has resulted in tenants being able to occupy 20 percent less space, while accommodating the same number of people. BIM and 3D Revit modelling had enabled the design team to optimize the space to incorporate all of the services into the most efficient area possible, without compromising on performance. It was clear that the digital technology had not only influenced design but also construction even to the point of planning road closures and site logistics with the City of London authorities. This collaborative approach has been key to the success of the project.

20Fenchurch_A_500The delegates then went on-site to the basements, where the benefits of integrated design approach were clear to see, as large areas of plant sat neatly in place with services distribution seemingly planned to the millimeter. The group then passed the eventual location of the 300 kilowatt fuel cell. 

The tour continued onto level 11 to observe one of the typical, smaller office floors. Uninterrupted views across the river Thames opened up upon leaving the goods lift.

Although the roof structure, an extension of the the fins that hug the curves of the tower, are still being put in place, it didn’t take much imagination to see why the strap line on the site hoarding of the building ‘with more on top’ was adopted.

The location of 20 Fenchurch Street on the southern edge of the cluster of towers in the City of London provides 360-degree views over the City of London with the Gherkin, the under-construction Cheesegrater and Heron Tower in close proximity. Over the Thames, the Shard stood proud on South Bank. The Walkie-Talkie’s sky garden will also include a restaurant and provide three levels of public space.

The group then returned to level 32, and headed back via the goods lift, through the main lobby and back to the marketing suite.

20Fenchurch_roofThe tour allowed delegates from the CTBUH Conference to closely examine a building they had already heard so much about during the event, with presentations on nearly every aspect of the project, from joint venture developers Land Securities & Canary Wharf Group, Canary Wharf Contractors, Rafael Viñoly Architects and engineer Hilson Moran.

A simple hand poll on the completion of the tour suggested that, in-line with the discussions at the CTBUH conference of the last two days, that 20 Fenchurch Street is already on its way to qualification as an iconic building in the City of London.

Facts and figures

  • 20Fenchurch_ModelCommencement date First Qtr – 2011
  • Project Completion Date First Qtr – 2014
  • Total office 31 floors
  • Total floors of basement 2
  • 7 Double Deck Low Rise Lifts @ 4.0m/s
  • 7 Double Deck High Rise Lifts @ 6.0m/s
  • 2 Goods lifts at 3000kg
  • 2 Fire-fighters lifts
  • 2 Lorry Lifts at 20,000kg
  • Along with bicycle and passenger lifts within the Annex building
  • Total concrete 28,000m³
  • Total concrete used for core – 12,823m³
  • Total concrete used for raft -8000m ³
  • Structural Steel 8000 tonnes
  • Total reinforcement steel 5000 tonnes
  • Metal Decking 69,000m²
  • Glass 32,727m²
  • Height of building 160m
  • NLA – 684,458 square feet
  • GIA – 1,112,356 square feet

Peter Rees closes the CTBUH 2013 Conference with Thames River Boat Tour

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Peter Rees Thames Boat Tour[14/06/13] London’s skyline isn’t just about the new, iconic tall buildings such as The Shard, Walkie Talkie and the Cheesegrater, according to City of London’s Chief Planner, Peter Rees.

Drawing the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat’s (CTBUH) 2013 London Conference to a close yesterday with a Thames River Boat tour, the City of London’s Chief Planner treated 100 industry guests to an onboard commentary on the bold outlines continuing to take shape across the capital, as well as the City’s lesser known buildings and heritage.

From the emerging architecture in the City and the need to avoid the temptation to judge buildings before they are fully complete, to Wapping, where an eclectic blend of old and new architecture meet, and further east to Greenwich, where views of St Paul’s become harder to preserve, this was valuable, first-hand insight from one of the most influential figures in London property.

ThamesBoatTour16The trip was organised by CTBUH and Hilson Moran. Braving the weather for the journey from Vauxhall to Greenwich, guests included Argent, Laing O’Rourke, Legal & General, Lend Lease, Mace, Make Architects, and Rafael Viñoly Architects.

Vince Ugarow, Director at Hilson Moran, which has undertaken work on many of London’s tallest buildings, including the Gherkin, the Walkie Talkie and Canary Wharf’s 25 Churchill Place, said: “This was a fantastic end to a very informative conference and a great reminder of the impact that all our work has on London’s character – and the responsibility we take on when working on new projects. We’d like to thank all who attended, as well as Peter Rees for his informative and highly entertaining commentary as we cruised along the river.”

ThamesBoatTour7 ThamesBoatTour17  ThamesBoatTour3

240 Blackfriars Road achieves ‘Excellent’ under new BREEAM 2011 assessment

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240Blackfriars[14/06/13] Leading international multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy, Hilson Moran, has achieved BREEAM ‘Excellent’ for the design stage of 240 Blackfriars Road in London – its first under the BREEAM 2011 New Construction offices scheme with a score of 75.44% – 5.44% higher than required for an ‘Excellent’ rating.

The 19-storey, 236,000 sq ft office building developed by Great Portland Estates, was designed by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, with Hilson Moran appointed as the mechanical and electrical engineer, sustainability, fire and lift consultants. The building incorporates high levels of energy efficiency features including:

  • Efficient building fabric
  • High performance solar control glazing
  • Efficient building services systems and appliances
  • LED lighting in office areas
  • Efficient lighting and thermal systems controls
  • Mechanical heat recovery via thermal wheels
  • High efficiency chillers for the offices
  • Centralised gas fired hot water system for the offices
  • Use of high efficiency low NOX boiler for heating
  • Photovoltaics on the roof

Andrew Grint, Project Director for 240 Blackfriars Road, said: “This is our first BREEAM Excellent rating building under the BREEAM 2011 New Construction – offices scheme, and one of only seven total office schemes to have so far been certified. The handful of schemes meeting the high standards of the 2011 regulations set the bar for future developments in London and across the country”

Hilson Moran Give Back at this years' Give & Gain Day

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 TheTeam_750[24/05/13] On Friday 17th May a team of volunteers from Hilson Moran took part in Give & Gain Day to aid in the regeneration of a housing estate in Shadwell, East London managed by the charity Eastend Homes. On the day, over 200 volunteers from Hilson Moran, Jones Lang LaSalle, Grant Thornton LLP, ITV and Lloyd’s bank descended on East London to restore different areas of the dilapidating housing estate.

Workers1The Hilson Moran team were tasked with 'bringing back the life' into two large communal gardens. During the day the team put their hands to mending and painting fences, priming the ground and laying the turf, planting shrub gardens and cleaning the communal area. The day not only enabled Hilson Moran to give back to the community with a sustainable environmental initiative but provided the opportunity for volunteers from across the organisation to pull together for a common cause and build on internal communication.

Tony Morris, International Commercial Director at Hilson Moran and Give & Gain Day attendee said: "We are delighted to have been involved with such a worthy cause on a national day of volunteering which attracted over 3,000 volunteers across the UK. Our efforts on the day were only truly realised when local residents praised us for our support and enthusiasm to provide them with greener spaces which they could enjoy with their families." 


           Workers2  Planting  PaintTheFence



Hilson Moran hosts VIP Thames Boat Tour at the CTBUH 2013 London Conference

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William BAs part of the 2013 CTBUH London Conference, Hilson Moran are offering a unique opportunity to a hundred of the conference delegates to join a Thames Boat Tour of the City, hosted by Peter Rees, Chief Planner of the City of London.

The London Conference River Boat Tour, which will take place on the afternoon of Thursday 13th June, will provide a unique opportunity to view London’s tall buildings and historical landmarks, from the River Thames, which has acted as a catalyst for London’s phenomenal growth over the last 500 years.

Peter ReesPeter Rees, Chief Planner of the City of London, will be providing a fascinating on-board commentary, complete with interesting stories and anecdotes about London’s past, present and future, as we cruise down one of the world’s most famous city waterways. He will give us his personal perspective on recent high-rise developments as our cruise showcases the good, the bad and the ugly!

In addition to the Thames Boat Tour, Vince Ugarow, Director at Hilson Moran, will be chairing a session on Emergent Tall Technologies as part of the conference program.

Click Here to find out more about th CTBUH 2013 London Conference.

Thames Tour

Hilson Moran appointed for fit-out of Grade I listed Royal Liver Building

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Liver_Building_500Leading, international multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy, Hilson Moran, has been appointed by Pershing Securities to carry out full engineering design services for the fit out of its new 28,000 sq ft office space on the 8th floor of the Grade I listed Royal Liver Building, in Liverpool.

Pershing Securities, part of the Bank of NY Mellon, is a security broker offering integrated clearing, settlement, and custody solutions. They currently occupy space on the ground floor of the building, but are relocating to the 8th floor to accommodate additional employees as the company expands. As part of the fit out, Pershing Securities is targeting LEED Gold – believed to be the first for Liverpool.

Hilson Moran has been appointed to provide the project team, including BDG architecture+design, with consultancy and design solutions in order to comply with LEED requirements, focusing primarily on reduced energy consumption, reduced water consumption, internal comfort and indoor air quality.

Simon Ramsden, Divisional Director at Hilson Moran, said: “Pershing Securities had originally aimed to achieve LEED Silver with this project, however, after reviewing the options with our sustainability team and explaining the potential, they realised the advantages of LEED Gold, and how it could be achieved within the timescale and budget available.”

The Royal Liver Building was constructed in the early 1900s as the head offices of the Royal Liver Friendly Society, and is notable as one of Britain's first multi-storey reinforced concrete framed buildings. It is an iconic building sited at the Pier Head and along with the neighbouring Cunard Building and Port of Liverpool Building, is one of Liverpool's Three Graces, which line the city's waterfront. It is also part of Liverpool's UNESCO designated World Heritage Maritime Mercantile City.

First Qatar TALK Forum a Resounding Success

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TALK_Qatar_500 [17/04/13] Yesterday the Grand Hyatt Majlis Hotel in the heart of Doha in Qatar played host to over 80 of the construction and development top industry leaders who met for the first TALK Forum. The topic for discussion was 'Delivering the Vision' focusing on the 2022 Qatar World Cup and encouraged a lively debate from all participants.

Hilson Moran, alongside RLB, Grimshaw and Brookfield Multiplex founded TALK to foster co-operation and understanding between Construction Professionals by cultivating topical and collaborative debate in the Qatar emerging market.  

Matt Kitson, Regional Director for Hilson Moran Qatar and one of TALK founding committee member said; "We are delighted by the success of the first TALK Forum which attracted the great and the good within the construction and development industry. TALK has been established to not only provide a networking forum for the development, consultant and construction industry but to create a better understanding of the relative functions, problems and contributions of persons involved in each discipline."

The TALK Forum will take place on the 3rd Tuesday of every month at the Grand Hyatt Majlis, Doha. For further information please visit or contact


TALK Founding Members



The Pavilion Tour as part of Green Sky Thinking Week

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[21/03/13] Hilson Moran, in collaboration with E2 Architecture + Interiors, are pleased to be participating in this year’s Green Sky Thinking Week from 15-19 April.
The Pavilion 500

One of the themes for this year’s Green Sky Thinking week is Delivering a Green City and Hilson Moran & E2 Architecture + Interiors have arranged an exclusive tour of The Pavilion project, a code level 5 modernist house in the grounds of a grade II* listed building in the Blackheath Conservation Area.

The tour will take place on Wednesday 17 April from 4pm - 6pm at The Pavilion, Pagoda Gardens, Blackheath, London, SE3 0UZ.


To book for this event please contact Louise Ball, including your name, position, organisation & contact details.

For more information on the Pavilion Project, please click here.

For more information on Green Sky Thinking week, please click here.



Hilson Moran receives accolade from Higher Colleges of Technology in the UAE

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HCT_Image1[19/03/13] International Director at Hilson Moran, Tony Morris, has received a Certificate of Appreciation from Dr Richard Gibb, Director of the Higher Colleges of Technology’s Abu Dhabi Men’s College (ADMC). The award recognises Hilson Moran’s continuing support and contribution towards the development of ADMC’s Engineering Department.

The system of the Higher Colleges of Technology is a community of more than 18,000 students and almost 2,000 staff based on 17 campuses throughout the United Arab Emirates (UAE) - the largest higher education institution in the UAE.

Hilson Moran has been actively involved in the engineering professional development days for faculty staff and students, presenting on various subjects including vertical transportation, acoustics and Estidama. They also spoke and participated at the Seventh HCT Engineering Excellence Forum, which was themed ‘Transit into the Future: Towards an Effective Integrated Transportation System for Abu Dhabi.’

Tony Morris, International Director at Hilson Moran, said: “It is a great honour to receive this Certificate of Appreciation for our active participation in the Engineering Program Advisory Committee (PAC) meetings, student presentations and other support activities. As a company, it is our duty to support the communities in which we work, and we look forward to continuing to support the college in shaping academia and driving best practice in the region. Strengthening the partnership between the education sector and local business community is both important and highly rewarding.” 

HCT_Image2Dr. Richard Gibb, Director of Abu Dhabi Men’s College commented ‘It is a great pleasure to award this certificate of appreciation to local industry professionals Hilson Moran in recognition of their ongoing support to the college. Abu Dhabi Men’s College aligns its academic programs to meet employer needs and to sustain its leading-edge programs, for which the contribution from professional businesses provides valuable input to. Dr. Gibb added that our 55,000 HCT graduates work in all seven emirates in different professions from Engineering, Business, IT, Media and Health Sciences, since ADMC is a catalyst for practical application of innovation and entrepreneurship to advance UAE progress.’

Hilson Moran appoints new non-Executive Chairman

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ChrisBalchHilson Moran is pleased to announce the appointment of Chris Balch MA MPhil MRTPI MRICS FRSA as non-Executive Chairman.

Chris is an expert in planning, development and regeneration. He will undertake his new role with Hilson Moran alongside his current position of Professor of Planning at Plymouth University, where he is Chair of the Management Board for the Institute for Sustainable Solutions Research (ISSR). Previously, he held various senior positions at DTZ, which culminated in the role of Managing Director UK & Ireland.

Chris’s professional experience includes the development and funding of complex and large scale projects. He has been involved in millennium projects such as the Lowry in Salford, The Millennium Stadium in Cardiff and the Odyssey project in Belfast. He was Chair of the Basildon Renaissance Partnership and contributed to planning, economic and development strategies for major transportation and infrastructure projects, such as the East London River Crossing and the Channel Tunnel rail link. His international experience includes advising on the Dubai International Finance Centre and the National Plan for Bahrain.

Chris Plummer, Managing Director of Hilson Moran, said: “Hilson Moran is a substantial organisation and we see the commercial advantage in having a non-Executive Chairman with broad experience in the property industry. Increasingly, our work is focussed on the early stages of projects, assisting clients with developing strategies and masterplanning, and Chris’s unique blend of commercial acumen and academic expertise will assist us in enhancing our service offering to clients, as well as complementing perfectly the existing skills of our board”.

Chris Balch said: “Hilson Moran is an exceptional firm with a great reputation for providing high quality services to its clients, and has a track record of creating exceptional buildings. I look forward to working with them and to contributing to the company’s continuing growth and diversification”.

Utilising Your BMS System

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Greg Kemp

Greg Kemp, Divisional Director for FM, discussess best practice for utilising your Building Management System.

Most buildings now have a Building Management System (BMS) installed and in general the head end computer invariably sits in the corner of an office or down in the basement with the engineering operation and maintenance team.

Consequently, how much thought and attention have you or your maintenance team actually given to your BMS lately?

In a time of cost cutting and energy efficiency drives, your BMS is the “brain” of your installed engineering systems and, if it is configured and functioning correctly, by paying attention to what it is telling you, you can make some significant efficiency improvements and therefore savings.

Building, facilities managers and occupiers, by ensuring proactive maintenance and using the full functionality of their BMS can relatively simply and with little or no cost, improve a buildings’ operational and environmental efficiency. For example, you are no doubt aware that your BMS:   

  • Controls your plant operation time scheduling,
  • Controls all the environmental set points for plant and the areas within your building
  • Might also control your internal, external and car park lighting
  • Can provide critical and general alarms, which are configurable to suit your operational needs.

However, when were these parameters last checked to ensure they meet current building and occupation requirements?

BMS_5Have you reconfigured the alarms since the system was installed? Have you used the “trend-logging” functions to assist in identifying potential problems? Buildings are constantly evolving due to changing occupancy and business, which results in a need to review the system at the very least once per year.

You may not be aware that some of the older building management systems might be configured to control in a very energy-inefficient way. For example, a speculative office building built in 2000 and operating in accordance with its designed control routines: on early morning plant start up, the system was heating the outside air before supplying it to the space. Sounds sensible? Not when the cooling system then cut in to reduce the supply air temperature back down to suit the occupants as the working day commenced. A fairly simple and low cost revision to the control strategy meant that free cooling (or heating) could be used to cut out the wasteful cycle of heating and re-cooling the outside air. Imagine the potential energy savings.

It is clear to see that in so many buildings, tens of thousands of pounds worth of equipment is failing to deliver the overall 15-20% energy savings that a well specified, installed, maintained and operated BMS should be delivering.

The BMS check is just one of the components of a more in-depth analysis that can be undertaken as part of an energy and statutory compliance-focussed audit. This checks maintenance and operation as well as physical plant and systems and is a detailed process that can uncover any hidden issues affecting a buildings’ operational and energy efficiency.

BMS_3Once initial operational efficiencies have been identified and improved, a follow up quarterly or six-monthly check of your engineering maintenance contractors’ activities will ensure that standards are maintained. The additional benefit of this audit is the added comfort that you have visibility of whether your Statutory obligations are being fulfilled. Often undertaken by an external firm that brings a fresh and totally independent pair of eyes, the audit provides a method of post-occupancy evaluation that can improve a building's performance, highlighting quick wins and making it sustainable over the long term.

So, if you haven’t already, take an interest in and take the opportunity to check your BMS head end and unlock up to 20% of energy and associated cost savings.

To find out more about Greg Kemp, click here.

Hilson Moran appointed on National Bank of Abu Dhabi Head Office

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NBADHilson Moran have been appointed through leading architecture and design firm Gensler, to design the new National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) Global Head Office in the heart of the new Abu Dhabi Central Business District on Al Maryah Island.

The new 67,300 square meter, 31-floor, landmark building will be located on a key site within the Al Maryah Master Plan facing both, the waterfront and a main access road. The building primarily accommodates commercial office space while incorporating multiple functions, including hub bank, tower lobbies, trading floors, auditorium, conferencing centre and cafeteria.

Hilson Moran are providing the mechanical, electrical and public health design and construction monitoring alongside their other specialist in-house consultancy services including Estidama, acoustic, fire, IT and vertical transportation.

Tony Morris, International Director for Hilson Moran said: “We are delighted to be working with Gensler and aiding NBAD to achieve its vision for a sustainable working environment within a new distinctive head quarters building within the Al Maryah Island. We are pleased to see collaborative design approach to be achieving a 3 Pearl Estidama rating through particular focus to on reducing energy and water consumption within the development”

2012 Review - 2013 Preview

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Chris Plummer – Managing Director

Chris Plummer 300The last 12 months have been momentous for Hilson Moran. In January, we annouced having completed a management buyout (MBO), returning the company to independence at one of the most challenging times for the industry in our 35-year history. The personal commitment and investment of our directors and our enhanced ability to respond quickly and directly to the needs of the market following the MBO, has given us greater strength as a business. We are proud that we continue to attract some of the most talented people within the industry work for the company and at our recent successful three-year review by Investors in People the assessor described us as “a professional organisation at an exciting point in its journey. People employed in the business speak warmly about the people with whom they work, and are clearly committed to its future success.”



Nigel Clark – Technical Director

Nigel ClarkWe have continued to invest significantly in BIM collaborative technology throughout 2012 and applied this in a number of our projects such as 20 Fenchurch Street, 25 Churchill Place, 240 Blackfriars Road and 100 Bishopsgate. We have fully involved our Clients with embracing this technology to ensure they gain the maximum benefits on their projects. This investment and skill has resulted in improved collaboration, higher levels of coordination, improved space utilisation and programme reduction, all of which have been major benefits to the project. We continue to work with industry bodies such as the CIBSE BIM Working Group discussing the implementation and development of BIM now and in the future and we fully intend to continue to lead the engineering industry in championing BIM in 2013.



John Deasy – UK Commercial Director

John Deasy We are very pleased to be playing a central role in many of the towers and large developments that will define the future skyline of London, including 20 Fenchurch Street, Principal Place,100 Bishopsgate,BP4 and Elizabeth House amongst others. Most importantly, we are striving to ensure that our projects represent a new generation of environmentally responsible buildings, through the use of passive design, new technologies and, above all, ultra-efficient engineering systems. We shared our vision for London in 2050 earlier this year at The Developing City Exhibition, which was seen by over 9,000 visitors and see 2013 as taking one step closer to making that vision a reality. Also this year we are pleased to have won the HVR Consultant of the year, and been shortlisted for the 2013 CIBSE Building Services Consultant of the year which is a testament to our fantastic team. 

Simon Ramsden – Divisional Director - Manchester

 Simon Ramsden During 2012 our Manchester activities have gone from strength-to-strength, working on an extensive list of projects including the Grade I listed Royal Liver Building. In 2013 we will continue to grow our regional presence in the North West, kicking the year off with our work with the new Think Money office campus in Trafford Park.


ME Expansion  

Tony Morris – International Commercial Director

Tony Morris In addition to our established UK position, development internationally continues to advance, particularly within our focus region of the Middle East. In the UAE our office seen strong growth with a diverse range of projects. Our role of from Client advisor through to key design projects has been applied across a series of exciting schemes in masterplan/infrastructure, education, hospitality, retail, commercial and residential sectors. We are excited to have successfully established our second Middle East office in Qatar through our joint venture with His Excellency Sheikh Hamad Bin Nasser Al-Thani. Hilson Moran Qatar LLC provides the platform to deliver projects in Qatar, where Matt Kitson has now landed to head up our operations. In 2013 we look forward to continuing to develop our international positioning and have some exciting projects to kick start the year off!  

David Orford – Divisional Director - UAE

David Ordford 300We are pleased to see our portfolio of high profile projects in the UAE continue to expand across a broad spectrum of sectors through 2012. These have included infrastructure projects such as Al Falah Town Centre; Commercial headquarter buildings such as ADIB and NBAD, work on existing buildings with HCT colleges; and independent Client advisory roles on project such as Etihad Towers. Our expertise in sustainability has been applied through both our design project work as well as our Estidama consultancy projects such as Al Raha Gardens II, where we have been able to guide Clients and design teams through to successful accreditation with the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council. The prospects for 2013 look to be just as exciting. 

Matt Kitson – Regional Director – Qatar

 Matt Kitson

With our office now operational in Qatar, we have further strengthened our presence in the Middle East are well positioned to provide our expertise on Qatar’s upcoming projects going into 2013. We have already established a strong position in the region, with a focus on well-engineered, functional buildings and master-plans that are sustainable and environmentally progressive which embrace Qatar’s 2030 National Vision. 




Chris Cummings – Sustainability Project Director

 Chris CummingsFarewell 2012 old pal, I have thoroughly enjoyed your company. It was a great year to be a Londoner with lots to be proud of, away from Westminster that is, where our “greenest-government-ever” not so much u-turned as corkscrewed their way through the year. I’d like a chance to sort that lot out in 2013, might there be a vacancy for supreme leader? Zero-carbon is just around the corner now and we have such a terrific pedigree of design and engineering in this country that I’m extremely positive about us all just getting together and building some brilliant things. Roll on ’13.

Dan Jestico – Head of Research and Development

DanJesticoThe past twelve months has been a real roller coaster of a year. We’ve had the incredible Olympics, a British winner of the Tour de France and a landmark victories in both cricket and tennis. Away from the sport, the construction market has been wading through treacle, unable to completely free itself from the economic mire of the recession. However, through this we have continued to work on the some of the most pioneering and exciting projects, such as the Pavilion in south east London. I remain confident that in 2013 we can shake off the remnants of the recession and deliver market led green growth by driving innovation in both policy and technology to deliver a truly sustainable built environment. 

Hilson Moran shortlisted in CIBSE Awards

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CIBSE2013_500Leading international multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy, Hilson Moran, has been shortlisted in the Building Services Consultancy of the Year category for the CIBSE Building Performance Awards 2013.

Chris Plummer, Managing Director at Hilson Moran, said: “We are very proud of having successfully developed the business over recent years, our contribution to some outstanding building for some excellent clients and the skill and commitment of our staff that makes it all possible. We are delighted that our achievements have been recognised by short listing for the CIBSE Building Services Consultancy of the Year award.”

The CIBSE Building Performance Awards recognise, reward and celebrate the best performance, innovation and practice in design, commissioning, construction, installation and operation of sustainable buildings and the manufacturers whose technologies enable energy efficiency.

The Awards will take place on Tuesday 5 February 2013 in the Great Room at Grosvenor House, London.

Building Regulations Part L 2013 Consultation

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Head of Research and Development, Dan Jestico, discusses the implications of the revisions to Part L 2013 building regulations. 

It is just over two years since the introduction of Building Regulations Part L 2010 and earlier this year we saw the consultation for the next iteration of the Conservation of Fuel and Power regulations, Part L 2013, land on our desks with an almighty 300 page thud. The 3 year gap between successive iterations highlights the expediency with which the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) is treating the impending introduction of zero carbon homes in 2016 and non-domestic buildings in 2019. There are a significant number of voices against the existence of such a rapid update – that not enough evidence has been gathered from the 2010 version of the regulations to make changes, that stricter regulations will act as a barrier to growth at a time of precarious national finances.

However, UK climate targets are non-negotiable on the basis of financial activity or lack thereof and the emergence of the green economy has shown that even in harsh fiscal climates, it is possible to create opportunities for business. Our buildings are still responsible for sizable CO2 emissions and everyone in the industry knows that progress needs to be made to pave the way to the zero carbon deadline.

The proposed new build CO2 reduction targets over the 2010 objective of 8% for homes and 20% for non-domestic buildings are a notable departure from the previously stated aim of a 25% cut in emissions for both building types. Certainly the wide gulf between the two targets is interesting. The consultation document states that non-domestic buildings may now be expected to employ renewables to hit the emissions target. Not so for dwellings. It seems apparent that Government is keen not to be seen to be hindering house building, and perhaps the house builders have been more vocal in their lobbying than their non-domestic cousins, resulting in the Government’s 2010 spending review commitment to reduce the burden on the house building industry. If Part L 2013 results in additional costs for builders, savings will have to be made in other policy areas to compensate. But is this saving up pain for later? After all, in 2016 homes will have to hit the zero carbon target in whatever form it takes.

Solar panels blue 500The introduction of an absolute fabric energy efficiency standard (FEES) to drive energy efficient built form and fabric has the potential to aid designers in hitting the domestic CO2 targets. The proposed standards will be tough to meet but with a bit of learning and guidance, the industry should be able to cope. If the consultation goes so far as to adopt the stricter of the proposed FEES levels, it is probable that this will do the majority of the work in meeting the new CO2 target, leaving less CO2 to be mitigated through building systems and renewables. The ‘fabric first’ approach is one that has been advocated amongst many in the industry, building sustainability in from the outset of a project and avoiding accusations of ‘greenwash’ or ‘green bling’, resulting from the use of large amounts of expensive renewables to mitigate CO2.

The proposal for FEES and targeted levels of emissions for homes from 2016 were both well researched recommendations made by the Zero Carbon Hub, a body dedicated to devising how homes will meet the zero carbon target. It is a shame a similar organisation has not been established to tackle the far more complex issue of how non-domestic buildings will meet the zero carbon goal.

Bishops Square External View 500In its work, the Zero Carbon Hub states that the 2016 zero carbon targets should reflect the ‘as built’ performance, recognising that there is a gap between the predicted emissions and those that occur in practice. This has been confirmed by on-site measurements conducted by the Good Homes Alliance and Leeds Metropolitan University. It is proposed to address the performance gap through the use of a voluntary Publicly Available Specification (PAS) to improve construction standards and to penalise dwelling emissions which do not adopt the PAS. In order to gain widespread industry adoption of the PAS, it will need to be simple and effective. If not, designers will be more likely to accept the emissions calculation penalty. The PAS has only been proposed for dwellings. The consultation document acknowledges that there are no parallel proposals for non-domestic buildings, yet the fact that there is a considerable performance gap remains. In order to further study and close this gap, large amounts of in-use data are required. This would have been readily available if the government had managed to outline a programme for the roll-out of Display Energy Certificates for non-domestic buildings in the 2011 Energy Act. As such, the lack of a programme and associated data highlights what a missed opportunity that was. 

The final piece of the zero carbon puzzle is Allowable Solutions. These will essentially take the form of payments to fund projects aimed at reducing emissions off-site, hence offsetting the residual emissions from developments. It is very difficult to determine if the steps being made to reduce emissions on site will be cost effective compared with Allowable Solutions when the industry does not yet know what the costs of Allowable Solutions are likely to be. Consultation on this was promised for spring 2012 and the industry is still waiting.

The Pavilion 500For existing buildings, the main area of focus of the proposals is the integration of the Green Deal with consequential improvements to improve building efficiency whilst other works are being undertaken. Consequential improvements will now apply to all building types, regardless of size. Regardless of what the perceived flaws are with the Green Deal, the alignment of policy from two separate government departments makes a great deal of sense and represents some rare joined up thinking. Questions remain over how widely the Green Deal will be adopted and also over how well domestic consequential improvements will be enforced by local authority building control departments. This is especially true for the proposed consequential improvements for minor works such as replacing boilers or windows, where building control officers do not attend the site. As with previous iterations of Part L, consequential improvement works have to be technically, economically and functionally feasible. This, some may argue, offers a loophole for people to wriggle out of completing additional works. Again, it will be interesting to see how these are adopted and policed for the domestic market.

In general, the proposals outlined for Part L 2013 are pragmatic and well thought through. Emissions cuts implemented since 2002 essentially mean that even buildings that are only built to the regulatory minimum will still be low carbon buildings. We have had nearly five years to get used to the idea of zero carbon buildings and although the policies are starting to take shape, we need more data on buildings in-use by rolling out DECs and information on Allowable Solutions before we have a good idea of how much more work is required to hit the zero carbon target.

To find out more about Dan Jestico, please click here.

Spaces Between Places: How the Modern City Must Evolve

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MrMKitsonMatt Kitson, Regional Director, Qatar, joined a panel of experts at this year’s World Architectural Summit in Dubai to discuss ‘spaces between places’ and how the modern city must evolve. Below is an extract from the panels’ discussion and Matt’s response to the questions asked.


How can architects improve our public spaces, urban activity, walkability and humanist interaction within a futuristic cityscape?  

An architect is a cog in a wider design team and for that design team to achieve a lasting legacy with their Masterplan that amply responds to the future challenges of the city they need clear concise planning frameworks that are laid down by government and planning municipalities. An example of this is the planning framework currently in place in London which requires significant schemes to submit a public realm design as part of their planning submission. In some cases where the design plot is rather land locked, some schemes have incorporated the public realm within the building such as 20 Fenchurch Street tower by Rafael Vinol, where a sky garden has been added.



20 Fenchurch Street Sky Garden 


How has the current public realm in the Middle East achieved end users’ quality of life?

 Chicago Millennium ParkModern cities in the Middle East are still in their infancy when it comes to providing a high quality of life style for all, however there are signs that local municipalities are starting to address this issue through retrofitting public space throughout the existing city layout. Doha for example is building the Sheraton park project next to the iconic Sheraton hotel which has graced the skyline of the Cornish over the past 35 year. This 73,000 m² public park will include shaded basins, fountains, children’s playgrounds, cafes and restaurants.

There are a number of existing examples of where public space retrofitting has been successful and one of the best is Millennium Park in Chicago. The downtown area of the city was in poor repair for a number of years until under the direction ofthe city mayor, this park was restored to a place which add vibrancy to the city and a sense of community and well being. The park now has a wide range of public art, retail, food and beverage outlets and an open air theatre where people from around the world come an perform to the people of Chicago free of charge.


Chicago Millennium Park


What are the design parameters in the urban context from master planning to realization and where are the gaps? 

Design parameters should focus on environmental, social, cultural and economic factors forming the very DNA of a sustainable urban environment. Suggested areas that should be examined in the Masterplan and Urban regeneration are; site selection, ecology, mobility, urban connectivity, water conservation, energy conservation, responsible materials selection, recycling, waste minimisation, usability, place making, liveable communities, and diverse economic industry. Gaps in the design process are stakeholder engagement and designing for all age groups and social levels. We should not forget about the young when designing our cities.



 Is Dubai designed for cars, not people? How does the city’s architectural forum justify this issue? 

 DubaiI think it is fair to say that the early plans for the Dubai Masterplan did just focus on the car and with a design that relied on one major arterial spine through the city, which any good transport consultant will tell you is not a very good efficient model to design too. In recent years we have seen some attempts to fix this, with the introduction of the Dubai metro, improvements to the bus network and walkability of the city. Over time, Dubai will find it own natural transport balance and we must remember it is still a relatively young city. 




Are contemporary city-design means and methods applicable to the region, including infrastructure, transportation systems and city blocks? 

Some of the older methods of Masterplanning such as zonal planning are not really set up for the challenges that our cities face today. More focus is needed on cyclic design where we think about where the materials the city consumes come from, conserve and recycle where we can how they are consumed and reuse the waste to provide power back to the city. Transport orientated planning is also essential in any modern city of today.



Can modern design means and methods be maintained cost-effectively, particularly in the Middle East region, and what are the measures of sustainable growth? 

Public_Space_Middle_East For any city looking forward at what it may be and may become there needs to be a balance of a number of economic factors to bring success. These are education, retail, commercial, industry, financial market, social identity and cultural heritage. Any design team must review all of these important factors during the design development process through working with a wide range of stakeholders, ranging from government officials, municipality authorities and representatives of local communities. These representatives in turn must also relay the needs of the whole community including all social standings and age groups. Measuring sustainable growth is something that needs to be done over time however one easy guide of this is at the beginning of the design process is to examine some of the more successful cities around the world and note there key sustainable ingredients. One can also observe some of the 'ghost cities' around the world and ask the question what went wrong and what must we avoid.



What are the key fundamental attributes of any city that make it liveable and maintainable? 

Successful future cities will need to respond to globalisation and high speeds of communication and working. We must watch for sprawl that can lead to high levels of obesity and diabetes. Liveability can be delivered through public spaces that have public art that create vibrancy to the city and layers of experience for the people. One of the early pioneers of public space Masterplanning Sir Patrick Geddes said ‘by changing special form it is possible to change social structure’. The maintainable aspects of city design must come through a well thought through infrastructure strategies including energy supplies, water supplies and waste management. One design aspect for example that most cities have a underlying issue with is in the area of water leakage and this can be overcome through good design standards and installation inspections, coupled with a leakage metering strategy that provides live updates to the authorities of maintenance requirements.


This expert panel discussion and the session was moderated by Varkki Pallathucheril, Professor, College of Architecture, Art and Design, The American University of Sharjah, UAE.

Hilson Moran wins Consultant of the Year at the 2012 HVR Awards

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[16/10/12] HVRAward_500Leading international multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy, Hilson Moran has won Consultant of the Year at this year’s Heating and Ventilating Review Awards, held on 10 October at The Grange Hotel, St Paul’s in London.

The judging panel said: “Credited with great enthusiasm and creative flair, Hilson Moran saw off strong competition from the other entries to claim this coveted award. The range of the firm’s services and its clear focus on quality as well as its approach to partnering and fostering great client satisfaction was impressive.”

Chris Plummer, Managing Director at Hilson Moran, said: “The last 12 months have been fantastic for Hilson Moran. We extended our international reach with the opening of an office in Qatar at the end of 2011 and in January we completed a management buyout, returning the company to independence. We are delighted to have been recognised for our success both in terms of our business performance and our service to clients by this industry award.”

The HVR Awards celebrate excellence and innovation in the building services sector. They recognise and reward companies that demonstrate distinction in their field, outstanding technology or exceptional customer service and true innovation in the way they operate or in what they produce.

K&L Gates triumphs at last night’s 2012 National BCO Awards

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 K&L Gates interior image - lounge 745

[03/10/12] At the 2012 BCO Awards, hosted last night at the Grosvenor Hotel, London, K&L Gates won the National award for the Best Fit Out and later fought off stiff competition to win the Best of the Best Award.

The judging panel said “K&L Gates’ design and delivery team has done a magnificent job to adapt some of the quirkier spaces into a thoroughly professional and stylish office interior. Especially successful is the clever modeling of the ceiling plane, to thread and co-ordinate lighting, and the air-conditioning which works around a complex roof structure – in some cases raking down to over 1m above the floor.”

The fit out of the international lawyers’ 100,000 sq ft London offices included catering facilities, a 180 seat multipurpose room, a computer room and extensive cellular and open plan offices. K&L Gates utilised the full range of Hilson Moran’s services including mechanical, electrical and public health services, structured cabling, structural engineering, fire engineering, acoustics and the co-ordination of the IT installation. Hilson Moran was also appointed as BREEAM assessors for the project, which has achieved a Very Good rating under BREEAM 2008.

Commenting on the award, Trevor Raynsford, Director for the project said “We are delighted to have been recognised by the BCO on three occasions for this project. To achieve the National recognition for Best Fit Out and also the Best of the Best award is testimony to a truly collaborative international team effort which has resulted in an excellent and productive working environment for K&L Gates”

The team included

Architect: Lehman Smith McLeish

Project Manager & Quantity Surveyor: Allen Stewart Harrington Limited

Contractor: ISG

The Developing City Exhibition finishes after attracting thousands of visitors

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Grow Up BannerThe Developing City Exhibition drew to a close last month after its nine week run at the Walbrook Building in the heart of the City of London. The exhibition looked at the past and present of the City along with three visions for the square mile in 2050. Hilson Moran joined forces with Brookfield, Woods Bagot and Cornwell to develop Grow Up 2050, a vision of the City where buildings will become taller, focused on the east of the City, to accommodate for a rise in employment as well as providing better public space at ground level.

The exhibition attracted over 9,500 visitors over the nine weeks including attendees to the breakfast talks, walking tours and curator tours. John Deasy, Commercial Director UK at Hilson Moran said: “We are pleased to have been involved with such a successful exhibition about the City which is developing around us. In the current economic climate the exhibition gave an exciting platform for the City to present the current developments taking places as well as our vision for 2050 becoming an inspirational topic of conversation both at the exhibition and on our dedicated Twitter account, @growup2050, which provided a platform for further discussion to take place”.

To read more about the Hilson Moran, Brookfield, Woods Bagot and Cornwall vision for the City in 2050, please click here.


Hilson Moran promotes sustainability expert

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Chris Birch [10/09/12] International engineering consultancy firm Hilson Moran has promoted Chris Birch to Director of Sustainability for the UK.  Chris manages a specialist team of twenty sustainability experts, including a dedicated research and development function and has responsibility for the delivery of high quality sustainability services to internal design teams and external clients.

Chris has over 20 years’ experience as a sustainability consultant and has been working at Hilson Moran since 2002. His main areas of expertise are sustainable masterplanning, environmental impact assessments and green building design and certification. During his time at Hilson Moran Chris has been involved with many key projects including; the Shell Centre masterplan, the Lakeside Shopping Centre extension and a number of schemes on the Kings Cross masterplan.

Chris Plummer, Managing Director of Hilson Moran, said: “The sustainability agenda is very important to our clients and underpins a huge amount of our work. Chris Birch and his team ensure that our clients have access to the most up-to-date thinking in the field and a team of experts with detailed knowledge of all aspects of sustainability.”

Hilson Moran’s project wins RIBA Award for London Region

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50 New Bond Street[06/09/12] The £36 million mixed use redevelopment, 50 New Bond Street and 14 St George Street, has won a RIBA Award for the London Region.

The redevelopment created retail, residential and two high quality office buildings within a highly restricted urban site, surrounded by listed buildings. 50 New Bond Street was developed into a large retail unit and a prestigious 33,920 sq ft office development with a new façade which combined curved bay windows and sculptural faience ribs. 14 St George Street has an additional storey added above the existing retained façade and a new façade to the adjoining Maddox Street. Both buildings are situated in the heart of Mayfair, London and were designed by renowned Eric Parry Architects.

Hilson Moran was the building services consultants on both refurbishment projects with both buildings achieving a BREEAM Excellent rating. Passive design and energy efficiency measures were an important aspect in the design of the buildings. A combination of high specification glazing, as well as an efficient plant and light fittings with daylight control, helped ensure low energy consumption. The buildings also feature solar thermal panels to provide up to 40% of the domestic hot water requirement and photovoltaic panels to produce electrical energy on site.

Architects: Eric Parry Architects

Client: Scottish Widows Investment Partnership & Kleinwort Benson

New Regional Director for Hilson Moran Qatar

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British sustainability expert appointed to drive sustainability at engineering consultancy aiming to turn Qatar 2030 vision into a reality.

Matt Kitson[03/09/12] Leading multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy Hilson Moran Qatar, has announced that British-national Matt Kitson has been appointed as its new Regional Director.

Kitson, whose career with Hilson Moran spans more than 12 years, is based in the company’s new office, located in the prestigious West Bay region of Doha. He will strengthen the existing team with his expertise in sustainability having led the development of an industry-leading environmental and sustainability modeling tool within the firm, SuBET©, which provides a valuable design framework for masterplanning right from the start of a project complementing sustainability assessment systems such as the regions own GSAS/QSAS.

Matt has provided expert engineering and sustainability advice on a wide range of landmark projects across the UK, Europe and the Middle East, including the re-masterplan for North YAS in Abu Dhabi and the environmentally progressive and iconic ‘Gherkin’ building, in London.

Launched in September 2011 as a joint venture with H.E. Dr. Sheikh Hamad Bin Nasser Al-Thani, Hilson Moran Qatar offers a wide range of engineering and specialist consultancy services to clients in sectors such as hotels and leisure, education, commercial and residential as well as in master-planning and infrastructure.

Tony Morris, Hilson Moran’s International Director responsible for the Middle East operations, said: “Qatar is committed to creating sustainable high quality environments for its community.  Matt’s appointment will help strengthen our presence here and enable us to deliver well-engineered, functional buildings and master-plans that are sustainable and environmentally progressive.”

Hilson Moran’s design approach is based on a philosophy of ‘Environments for Life’, considering not only the needs of today but also those in the future life of communities and developments.  Furthermore, this approach will support the Qatar 2030 national vision in four key areas:

• Environmental Stewardship, where resources are conserved through careful selection and use of materials and efficient use of non renewable power;
• Social Diversification through the creation of healthy diverse communities and social spaces;
• Cultural Identity by designing for community cohesion and delivering a visual and educational stimulus;
• Economic Forethought to ensure the best return on investment.

Commenting on his appointment, Kitson said: “The Qatar market presents an exciting opportunity and Hilson Moran’s approach to design is very much aligned with the Qatar 2030 national vision. This is an exceptional career opportunity and I am extremely excited by the prospect of working on what will become some of the world’s truly iconic and sustainable designs.”

هيلسون موران قطر تعين مديرا اقليميا جديدا

اعلنت مؤسسة الاستشارات الهندسية المتعددة التخصصات هيلسون موران قطر عن تعيين البريطاني مات كتسون مديرا اقليميا جديدا فيها.

ويقع مقر كيستون الذي يعمل مع المؤسسة منذ مايزيد عن 12 عاما في المكتب الجديد للشركة الواقع في منطقة ويست باي الراقية في الدوحة. وسيعزز هذا التعيين من قدرات الفريق الحالي بخبراته في مجال الاستدامة حيث قاد عملية تطوير النموذج الخاص بأداة SuBET©   لتطوير المشاريع البيئية والمستدامة ضمن الشركة والتي توفر اطارا قيما للتصميم للمخططات الرئيسية بدءا من بداية المشروع مكملا انظمة تقييم الاستدامة مثل انظمة GSAS/QSAS الخاصة بالمنطقة.

وقدم مات العديد من الاستشارات المتعلقة بالخبرة الهندسية والاستدامة لعديد من المشاريع الكبرى في المملكة المتحدة واوروبا والشرق الاوسط ومنها المخطط الرئيسي المعدل لشمال ياس في أبوظبي ومبنى "جيركن" المميز والمتقدم بيئيا في لندن.

وتقدم هيسلون موران قطر التي اطلقت في سبتمبر 2011 كمشروع مشترك مع معالي الدكتور الشيخ حمد بن ناصر آل ثاني مجموعة واسعة من الخدمات الاستشارية الهندسية والمتخصصة لعملاء مثل الفنادق والمنشآت الترفيهية والمؤسسات التعليمية والتجارية والسكنية اضافة إلى المخططات الرئيسية والبنى الاساسية.

وقال توني موريس المدير الدوليفي هيلسون موران المسؤول عن عمليات الشرق الاوسط:" ان قطر ملتزمة بخلق بيئة مستدانة عالية النوعية لمجتمعها وسيكون تعيين مات عاملا مساعدا في تعزيز تواجدنا هنا ويمكننا من توفير ابنية ومخططات رئيسية عملية ذات مخططات رئيسية ممتازة تعتبر مستدامة ومتقدمة بيئيا".

وتستند طريقة هيلسون موران في التصميم على فلسفة "البيئة من اجل الحياة" حيث لا تنحصر مهمتها في توفير ما هو ضروري اليوم بل بتوفير متطلبات المجتمع والمشاريع المستقبلية ايضا. اضافة لذلك فإن هذه المنهجية ستدعم ايضا الرؤية الوطنية لقطر 2030 في اربع محاور رئيسية هي:
* الادارة البيئية حيث يتم الحفاظ عل الموارد من خلال عملية انتقاء دقيقة للمواد واستخدامها والاستخدام الكفؤ للطاقة غير المتجددة؛
* التنويع الاجتماعي من خلال خلق مجتمعاتوفضاءات اجتماعية صحية متنوعة؛
* الهوية الثقافية المصممة للحفاظ على النسيج الاجتماعي وتوفير المحفزات البصرية والتعليمية؛
* التروي الاقتصادي لضمان افضل عائد على الاستثمار.

وتعليقا على تعيينه قال كيتسون:" تعتبر السوق القطرية فرصة مثيرة للاهتمام كما ان منهج هيلسون موران في التصميم يواكب رؤية قطر 2030، وبالتالي فهذه فرصة استثنائية لمسيرتي المهنية وانا في غاية السعادة لاتاحة الفرصة امامي للمساهمة في ايجاد بعض اكثر التصاميم المميزة والمستدامة في العالم".

Hilson Moran appointed to 100 Cheapside redevelopment

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[21/08/2012] 100 Cheapside NewsQuadrant Estates has appointed leading multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy Hilson Moran for the speculative redevelopment of 100 Cheapside, a 94,000 sq ft Grade-A office and retail development located in the heart of the City of London, between the Bank of England and St Paul’s Cathedral. 

100 Cheapside comprises the comprehensive redevelopment of a prominent site at the corner of King Street and Cheapside on the ceremonial route to and from the Guildhall. The existing buildings will be demolished, with the new BREEAM ‘Excellent’ building taking its place.  

Hilson Moran has been appointed to design the building services, provide sustainability services – including BREEAM and LEED – as well as designing the vertical transportation for the building.

Martin Murphy, Director at Hilson Moran said: “100 Cheapside is a high quality, efficient and imaginative new development that will offer an environmentally-conscious and highly serviced workspace for its tenants.  It is one of the few being developed speculatively.”

100 Cheapside is a Joint Venture between CarVal, Orion and The City of London, with Quadrant Estates acting as Development Manager. The completion targeted is set for the second half of 2014.

Project team
Architect – EPR Architects (Architect to Planning Stage - Michael Aukett Architects)
Project Manager – Second London Wall
Cost Consultant – Quantem Consulting LLP
Structural Engineer – Waterman
Planning – DP9

Clapham One development wins NLA Award

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[15/08/12]  Clapham_One_500The recently completed Clapham Library, which is part of the Clapham One development in South West London, has won the Culture and Community category at the 2012 New London Awards. The awards are organised by London’s Centre for the Built Environment and recognise the best projects in the capital in terms of architecture, planning and development.

Leading multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy, Hilson Moran was appointed as the Building Services engineers for Clapham One, preparing the design concept, performance design and energy strategy for the library. The company was also involved in the adjacent medical centre and residential apartments.

Clapham One is a seven-time award-winning £80 million mixed-use regeneration scheme on Clapham High Street. The Public Private Partnership between Cathedral Group, United House and the London Borough of Lambeth will give the local community a brand-new, highly sustainable leisure centre, a state-of-the-art public library, a medical centre and high-quality residential accommodation, which will include 44 affordable homes for Notting Hill Housing. 

Kevin Willoughby, Associate at Hilson Moran said: “We are proud to have worked alongside Cathedral Group and to be a part of the project team that is helping to deliver such fantastic, state-of-the-art community facilities that can be used by all.”

Best Overall Marketing Campaign (Residential) – Property Marketing Awards, June 2012
Highly Commended – Community Investor of the Year – The MJ Awards, June 2012
Highly Commended – Public Private Partnership – The MJ Awards, June 2012
Shortlisted for Housing Project of the Year – Building Awards, 2012
Best Mixed-Use Development – International Property Awards, 2011
Highly Commended – Public Services Development, International Property Awards, 2011
Best Housing Project – The Daily Telegraph British Homes Awards, 2011
Project Winner – Housing Design Awards, 2010

Hilson Moran reveal vision for The City in 2050

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 [02/07/12] The Developing City exhibition is now open at the Walbrook Building on Cannon Street, showcasing the future vision of the Square Mile in 2050.

Grow Up Space

Three teams of architects, planners, designers and engineers have launched their 2050 City visions. Leading multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy, Hilson Moran, alongside Brookfield Office Properties, Woods Bagot and Cornwell envision the City to ‘grow up’, building more tall buildings to the east of the City to accommodate for a rise in employment as well as providing better public space at ground level.

The exhibition is also documenting the evolution of the Square Mile since Roman times and features 40 scale models of schemes that have been, and continue to be developed throughout the City.

The exhibition is open until 9 September 2012.

For further information, please visit

K&L Gates BCO Winner

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 K&L Gates interior image - lounge 745

[20/04/2012] We are proud to announce that the recently completed K&L Gates offices in One New Change has won the BCO London and South East Award 2012 for Best Fit Out. Hilson Moran were responsible for the fit out of the international lawyers 100,000 sq ft London offices with catering facilities, a 200 seat multipurpose room, a computer room and extensive cellular and open plan offices.

K&L Gates utilised the full range of Hilson Moran’s services including mechanical and electrical services, structured cabling, structural engineering, fire engineering, acoustics and the co-ordination of the IT installation. Hilson Moran were also appointed as BREEAM assessors for the project, which has achieved a Very Good rating under BREEAM 2008. Commenting on the award, Trevor Raynsford, Director for the project said “We are delighted to have been recognised by the BCO for this project which was the result of a truly collaborative international team effort and has resulted in an excellent and productive working environment for K&L Gates”

The team for this project:

ARCHITECT: Lehman Smith McLeish Architects

PROJECT MANAGER: Allen Stewart Harrington Limited

 K and L Gates Interior 5 K and L Gates Interior 8

Hilson Moran Acquired by Management Team

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HM Logo 500 [02/01/2012] Leading international consulting engineering firm Hilson Moran Partnership Ltd, has been acquired by its management team. Created in 1977 the company was privately owned until 2002 when it was acquired by Altran UK Ltd, a subsidiary of Altran Technologies S.A. headquartered in Paris. Since then Hilson Moran has developed the scope of services it provides, its geographical areas of operation and has continued to provide high quality, sustainable buildings whilst striving at all times to provide the best possible service to its clients.

The performance of Hilson Moran was recognised last year when it was awarded the Medium Consultant of the Year award by the NCE/ACE. The company was ranked 18th in the Building Magazine’s Top 100 Engineers survey and was 15th in the Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies schedule by the same magazine.

Managing Director Chris Plummer, who led the MBO said “We are delighted with the progress the company has been making in a difficult market and to have had the opportunity to re-acquire the business. Returning to private ownership will enable us to continue to develop the business in the direction that we choose, focusing on the needs of our clients, our employees and the technological challenges of this environmentally progressive age”.

Zero carbon private home gets underway in Southeast London

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The Pavilion

[22/11/2011] Construction has started one of only a handful of private residences to achieve Code 5 for Sustainable Homes. The house, called the Pavilion and located in Blackheath in Southeast London, will use low energy building best practice, including Passivhaus, principles. By meeting the energy requirements defined by Code 5, the property conforms to the Governments definition of Zero Carbon buildings which is due to be implemented in 2016. An innovative and intelligent design has been developed for the project by a team of experts, who have worked on the project for two years. They include E2 Architecture, Elloitt Wood structural engineers and leading multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy, Hilson Moran, whose role includes building services design and low and zero carbon technology consultancy. The new house is being built on a piece of land annexed to The Pagoda, a Grade II* listed building in Blackheath.

Designed as a low carbon, contemporary home, it employs super insulation, passive solar design, an earth sheltered lower ground floor, green roofs, rainwater harvesting, ground source heat pumps, large amounts of photovoltaic panels and solar thermal hot water. The site slopes down three metres towards the south boundary of Pagoda Gardens and the house will be laid out on two split levels with the upper floor in an ‘L’ forming a courtyard over the lower ground roof. By keeping the new house at a very low profile, the views from the upper floors of The Pagoda will be preserved. Keith Hicks, Group Director at Hilson Moran said: “We are delighted to be working with E2 Architecture and the rest of the team by leading the development of the low energy solutions to achieve the client’s aspirations of this cutting edge Eco House.” Sam Cooper, Director of E2 Architecture said: “The Pavilion is a completely environmental house that responds to its local and global context and climate, and will be a breakthrough for private owners wanting more environmentally sustainable homes. Just like William Chamber's Pagoda, it is a highly contemporary design at the forefront of modern construction and technical know-how and will be built to last at least 200 years”. The Pagoda is Grade II* listed and was designed as a garden pavilion for the Duke of Montagu in 1767 by Architect Sir William Chambers, who designed a large number of fine buildings including Somerset House and a selection of garden buildings at Kew including the Orangery and the ten-storey pagoda. Construction of the property is due to be completed in August 2012.

Hilson Moran features strongly in Building magazine’s Top 20

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[21/11/2011] Multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy Hilson Moran was named the 18th largest UK engineering consultancy in Building Magazine’s Top 100 Engineers survey, up from 22 in 2010. It also ranked 35 overall in the Top 200 Consultants list, from 48th place last year and was named the 15th fastest growing company in the Top 100 fastest growing companies list. “Building magazine’s Top 200 survey is an important annual barometer, both of the state of the economy and construction industry, but also of the relative health of its component firms,” said Hilson Moran managing director Chris Plummer. “We have worked hard to drive efficiency in our business over the last few years and have focused heavily on adding value to our clients, helping them with their short and long-term requirements as part of a strong and ongoing partnership. Our success in the tables is testament to our approach,” he added.

Dan Jestico to address Australia’s National Building Envelopes & Facades Summit

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[13/10/2011] Dan Jestico, Hilson Moran’s head of R&D and principal sustainability consultant, will be addressing The National Building Envelopes & Façades Summit 2011 at the Ivy in Sydney, Australia, on Wednesday 15th November. The summit involves a two-day conference and three days of workshops, running between 14th and 16th November. Taking a new approach, the event will focus on façade engineering, and meeting and overcoming common challenges, as well as the management of the entire project lifecycle. Dan’s presentation, Minimising Energy Use & Carbon Emissions through Double Skin Façades and Mixed Mode Ventilation, will cover façade performance simulation using Computational Fluid Dynamics, thermal regulation of internal space and unwanted thermal extraction, airflow into office space, efficiency, and the balance between design and engineering. Other speakers at the event include Dylan Brady and Dirk Zimmermann, directors at Studio 505, Mark Roehrs, principal at international design practice Hassell, and Mikkel Kragh, associate at Arup & chairman of the Society of Façade Engineering. For further information visit or get in touch with Dan directly at

Hilson Moran expands GCC operation with new Qatar office

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[12/09/2011] Engineering consultancy to introduce masterplanning and sustainability expertise to country’s expanding US$53 billion construction sector Leading multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy, Hilson Moran, will open its second GCC office this month, targeting Qatar’s expanding construction sector with a strong focus on masterplanning and sustainability. At today’s official signing, the UK-headquartered company formally entered into a joint venture agreement with His Excellency Dr. Sheikh Hamad Bin Nasser Al-Thani to establish the company’s Qatar operation, offering an across-the-board portfolio of building design services from sustainable masterplanning to infrastructure consultancy. According to a recent five-year forecast by Ventures Middle East, the number of active construction projects in the Gulf state is set to soar to US$53 billion, representing a compound average growth rate of 12 per cent per annum to 2015. “Qatar’s construction projects make up 13 per cent of total GGC projects in terms of value, and with the next five years a crucial time for pipeline plans to translate into physical reality, strategic presence for Hilson Moran in both Abu Dhabi and Doha will enable us to build further on our substantial Gulf experience,” said Tony Morris, Commercial Director, Hilson Moran’s Middle East division. Through its Abu Dhabi base, Hilson Moran has worked on a number of high profile projects including the Yas Island North Masterplan and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank Headquarters, as well as sustainable design consultancy for the soon-to-be-launched Etihad Towers project and development of vertical transportation solutions for the city’s new Landmark Tower. Commenting on the joint venture partnership, HE Dr. Sheikh Hamad Bin Nasser Al-Thani said: “The Hilson Moran team is characterised by its expertise, innovation and reputation, which is also reflected by the company’s international presence in major cities and countries including France, Italy, the UK and the UAE. We look forward to seeing their expertise in the transfer of modern technology and innovation take root in Qatar.” “This partnership shows our long-term commitment to the region. Qatar is a vibrant market with the vision and ambition to create high quality environments for its communities, as evidenced by the recent launch of its new green building code – the Qatar Sustainability Assessment System. We hope that our masterplanning, design and engineering expertise - as well as global sustainability experience - will add real tangible value to the country’s future development plans,” added Morris.

Hilson Moran ‘Harriers’ complete Standard Chartered City Race

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[20/07/2011] Nine Hilson Moran “Harriers” pounded the streets of London last Thursday at the annual Standard Chartered City Race, raising money for Seeing is Believing - a global initiative to help eradicate avoidable blindness. The race is the premier corporate running challenge with 6,500 runners from 400 companies running through the Square Mile’s closed-off streets. £5 from each entry is donated to Seeing is Believing and all money raised is matched by Standard Chartered. In the mixed team results, our team came 19th out of 86 and in the men’s, 195 out of 715. So congratulations to Abigail Wilshire Amelia Saberwal, Andy Ashfield, Andy Grint, Ben Abel, Ben Richardson, Christian Reisner, Ranka Ignjatovic and Vince Ugarow.

Hilson Moran Launches Security Consultancy Group

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[15/06/2011] International engineering consultancy, Hilson Moran, has launched a new Security Consultancy Group, headed by security specialist, Mark Skinner. The security team will be providing strategic services such as security assessments and risk evaluations, in order to develop security strategies to mitigate risk and ensure business continuity, including manned guarding response plans where appropriate. As well as SBD (Secure By Design) CPTED (Crime Prevention through Environmental Design) and safer places advice, the Hilson Moran team will be delivering a full range of technical services in the design and specification of Electronic and Physical Security systems including access control, car parking pay on foot systems, Video Surveillance, ANPR, Video Analytics, Integrated Management Software Control Systems and full control room design. Based in Hilson Moran’s Manchester office, Mark and the security team will be working nationally and internationally, providing consultancy advice to clients directly and assisting Hilson Moran’s groups in all aspects of security design. Says Mark, “I am delighted to join Hilson Moran at this exciting time and look forward to being a part of the continued growth and success of the business both nationally and internationally.” Already winners of the NCE/ACE Medium Consultant of the Year 2011, Hilson Moran is continuing to grow its service offering and international office network throughout 2011. The new service has been introduced to complement Hilson Moran’s existing Engineering Service, Intelligent Buildings and Facilities Management offering and will be central to its new business acquisition strategy over the coming months. For more information, please contact

Hilson Moran sustainability experts to speak at Greenbuild Expo 2011

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[30/03/2011] Two senior members of Hilson Moran’s sustainability team, Dr Paul Bond, Principal Sustainability Consultant and Dave Wakelin, Associate, have been invited to present at Greenbuild Expo 2011, taking place on 29 and 30 June 2011 at Manchester Central. Now in its third year, Greenbuild Expo attracts built environment professionals from across the country, and covers a variety of topics including renewable technologies, sustainable materials and legislation updates. The Hilson Moran sessions take place on 29 June and the details of each are described below: <b>Retail and Building Regulations – Not our Problem? Dave Wakelin, Associate, Hilson Moran. 14.45 – 15.30</b> Increasingly stringent Building Regulations, particularly energy efficiency standards in Part L are causing a significant shift in the way all buildings are designed. Of particular significance to retailers are new tests for solar gain through the shop front, and artificial lighting allowances. Changes to the regulations now mean it is very difficult to have a clear glass, highly transparent shop front, and low efficiency spot lighting within the retail area. This presentation will explain the reasons for the changes, the implications for retail space and the options available to landlords and retail tenants to allow their new premises to meet regulatory standards. <b>Experiences of designing SuDS Strategies for New Developments. Dr Paul Bond, Principal Sustainability Consultant, Hilson Moran. 14.45 – 15.30</b> Planning Policy Statement (PPS)25 “Development & Flood Risk” states that surface water disposal is a material consideration for local planning authorities when determining individual land-use planning proposals and that Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) should be incorporated into a development wherever practical. Building Regulations also emphasise that the first choice for surface water removal should be to adequate infiltration systems, whilst valuable credits can be scored for their use for BREEAM, Code for Sustainable Homes (CfSH) and LEED. Hilson Moran has extensive experience of designing SuDS Strategies for new developments to meet these aspirations. The presentation will discuss the various targets required to meet PPS25, BREEAM, CfSH and LEED criteria, provide an overview of SuDS devices and introduce a number of real case histories to demonstrate opportunities and constraints relating to their installation and the evolution of SuDS Strategies for new developments. 2011’s Expo will include more than 100 conference and seminar sessions, a building retrofit zone, workshops and taster training sessions. For more information, and to reserve your place at either session please visit

Hilson Moran named NCE ACE Medium Consultant of the Year

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 NCE_Award_500[29/03/2011] Hilson Moran has been named the NCE/ACE Medium Consultant of the Year 2011. Now in its eighth year, the awards celebrate outstanding business performance by engineering consultancies across the UK.

The awards are based on submissions to NCE’s Consultants File, a unique insight into the health and wealth of the engineering consultancy market. Judging is based on strict criteria including revenues in relation to staff numbers, projects that applicants have been involved in and innovative activity undertaken during the year. Chris Plummer, Managing Director, commented on the win: “We are thrilled to have been named Medium Consultant of the Year. Even in the most challenging of economic times we have stayed true to our founding ethos of striving to provide clients with the best quality service and these efforts, coupled with our strong reputation for delivery, have enabled us to continue to secure many exciting, high quality projects in the UK and overseas.”

Hilson Moran’s revenues increased last year, despite difficult trading conditions and the company is continuing to secure good opportunities. Chris continued: “We have already secured more than 70% of our projected revenues for the year and whilst the economy will continue to present challenges for some time, we feel increasingly confident about the next 12 months and beyond.” During 2010 Hilson Moran grew to almost 250 in number and has plans to open a new office in Qatar this summer, adding to its existing six office locations across the UK, Europe and the UAE.

Other key developments include a strengthened environmental and sustainability offering in the UK and a broadened portfolio of services including masterplanning where, in conjunction with professors from Reading and Dundee Universities, a team of urban design specialists have developed an innovative methodology SuBET (Sustainable Built Environment Tool) and are applying this expertise to a number of masterplanning projects, including Greenwich Peninsula in London and the North Yas Island Masterplan in Abu Dhabi. “This award recognises all the incredible hard work by the team and each member of the organisation should be proud of their contribution,” Chris concluded. The winners were announced at an exclusive lunch event on Friday 25 March at London’s Claridges Hotel.

Dan Jestico to speak at Good Homes Alliance annual conference

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[24/11/2010] Dan Jestico, a Principal Sustainability Consultant and Head of R&D at Hilson Moran is speaking at Winterval, the Good Homes Alliance annual industry debate which this year is focused on ‘Industry transformation on the road to 2016’. The half day seminar will be held at The Princes Foundation for The Built Environment in central London on Wednesday 1 December. Dan is presenting a Building Regulations update, in particular looking at Part L (domestic) and Part F highlighting what has changed and what impact this has on dwelling emission rates and subsequent design implications. Other speakers include Peter Halsall, Managing Director of BioRegional Quintain, Dan Monzani from the Department of Energy and Climate Change and Jaryn Bradford from the Energy Saving Trust. For more information please visit the GHA website or contact Dan directly on

Bristol’s new Civil Justice Centre officially opens

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[19/11/2010] Bristol’s new Civil Justice Centre has been officially opened today in the presence of Lord Chief Justice and the Rt Hon Mr Justice Royce. Designed by Associated Architects and engineered by Hilson Moran, the new seven storey building provides 15 new law courts and hearing rooms and associated ancillary space. Hilson Moran provided a multi-discipline approach with sustainability consultancy, building services, vertical transportation and intelligent building consultancy. For further details please contact

Hilson Moran at the European Future Energy Forum 2010

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[18/10/2010] Matt Kitson, Director of Sustainability at Hilson Moran, is speaking at the European Future Energy Forum on 21 October 2010 at London’s Excel. Held in association with Masdar and UKTI, the European Future Energy Forum provides a global leadership platform to ensure energy security and sustainability throughout Europe. Matt will be speaking at the Green Cities, Green Buildings focused session – Transforming our Cities – in conference room A at 11.50. The session will look at how the performance of existing buildings and infrastructure can be improved. Speakers will discuss the opportunities for transforming buildings and precints using integrated design, planning and construction, technologies, smart regulation and incentives. For further information on the event visit To contact Matt Kitson email or visit our Management Team page

Hilson Moran at Facade Design Engineering & Delivery Europe 2010

 Permanent link[13/10/2010] Dan Jestico, Hilson Moran’s Head of Research & Development spoke at Facade Design Engineering & Delivery Europe on 12 October 2010. Using a case study of Pinnacle in London,Dan spoke about how energy use and carbon emissions can be minimised through double skin facades and mixed mode ventilation. His presentation included insights on

  • The use of computational fluid (CFD) to accurately simulate facade performance from the start
  • Designing the facade to ensure thermal regulation of internal space
  • Using double skin facades with mixed mode ventilation.
  • How to efficiently control this through the building management system
  • Reducing internal heat gains and challenges of extracting unwanted thermal energy
  • How to ensure enough air flows through the facade cavity into the office space
  • Removing unwanted draughts in the office space
  • Meeting the design/engineering balance between maximum floor space and maximum facade performance

For further details contact or visit and Pinnacle project

Hilson Moran is in winning team for King's Cross Gasholder competition

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[01/01/2010] Hilson Moran is part of the victorious team in the King’s Cross Gasholder competition. The winning design by Bell Phillips + Kimble is now being showcased at an exhibition of all of the submissions entered in the competition at New London Architecture in The Building Centre, London. The two-stage competition to create a unique public space amidst the iconic heritage structure of Gasholder No. 8 in King’s Cross was launched in summer 2009 by King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership and attracted 80 original competition entries, from which five teams were shortlisted. Bell Phillips + Kimble’s design is envisaged to create a series of shallow water pools, which will provide an active space for play and relaxation by day and a tranquil reflection pool by night. Below the pool will be a large, multi-functional events space ideal for theatrical performances, concerts, exhibitions and receptions. The glass lenses in the roof of this space will provide natural lighting and offer dramatic views up through the reflection pool to the gasholder above. Hilson Moran will be providing advice on the structural engineering, building services and sustainability for the proposed £2.5 million, multi-use internal and external events space.


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