Excellence in Engineering

catch-up 2012 Edition 7

After a successful summer of sport, the Crofton team is looking for ways to beat the post-Olympic blues; We have a strong line-up of activities for the next few months – exercising our intellects through our building services technical seminars; racing ahead with our investment in young engineers; and hurdling towards the completion of some exciting projects. We welcome a number of new staff to the Kent and London offices, and eagerly await the outcome of the Constructing Excellence awards with the rest of the design team for the Morden Hall Park Stableyard project!

in the pipeline

what we've been up to...

Crofton hosts a range of events throughout the year to bring together colleagues from across the construction industry.

Office Move Drinks Evening

September 2012

To celebrate the move to our new London office, Crofton will be hosting a celebratory roof-top drinks evening with clients, colleagues and friends.

Places are strictly by invitation only. To request an invitation, please contact Katie Neal katieneal@crofton-design.com 


Engineering Elements - Workshop 3

25 September 2012
Hadlow office, Kent


We are now halfway through this programme of bite-sized structural engineering workshops. The next one will be taking place in the Hadlow office from 8am, where Structural Director Mark Taylor will discuss Structural Form and Stability.

Aimed at architects, project managers and surveyors, each workshop breaks down a key element of strutural engineering design in an easy, understandable way.

Places are strictly limited, so if you would like to join us for a breakfast roll and technical know-how, please book your place by contacting Margaret Cwikla margaretcwikla@crofton-design.com.


Technical Seminar

Thursday 15 November  2012
Location TBC, Kent

Our ever-popular Technical Seminars continue in November following a break over the summer.

Presented by Director Barry Henson, our seminars aim to provide practical advice to architects, building surveyors, developers and end-users who are involved in construction projects.

To request an invitation contact: katieneal@crofton-design.com

For details of previous seminars, visit our website

While students have been enjoying a six week break, it was ‘Back to school’ for Crofton this summer as we have been involved in a number of education projects across the south east. Work on a new three-storey teaching extension, incorporating classrooms, art & graphics room, and a sixth form centre has completed at Maidstone Grammar School for Girls. Meanwhile, the structures team has had a busy few months supporting AECOM on a number of school expansion projects for Kent County Council.

© Lee Evans Partnership

Progress at St Anthony’s Primary School in Southwark, London continues at a pace; with the first phase of classrooms nearing completion, and the new coolphase ventilation system is in the process of being fitted, ready for the new intake at the start of the new school year. Phase 2, which tackles the refurbishment of existing school classrooms and ancillary spaces, such as the main hall and reception area, commences in October. The project is on target for completion at the start of 2013.

Crofton has acted as independent certifiers on the newly-built Luton Aquatics Centre. Specified to Olympic standards, the centre boasts state-of-the-art leisure and swimming facilities. Our building services engineers acted on behalf of Luton Council, in association with Gleeds Property Management.

Our building services engineers are pleased to be working with The Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability. Located in Putney Founded in 1854, it is the oldest independent hospital and medical charity in the UK. Crofton was commissioned to provide M&E engineering services design for the refurbishment of an existing ground floor day ward. The proposed scheme will include a new specialist ward for people with severe spinal and head injuries.

Work is about to start on site at the Sands Hotel in Margate.  Situated on the seafront, close to the Turner Contemporary art gallery, Crofton is providing structural engineering consultancy for the conversion of an existing shop unit to a boutique 25 bed hotel. Crofton was novated from the client to Cardy Construction in order to complete the works.

Acting as landlord's agents for BMWi Park Lane, Crofton has just completed supervisory services for the refurbishment of its flagship showroom.


We have been in the news again - Director Steven Hale continues his regular contributions to Construction News' SME panel, while Associate Director Stuart Beardwell discussed the structural considerations needed to move heavy hospital machinery in Health Estates Journal. Watch out for the full article in September's edition. To keep up to date with all Crofton news, visit our blog

Events round-up

Associate Directors Shaun Barkshire and Nathan Williams set sail on Thursday 30 August for a sunset cruise around Brighton. Joined by local Brighton clients and colleagues, those aboard the Annabel Olivia yacht experienced a traditional afternoon tea out on the English Channel. For pictures, have a look on Facebook

Associate Chris Darby went ‘Back to Basics’ for the most recent Crofton seminar, discussing electrical engineering do’s and don’ts to audiences in Ashford (May) and Brighton (July). Areas covered included types of incoming electrical service, metering and space requirements; typical electrical switchgear and distribution equipment and types of cable and their uses. Crofton can host seminars at your company on a range of topics. If this is of interest, please contact katieneal@crofton-design.com 

What better way to cool down in the recent heat-wave than with a pool evening? Not the water-filled kind however – Crofton hosted an American Pool evening at 1920 Bar in Clerkenwell on Thursday 26 July, and were joined by over 50 guests. Pictures are up on Facebook, can you spot the pool sharks?

Against all the odds, the sun was shining during the annual Crofton staff BBQ, which took place at the end of June. Staff and their families descended to the Hadlow office for food, fun and football.


staff news

client focus

We’re delighted to welcome a number of new staff members to the Crofton team. Tim Eley joins the Kent office as Senior Structural Engineer, bringing particular experience in historic building renovations following a stint at the Morton Partnership. You can contact him at timeley@crofton-design.com or 01732 850440.

Oscar Esparza joins the London office as Senior Mechanical Engineer, along with Alan Street, who joins as Senior Electrical Engineer. Margaret Cwikla undertakes the Marketing & Administration Assistant position, and is also based in the London office. All can be contacted on 020 7403 6879.

We would like to extend a big thank you to our undergraduate placement students – Alexander Harris (Nottingham Trent), Max Robertson (Bath) and Chloe Knight (Bournemouth), who have returned to their respective universities to complete their final year of study. We wish you all the best for the future.

The Kent and London offices have played host to a number of Year 10 work experience placement students, from schools including Buller’s Wood, Skinner’s School and Weald of Kent Grammar School throughout the summer.

Steven Hale has joined the committee of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Property & Construction Group.


© Allford Hall Monaghan Morris Architects

The Barbican Centre, London

In 2009 the Barbican Estate took the decision to relocate the existing Cinemas 2 & 3 from its present location to a new location within Exhibition Hall One. This decision by the board to relocate the existing cinema arose from the need by residents to eliminate significant structure-borne noise, which was causing noise and vibration issues with the dwellings on the upper levels of Frobisher Crescent.

Crofton Design was appointed along with other specialist members of the design team to design a new cinema which addressed the residents’ issues, whilst ensuring that the new cinema remained the UK’s premier Arts Venue. We have undertaken abridged design duties for the mechanical, electrical and public health services; while our appointment prior to planning submission ensured that the scheme requirements met the satisfaction of the planners, client and local residents.

Noise reduction, along with building fabric improvements was a key issue for the client, which resulted in careful planning and design of the building services installations and energy efficient measures. In addition, the reuse of the Barbican estate and Exhibition Hall district heating, cooling & electrical systems ensured the building retained its low energy infrastructure and its historic link to the Barbican Estate. 




Q: How can you avoid nuisance circuit tripping supplying IT equipment?

A: Most nuisance tripping of circuits supplying 13A socket outlets is either due to overload or a faulty piece of equipment. However, with IT equipment the most likely cause is earth leakage.

In theory, on pure load you can connect up to 15 computers on a 32A ring circuit based on load. However, when you then consider the effect of earth leakage, this reduces to a maximum of 8 computers on the circuit.

How often do we see four-way extension leads plugged in to 13A socket outlets that allow more than 8 computers to be connected to circuits? The use of four-way extension leads can also cause other issues in relation to overloading the extension lead and creating a potential fire risk. Hands up how many people have that ‘spaghetti junction’ of cables plugged into an extension lead under their desk?!

You also typically find that other items of electrical equipment plugged into circuits supplying IT equipment, such as electric heaters and kettles, can also cause overload tripping issues.   These pieces of equipment are typically rated at 3kW (12A), therefore two electric heaters plugged into a circuit already having 8 computers connected to it will cause that circuit to trip.

Another important factor is to ensure all portable appliances (anything that can be plugged into a 13A socket outlet) are PAT tested every year to ensure they are electrically safe to use.

Generally, to avoid nuisance tripping you need to ensure that the circuit does not have too many computers connected and that other electrical equipment connected to the circuit is kept to a minimum.

Chris Darby, Associate and Electrical Engineer is based in the Kent office. To contact him call 01732 850440 or email chrisdarby@crofton-design.com


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