Our Ethos

Our ethos comprises our operating principles that set the tone for our overall activities. To ensure they truly reflect our practice, these principles have been developed in collaboration with our employees. Encompassing the areas below, each element supports our business strategy and shapes our culture. We aim to align all business decisions with the values and statements within this document.

Values

What are our core principles?

Our company values are below. Select one to learn more about what it means to us and how we uphold it. 

Dynamic

We are determined to deliver the best outcomes for our clients, society, and industry by continually assessing and evaluating ourselves, and by bringing a proactive and positive energy to our work. We aim to operate in a dynamic and agile way, informed by disseminating feedback and lessons learned.

How do we uphold this value?

In our effort to be a practice championing sustainability and low carbon construction, we are keen to use alternative materials on our projects where appropriate. We’ve demonstrated through the use of stone and composite material solutions, where we have invested time and effort developing design methods from first principles and share our knowledge with clients, architects and contractors. This has made us a pioneer and industry leader in building with alternative materials.

As a business, we are constantly changing and adapting to meet the needs of an ever-changing design and regulatory environment to ensure we support our clients and collaborators in meeting their goals. Extensive in-house training allows our staff to consistently exceed best practice. Through our engagement in thought leadership activities, where we engage with the press, expert panels and conferences, as well as our research and development collaborations, we seek to advance our own team, as well as the profession and industry as a whole.  

As a result, clients continually engage us to bring in bold ideas and new ways of thinking to their work.

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Fair

Our views are marked by impartiality and honesty. We establish fair relationships in our work and seek to deliver projects with a positive impact. Giving no advantage to background or experience, we provide equal opportunities and hear and value each voice. We strive to ensure transparency in our decisions.

How do we uphold this value?

Through due-diligence and voluntary tendering, we establish fair and ethical relationships with operational suppliers, taking into account responsible sourcing and fair-trade practices. We have a demonstrable track record of working closely with stakeholders on our projects to do our part in seeing fair and positive outcomes.

By actively seeking out all perspectives on matters, everything from personnel to engineering design, we apply an understanding of all points of views to make business decisions in a balanced and measured way. Internally, we have methods in place to allow our colleagues to provide anonymous feedback, to allow our senior team to action or respond without bias. 

We voluntarily operate under a number of policies that contribute to fairness, such as modern slavery, neurodiversity, menopause, CSR, hybrid working, and enhanced maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental leave policies. We are a certified living wage employer.

Wherever appropriate, we are transparent. We have processes in place to allow us to regularly communicate to our team about business performance and decisions. In additional to mandated reporting, such as financial performance, we choose to report on various other aspects of the business’ performance and operations.

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Equal and Diverse

We believe that different perspectives brought by different life experiences and viewpoints are crucial to delivering innovation and facilitating good business growth. We strive to empower an equal and diverse collective of future leaders through our work practices.

How do we uphold this value?

We believe diversity, exclusivity and equality are an essential skill, and require each staff member to carry out mandatory ED&I training as part of their induction to the company. With the goal of encouraging the industry to better represent our society, we regularly offer entry-level or apprentice-level support or technical positions, as well as school and college work placements every year across a diverse range of communities. 

We offer very flexible working conditions, with staff having the ability to work remotely, and offer tailored work patterns, as well as additional tools and equipment, to support staff with disabilities. We have also supported employees through the Access to Work scheme, which enables us to collaborate with the Department for Work and Pensions to assess and provide additional support for people with disabilities and health conditions. In addition, we offer remote interviews and do not discriminate at any stage of our recruitment process by asking about a candidate’s criminal convictions or medical history.

Our Employee Forum allows our colleagues to speak and be heard, enabling everyone in our practice to provide feedback, either directly or anonymously. Our leadership team consider and respond to anonymised feedback fairly, as we trust employees from all walks of life to make the decisions that are in the best interest of the practice.

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Brave

Our team are encouraged to actively explore new ideas and innovative design, and to always strive to improve the industry by challenging the status quo and standing up for our values. We are brave in our approach to challenges and tackle them head on.

How do we uphold this value?

We carry out extensive research and development in collaboration with other industry exports and Universities to explore new ways of using innovative materials or composite materials and developing new construction techniques. Our structural designs are developed through, or supported with, testing, allowing for innovative design not otherwise covered by Eurocodes to be rolled out on live projects. We also carry out or oversee fire performance and other project specific tests. 

We always propose sustainable or low carbon options at early stages of projects, opening up discussions and opportunities for better design choices to be made by promoting alternative sustainable options over the “status quo” or expected solutions. We make solid arguments for these options, backed up with carbon calculations and precedent on other projects.

Approach challenges with a problem-solving mindset, with the goal of achieving the desired outcomes in the most efficient and innovative way. We later carry out lessons learned on projects, this is reviewed with both our colleagues, and the wider design team, so that this knowledge can be applied to future solutions.

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Ethical

We recognise the role we have in shaping our society while meeting global sustainability targets and aim to minimise the impact of our work through the implementation of efficient design solutions. We endeavour to only take on work deemed to contribute positively to society.

How do we uphold this value?

The impact on society and the planet from the work we chose to be involved on permeates through every decision we take. Before deciding to get involved on a project, we consider what the nature of building is, who it is for, who it will benefit, and if all these factors align with our values. 

From the projects we take on, we are continually building our expertise in how to reduce the environmental impact of our designs. We do this by internally reviewing our designs to ascertain what lessons could be learnt for future projects along with carrying out research and development through our internal development groups.

At the outset of every project, we build our understanding of the social opportunities available. With this knowledge we seek to provide employment, training, or general engagement opportunities for local people. We believe that the involvement of individuals, businesses, stakeholders, or community groups is a key factor in any projects’ success. 

We are currently on our path to Net Zero as a business. Our offices are fully run on renewable electricity and our suppliers are assessed and chosen based on their social impact. 

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Culture

What are our team's shared values?

Our cultural values are below. Select one to learn more about what it means to us and how we champion it.

Fun

Fun is at the core of our culture. We believe enjoying the everyday helps to inspire and foster creativity - facilitating the freedom to produce beautiful and innovative results. This is achieved with the input of our team, who arrange regular activities and events, as well as a positive environment.

How do we champion this value?

Design and engineering should be a fun and exciting experience, as we are working to shape the buildings and infrastructure of the future. By clearly communication and setting reasonable expectations with our collaborators, we allow our staff to inject creativity and innovation into their work and look for the enjoyment in problem solving, even when the practice is under pressure to deliver. 

Our offices are open and collaborative environments, designed to foster communication and a sense of community within a relaxed atmosphere. Our hybrid working policy allows our team to work flexibly and manage their own work-life balance.

Our internal representative groups, formed of colleagues of all levels and disciplines across the practice, help us to maintain an inclusive and social environment. This includes our Social Committee, who help organise regular opportunities for our team to come together and have fun, including days out, game nights, team sports, and our annual summer picnic, beer and food festival, and Christmas party. 

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Collaborative

We are a multi-disciplinary team with a wide range of experience and expertise. We believe that combining our expertise creates better solutions. Our open plan office encourages communication and we engage in regular knowledge sharing across our teams.

How do we champion this value?

We believe the built environment as a whole need to work together towards a brighter future. We actively seek out opportunities to help advance the industry through publishing articles, speaking at key industry events, and supporting architectural and engineering course at Universities. 

Regular knowledge sharing sessions pool our skills and lessons learnt, both within our disciplines and between them. At the start of our projects, we mandate cross-discipline kick-off meetings to facilitate a collaborative design approach from the outset. 

Each month we have an ‘Anchor Day’, where all our colleagues are encouraged to connect in person within the office in which they are based. On these days, we have a company-wide meeting where our London and Birmingham offices come together to provide our workforce with the latest industry developments, as well as key project developments. Our internal computational and sustainability development groups also share their latest advancements in these meetings, in addition to producing regular newsletters. 

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Accountable and Responsible

We value our responsibility to communities, our clients, and the wider industry, and take ownership of our actions. We assess the impact of our work through our approach to selecting and delivering projects. We believe accountability guides us towards ethical and sustainable choices.

How do we champion this value?

We encourage our employees at all levels to have a broad outlook on projects, bring fresh ideas and take ownership of their projects. Each project has an internal hierarchy structure, with defined roles and responsibilities, to the ensure quality of our work. Projects are reviewed by senior staff who are outside of the project team at key stages.

We ensure ongoing professional development though internal and external presentations, provide skills and confidence to our employees. Previous projects are used to advance internal knowledge and resources to set ambitious achievable goals for current projects.

As a company, we carefully consider all our suppliers and prioritise those that demonstrate ethics, sustainability and quality. Following external industry data, we evaluate both our company and project goals and ensure we are market leading, publishing or sharing these evaluations wherever possible to ensure transparency. 

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Supportive

We care about the wellbeing of our people and offer platforms for sharing views and be listened to, as well as systems of support. We ensure opportunities to learn and grow across our teams and disciplines and invest in training, empowering people to be the best they can be.

How do we champion this value?

We understand that being exceptional engineers means having a supportive community of technical disciplines working in collaboration with an excellent operations team. We therefore ensure our finance, HR, marketing and administration teams enjoy the same level of professional development and trust as our technical team. 

All of our colleagues have access to an Employee Assistance Programme and fully trained Mental Health First Aiders, both of which provide confidential support whenever they seek it. Our Employee Forum gives each individual a voice, enabling everyone in our practice to provide feedback, either directly or anonymously, across all aspects of our business. 

We ensure the continued development of our staff through our CPD programmes, and office and team meetings, as well as mentoring and funding them in achieving their accredited professional status. Our teams supervise and guide those advancing through our apprentice, trainee and internship positions.

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Creative

Creativity, innovation and progressive thinking underpins all our work, reinforced by our training systems, knowledge sharing, processes and policies. We don’t believe in solving the challenges of tomorrow with yesterday’s solutions and aim to push boundaries within the profession and industry.

How do we champion this value?

We view challenging projects as an opportunity and not an obstacle, approaching every problem with the mindset of ‘how do we make this happen?’. We encourage our employees to look at things differently, as we believe that job satisfaction comes through variety and interesting projects with challenging problems to solve. 

We encourage staff to be creative with their problem solving and empower them to challenge business-as-usual, designs, and to consider all angles of solving a problem. This is achieved through using engineering principles to guide our creativity; not being afraid of unusual materials or concepts; provide training in using sketching and modelling to explore and convey ideas as well as collaborative discussions; and utilising advanced tools of analysis, scripting and data processing as aids to creativity, not substitutes. 

We put a lot of emphasis in knowledge sharing across all disciplines and specialisms, so that we are not soloing our efforts, and give staff technical knowledge and confidence through our internal and external CPD programmes. We facilitate a range of diverse internal development groups that specialise in different engineering areas to push our knowledge and capabilities further, condensing and distributing our research and knowledge to support all our staff in their work.

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Birmingham Office 6 v3
Birmingham Office 4