ByrneLooby attend the Geotechnical Society of Ireland Conference

ByrneLooby attended the recent GSI conference on Geotechnical Engineering for Ground and Surface Water. The conference was held in the Midlands Hotel in Portlaoise, and was attended by 130 industry professionals from engineering consultancies, local authorities, contractors and the OPW. 

The conference covered topics such as flood defence solutions and groundwater modelling, with 13 presentations provided at what was a very worthwhile conference. 

Maurice Ryan presented on the design of the River Dargle Flood Defence Scheme in Bray Co. Wicklow, which has recently been completed with the scheme officially opened earlier this month. 

See the drone footage below which illustrates the completed works, much of which was designed by ByrneLooby.

Sinclair Johnston & Partners

9 storey building in Kensington

Opportunity was taken of last weekend’s fine weather to lift 21 prefabricated modules up on to the top of this existing 9 storey building in Kensington.  The modules were manufactured in Dublin, trucked over to London and lifted into position using a 350 tonne mobile crane.  The modules will combine to form a single luxury penthouse suite with extensive views over the London roofscape.

Kings Chapel Project

Scaffolding has recently been removed to reveal the newly refurbished Kings Chapel. Constructed in 1841, the building lies to the south of the Fulham Road and has a grade II listing.  It is currently undergoing extensive conversion works to allow it to be used as luxury housing; which include underpinning for a new basement, a new side extension, new internal structural framing and conservation of the original historic fabric.  Internal works continue, with the building due for completion in May 2018.

Crossrail – St Patrick’s, Soho

Advising on behalf of St Patrick’s Church, a Grade II* listed Roman Catholic church, Sinclair Johnston inspected the ongoing Crossrail works at Tottenham Court Road Underground station. Having excavated the tunnels, the escalators and services are being implemented which is a complex case for Sinclair, who is ensuring that the Crossrail project minimises disturbance to the historic church.

Basement excavations

We have been busy advising on a series of high-end residential projects that involve basement excavations. These basements are two or even three storeys deep, sometimes extending beyond the building linking adjoining properties together, such as Grosvenor Square (above). Technical Director Ravi Azad is working on a residential project in Hampstead, North London. Having implemented planning for a three-storey basement, the project is nearing construction in a tightly constrained area with three boundary walls. As planning permission for basements becomes more restrictive, our engineers’ reports have become a critical part of the architect’s planning permission. 

Grosvenor Square – Site Visit

Oliver Roworth, one of our project engineers, gave Sinclair and others a guided tour of his project on site at 8 Grosvenor Square in Mayfair. This magnificent eighteenth-century property has been owned by a number of aristocrats, the US Army during WWII and more recently in time became offices for Manufacturers Hanover Bank. The building will now incorporate two adjoining properties to become one of London’s most valuable luxury homes. Structural work has now been completed with the project moving into Phase 2 for fit-out. 

Teambuild Competition Winner

We are very pleased to announce that Eleana Savvidi’s multidisciplinary team of architects, contractors, MEP engineers and assurance engineers won the Judge’s Prize of £1250 at the 27th annual Teambuild Competition Finals! Working together to tackle the design, development and construction process of a real site, Eleana’s team ‘Constellation’ beat seven teams with their proposal for the University of Edinburgh’s Grade A-listed McEwan Hall redevelopment project. Next entry for the competition opens in June 2018. 

Winner of RIBA’s Stephen Lawrence Prize 2017

Our project, The Houseboat, beat five shortlisted schemes to the £5000 award at the RIBA Stirling Prize party held at the Roundhouse in Camden on the 31st October.  We were appointed as Consulting Structural Engineers on this complex project, a nautically themed guesthouse design as two upturned boat hulls leaning together whilst facing out to sea.

The Prize recognises the UK’s best projects built for less than £1 million. Sinclair Johnston attended the evening with the project team; Mole Architects and Rebecca Granger Architects as well as the client, architect and founder of Solidspace Roger Zogolovitch.

Please read more about the award and project here

Recent Seminars

We have recently hosted two very well-received evening seminars. Sara Crofts, Head of Historic Environment at the Heritage Lottery Fund, came by in October to talk about how the HLF supports schemes that improve and conserve the built historic environment for local communities. One of our own projects, St Mary at Quay, received a £3.6m grant from the HLF to become a well-being and cultural heritage centre in Ipswich. 

In November, Dr Frances Sands repeated her popular talk on British Architect Robert Adam to a packed crowd, some of whom are currently working on his buildings in Central London. She is Curator of Drawings and Books at Sir John Soane’s Museum, cataloguing some of the most important architectural drawings of our time for research and public knowledge. 

New Starters

1. Greg McKenna

What is your role with ByrneLooby?
I am a Principal Geotechnical Engineer specialising in slope stability, landslide risk assessment and management, earthworks design and structural geology. I have recently joined the Guildford office geotechnical team.

Tell us about your professional experience: I have over ten years’ experience in design and construction of slopes and embankments in the UK and Australia. I worked for Coffey Geotechnics for the majority of that time and was involved in the design and construction of numerous highway range crossing projects; compiling geotechnical ground models for dams, highways, railways and land reclamation works; and landslide risk assessments and mitigation for road, rail and the state parks service.

Tell us about your hobbies and interests outside of ByrneLooby: I am a rock climber and mountain biker and enjoy the outdoors.

Sport and Social

The Belfast Office - McLaughlin Harvey Charity Golf Classic

The Belfast office had their annual trek around Malone Golf Club at the McLaughlin & Harvey Cancer Research golf day.

The ByrneLooby four ball made up of Danny Glynn/Rowan Lyons/Louise Best and Philip Montgomery, passed the halfway mark level par thanks to some marvellous teamwork. But disaster stuck on the back nine as they dropped shots on the 13th/14th and the rain came, just as they were passing the clubhouse on route to the 15th tee.

Understandably with a carvery awaiting them they would never would set eyes on that 15th tee, great golf, company and food.

Dublin Office Host's Big Breakfast Feast

Manchester Goes Go-Karting

The Galway Great Escape

Happy Birthday Samuel, Dubai

November Competition Winner

Congratulations to Stephen Lanigan from the Dublin office who won last month's competition, thus winning the Grooming Kit

Well done Stephen

The answers for last month's competition is as shown below;

1. In a deck of cards, which is the only King without a moustache?
Answer: King of hearts
2. Which American wrestler is famous for his handlebar moustache? 
Answer: Hulk Hogan
3. Who owns this moustache?
Answer: Ben Stiller (In Dodgeball)

December Competition

This month we're giving away a Christmas Hamper to keep in with the Season worth €30 (£25)!! 

To be in with a chance to win, simply complete the word search puzzle below (PDF version available here

Please email your entries directly to (No cash alternative. Entrants with correct answers will be drawn from a hat. The judge's decision is final.) 

Good luck everyone!