New clients can look to Hugh Morrison Associates to be involved in projects at every stage – concept, outline and detailed design, construction, operation and demolition – through their ability to provide appropriate solutions.
Good, imaginative structural engineering will deliver a project that works well at all stages of its life; importantly, the final structure will do what it was intended to do.
Repeat clients are key to our business; enabling us to develop an understanding, avoid oversights, voice concerns and build a mutual trust. Of course, if our clients are coming back to us, we must be providing the right service in the first place!
How we work:
At the begining…
We discuss and define our role in the project with the client. All endeavours are made to avoid future misunderstandings about the scope of our services.
A clear and brief fee proposal is issued. Exclusions are clearly stated. The client is not issued with a large contract document. We generally work to the ACE (Association of Consulting Engineers) forms of contract.
If potential trouble spots are found (structure deeper than the architect assumed in their planning drawings or structure needed which has not been considered for instance) we aim to communicate this to the client. We always advocate our early (if only minimal) involvement from an early stage to avoid oversight in the architectural design.
In the middle…
We avoid highly detailed design until sketches are issued which show the principle structures and how these influence the architectural design. Challenges, such as a difficult cantilever, or a complex structure are welcome. However it is important for a client to understand the implications of any ‘grand schemes’, prior to committing valuable resources.
We comment on any visual elements early on – connection details, for example, which are to be expressed. A clear understanding of this and design in sympathy with the architecture is crucial at this point.
Sketches and calculations are only usually processed when the design has developed to a stage where the structure is appreciated by the client and design team. In essence a lot of the design process has taken place by this stage.
In the end…
Involvement in the later stages – detailed construction drawings, site supervision and ‘as built’ drawings will depend on our fee and scope agreement with the client.
We can undertake detailed autoCAD drawings in collaboration with the design team if required. Fee proposals will generally state this separately so that it may be omitted if desired. On occasion our details may be undertaken by the architect for domestic scale projects. We can undertake site visits at the construction stage.
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“We enjoy working with Hugh, he is not daunted by the very necessary changes that are part of an evolving design and is happy to explore possibilities which might improve the design or lead to efficiencies. He is very able to discuss complex three dimensional nodal connections and complete structural frames with equal authority.
We have never had any reason to doubt his integrity in any way and would recommend him without reserve.”