12 September 2023 – Esher, UK: Keltbray, the UK’s leading construction engineering and infrastructure services business today announces the launch of a new service offering in response to the growing need to deliver a more sustainable circular economy-led approach to the safe re-use or extension of life of buildings and infrastructure.
Newly-established Wentworth House Technical Services (WHTS) team, will provide testing and analysis of the integrity of materials in existing steel and concrete structures, overcoming the challenges faced by developers and constructors when presented with incomplete and imperfect structural data to facilitate re-use, caused by modification and information loss over a building’s history.
The comprehensive technical offering includes a complementary range of services to enable structural re-use of a huge range of building types across built environment and infrastructure sectors. Technical services cover:
- Surveys and investigations
- Materials sampling and structural testing
- Design support for these activities
- Monitoring of structures
- Structural strengthening and protection (Extension to service life)
The new division will sit within our existing Wentworth House Partnership specialist business to offer these services as a valuable part of a wider range of engineering design activities. The dedicated team of technical professionals has the ability to produce bespoke solutions to complex problems and solve the specific engineering challenges that have prevented the widespread uptake of building and infrastructure remodelling in the past.
Commenting on the launch, Tim Lohmann, Keltbray’s Director of Strategic Engineering, said: “Our recent experience has revealed a fundamental shift in clients’ treatment of building assets at the traditional ‘end of life’ phase, with an increasing swing towards re-modelling and re-purposing of existing structures, away from the old de-facto model of ‘demolish and rebuild’.
“WHTS represents a step-change in our technical capabilities, enabling our clients to extend the life or re-use of existing buildings and structures, which would otherwise be destined for demolition. These specialist services provide an integrated offering that can deliver an incremental development as the investigations and design develop, an integrated end-to-end transformation, and bespoke technical solutions to structural crisis situations.”
Wentworth House Technical Services: Capability Overview
1. Survey and investigation
These activities are led by the need to inform – the purpose of the investigation is to increase the confidence and knowledge of the existing structural form. All too often investigations are not informed by the early definition of the required information. Our experienced investigation teams work with designers to understand the gaps in the existing information and to develop appropriate and targeted survey works.
Cutting edge scanning and measurement, including drone capability for dimensional surveys.
Intrusive and non-intrusive section investigation and scanning – GPR, rebar scanning, steel section identification.
Intrusive investigation – opening-up and materials sampling, core drilling of structures, cold cutting of metallic elements. Recording of existing connections and details.
2. Materials sampling and structural testing
Materials sampling – extracting properly dimensioned materials sample for laboratory testing and preserving these appropriately until testing. Dust sampling for assessment of cement / chloride / sulphate content of concrete structures.
Structural testing – full and partial testing to determine the behaviour of structures and structural elements. We can test to determine loading at a serviceability level or take an element to failure to inform the behaviour of the remaining structure. We have experience of tests at all scale from single bolt anchors to large scale floor testing with hundreds of tonnes of reaction.
Also capabilities to load test lift beams, balconies & barriers, façade panels, cladding systems.
This team will also provide specialist hydraulic services for pre-loading and load transfer applications such as bridge jacking, stressing of crane grillages, temporary works preloading, flat-jacking / load transfer between old and new structures. In all of these applications we provide full as-built records of loads and movements linked back to calibration records.
Geotechnical testing – we have capability for a range of geotechnical testing from the management of site investigations and reporting through plate bearing tests and pile testing.
3. Design support
Through our Wentworth House engineering practice, we have wide experience of the design works associated with the assessment of existing structures and the testing that goes with them. In addition, we have established design experience in the strengthening of structures using a variety of techniques.
4. Monitoring of structures
We are aware that the world of monitoring is evolving fast with remote and automatic sensing replacing the traditional instrumentation approaches. We use networks of intelligent sensors linked to cloud-based platforms that enable real time review and assessment of the current state of the structure. This ranges from tilt meters on retained facades to embedded sensors measuring concrete maturity. We are working on developing our tools in this arena to ensure that we remain at the leading edge of technology. This includes the development of intelligent reactive structural components to mitigate the effects of environmental change on the performance of support systems.
5. Structural repair and strengthening
We have an established team of specialists who work with the leading materials suppliers to provide innovative design led solutions to damaged or deficient structures. This can include external or internal strengthening with fibre reinforced polymers (FRP) or metallic materials along with associated enhancement to durability. We have a strong history of completing complex strengthening tasks in awkward and critical environments.
Philip Pashley, Group Proposals and Communications Director
Tel: 020 7643 1000
Email: [email protected]
Notes for Editors
Keltbray is a leading UK specialist construction engineering and infrastructure solutions business, offering a uniquely integrated delivery capability spanning key phases of the client value chain – design management, civil engineering, geotechnical, construction waste management, demolition and decommissioning, piling and reinforced concrete structures, remediation, rail infrastructure, power distribution, transmission and substations, and renewable energy services.
The company was founded in 1976 and is privately owned, directly employs over 2,000 people, and is a key delivery partner to prestigious public and private sector customers, contributing to the development and maintenance of Britain’s rapidly changing economic and social infrastructure.
Keltbray provides certainty of delivery to meet the exacting needs of diverse and complex projects in complex, safety-critical markets. Its professionally accredited teams take pride in delivering safely and sustainably to specification, on time, to budget, and with care for the environment and our communities.