July 23, 2020

Old Palace Lodge Hotel, Dunstable: Repair and restraint of the old clunch wall

Our Technical Director Matt Groves has recently published an article about Old Palace Lodge Hotel in Dunstable repair and restraint of the old clunch wall in Listed Heritage magazine July/August issue.

The Old Palace Lodge Hotel was creating a Tudor garden landscaping scheme in the area of ground formerly occupied by ‘The Norman King’ public house. The Norman King was opened in the
1960s and comprised a thatched roof over predominantly brickwork walls. One wall of the building on the street facing elevation, however, incorporated a panel of much older, clunch stone masonry.

Clunch stone is another name for chalk when used in construction and is normally softer and more friable than other building stones. It is susceptible to weathering as it is highly permeable and susceptible to pollution driven acid erosion. Moisture is the principal cause of its deterioration. The clunch found in the wall panel would have come from the nearby Tottenhoe Quarry, part of a chalk seam that extends into Cambridgeshire and is often referred to as Cambridgeshire Clunch.

The site team were unable to find a solution that was acceptable to all parties and AKSWard was commissioned for their conservation knowledge to review the issues and propose a solution that would both be structurally secure and follow good conservation principles.

To read full article please follow the link below:

Matt Groves article for Listed Heritage – Old Palace Lodge Hotel, Dunstable

As seen in Listed Heritage, membership journal of the Listed Property Owners’ Club


June 28, 2020

Selecting the right beam repair

Our Technical Director Matt Groves has published an article about Selecting the right beam repair in Listed Heritage magazine July/August 2018 issue.

This article discusses the importance of understanding structural behaviour when making decisions about repairs. To demonstrate this it will consider variances in the scarf joints utilised in the repair of two different timbers of a 16th-century barn in Bedfordshire: the truss tie  and purlin.

In the first instance, it is important to understand the typical forces that arise in beams.

Beams are typically subject to tension, compression, shear, bending and torsion. Torsion is not relevant to the examples given here and will not be considered further. Tension is well understood and relates to a force that tries to pull an object apart. Compression is the opposite of tension and is again well understood. It refers to forces trying to push opposite ends of an object together.

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March 20, 2020

AKSWard COVID-19 Statement

The COVID-19 coronavirus is dominating the news and will impact all of us personally and professionally. AKSWard Ltd is responding to Government advice and this, as we know, is changing on a daily basis as the virus spreads. It is a great risk to our industry which relies of on collaboration to deliver successful projects.

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July 10, 2019

UK Structural Engineers Declare climate and biodiversity emergency

UK Structural Engineers Declare Climate & Biodiversity Emergency
© Structural Engineers Declare

AKSWard just signed the UK structural engineers declare climate and biodiversity emergency declaration committing to support and participate in the climate change and biodiversity loss initiatives and share our knowledge with the industry.

Following in the footsteps of Architects Declare, we are urging UK structural engineers to sign an open letter to the Government declaring a climate and biodiversity emergency. Supported by BuroHappold and the Happold Foundation, Structural Engineers Declare is an important initiative fully supported by AKSWard.

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March 6, 2019

Graduate Training Conference 2019

We held our 2nd annual Graduate Training Conference at the headquarters of the Institution of Structural Engineers on the 4th of March. The day led by our Managing Director Gary Allen and Graduate Training group chair Colin Seabrook included presentations, workshops and networking opportunities.

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May 9, 2018

Swan School PR Mention

One of our latest projects was reported on in the Oxford Mail recently. Swan School is being delivered by CORDE, a partnership organisation comprised of adp architects, K J Tait mechanical and electrical engineers, and ourselves.

Read more about this project as authored by the Oxford Mail  here.

April 20, 2018

Graduate Conference 2018

This year’s AKSWard Graduate Conference took place on 17th April at the Institution of Structural Engineers headquarters, London. It was a  great opportunity to share knowledge, experience and enthusiasm, helping our graduates towards membership of their respective institutions; IStructE, ICE, and RICS.

Presentations  from a number of staff were made on a whole range of subjects sharing the wealth of knowledge and experience we have across the company.

February 28, 2018

Introducing AKSWard’s Operations Board

Following re-organisation we have established an Operations Board to lead our technical teams, working together to share our broad range of knowledge and good practice across all five offices.

Pictured L to R: Graham Taylor, Head of Civil Engineering (Oxford)  |  Colin Seabrook, Head of Conservation (Hitchin)  |  Charles Soothill (Oxford)  |  Matt Walker, Head of Building Surveying (London)  |  John Dunford (Southampton)  |  Steve Gibbs (London)  | Paul Morgan, Lead for Corde (Birmingham)