In-house engineers and architects
Seventy percent of the work Spencer Group undertakes is designed in-house across disciplines, with a full complement of civil, structural, M&E, building services and architectural design engineers based at our offices across the globe. Design briefs range from standardised outputs across the Network Rail AfA Programme – achieving cost efficiencies by repeating an adapted design – to the completely bespoke Port of Tyne project, where the UK’s first biomass loading facility was designed in-house.
The Spencer design process
Internal design managers lead the design process, allocating resources, a costed management plan (CMP), a quality plan and nominating the design checking resources (CRE, CEM, IDC), prior to undertaking design works. Following an order from a client, design development begins. This process develops, evaluates and finds the best solution; producing calculation, drawings and specifications for the client. These outputs will feed the design review, verification and then a design is issued for temporary works and delivery. The design team also provide a design hazard log and risk assessment, for the construction health and safety plan.
3D modelling service
Spencer’s design team provide in-house 3D modelling to optimise project planning and coordination, whilst minimising cost. Our 3D design services are a valuable tool for the client when assessing project feasibility and also assist collaborative working. The service also ensures the client’s design aspirations are realised and the client can be certain of this prior to entering into contract. The 3D modelling process minimises buildability problems – on the Drax Project, Spencer’s 3D modelling teams undertook structural design detailing, modelling of mechanical systems and materials bulk storage analysis. Using 3D modelling software (inc. SolidWorks) the structural designs enabled Spencer to produce the required deliverables (e.g fabrication drawings) in a controlled and structured manner. Similarly on the Paisley Gilmour Street Station Roof project, Spencer produced a concept design, to enable the completed works to be visualised. This enhanced communication between the design and delivery disciplines in Spencer and with our client.
Cost control and integrated design
Utilising Spencer’s in-house design services on a design and build contract enables the production of the most economically advantageous design. Construction staff can feed into the process, with planners and estimators making the correct design cost allowance at tender stage, through active dialogue. Similarly, quality is enhanced through our direct control over the design resources employed, allowing better governance of the design programme and output quality. This ultimately enhances the delivery programme by producing a design that does not require amendment. On the Network Rail Control Centres programme, our use of internal designers enhances project delivery. Projects of this complexity require the alignment of disciplines at design stage, through IDC, due to the extensive M&E and building services within the new complex. Spencer is able to provide this collaborative function between disciplines in-house, which enables early production of outline and detailed designs, expediting the construction programme.
Specialist services enhance Spencer’s internal capabilities, and maintains an excellent working relationship with leading global design houses, as well as local and independent designers who provide specific and cost-friendly services on specialist work elements.