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Crosfields School wins Building Project of the Year under £10m in the Constructing Excellence SECBE Awards 2022 & Education Project of the Year Offsite Award 2022

One of CBG Consultants’ projects,  Crosfields School  which was showcased earlier this year in Architect’s Journal, has won the Building Project of the Year under £10m in the Constructing Excellence SECBE Awards 2022  and Education Project of the Year at the Offsite Awards 2022.

A private co-educational school in the heart of Reading, Crosfields uses a two-storey curved structure, which protects trees on the site, creates solar shading, and utilises cross-laminated timber to substantially reduce embodied carbon.

CBG Consultants were engaged to design an energy-efficient Senior School Building, that includes a Café, Performance Space, Teaching classrooms, Library, Welfare Hub, and Academic resources.

 

Two girls walk in a school hall made of cross laminated timber Cross laminated timber

 

In collaboration with David Miller Architects, CBG provided the M&E, Lighting, Building physics, BIM aspects and RIBA Stage 4C Design Information. Sustainable solutions included a brise soleil façade to help reduce overheating during the summer months and 47m² of photovoltaic panes on the roof to generate electricity.

Rob Wilson, “David Miller Architects designs composite timber school in Reading” Architect’s Journal, 11th May 2022, https://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/buildings/david-miller-architects-designs-composite-timber-school-in-reading .

Crosfields is also shortlisted for a Structural Timber Award 2022 .

To hear more from Rob Butt about the project click on the audio files below

Photo credit: Tim Crocker

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Celebrating International Women in Engineering Day! #INWED 2022

In March 2022, the Women’s Engineering Society reported that women make up just 16.5% of all engineers.

Whilst a massive increase from the 10.5% recorded in 2010, there is still room for improvement. As an IIP company, we are  keen to diversify our workforce, and ensure more women are represented in engineering roles.

Studies have shown that men tend to over-estimate their abilities, while women tend to be more risk-averse, often under-estimating their abilities. This is a key factor to consider when looking at the career profiles of males versus females in typically male-dominated fields. It suggests that a good mix of the two approaches – confidence and caution – are critical to ensuring that projects are carried out safely and effectively.

One of our Electrical Engineers went from a Graduate to a Senior in just over five years. In a predominately male industry, this is particularly impressive for a female engineer.

This particular engineer has always found the logical side of the industry appealing, following in the footsteps of her father. However, the creative side of things also appealed, which led to her narrowing down her focus to Lighting as she progressed.

“More men than women seem to be interested in engineering,” she says, “and I think women in general are more focused on the creative side of things. Perhaps they miss the fact that there is creativity involved in engineering too.”

When asked what kind of advice she would give to a woman wishing to enter the field but feeling apprehensive to do so, our engineer said “just try not to feel different. It will take time, but just quietly prove yourself, over weeks and months. It will happen.”

In the mean time, any women seeking to join CBG Consultants in any Engineering role can expect personalized mentorship from Senior Engineers and a range of company activities and rewards. We actively encourage more women to apply by offering various benefits, and maintaining our IIP Silver status.

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Images: Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash

 

Brunel University’s Quad North Building Nears Completion

The re-vamp of Brunel University’s Quad North building is finally nearing completion.

At its inception, the campus was intended to be a leader in technological education, championing innovation and advancement. Over the years, it has expanded to facilitate the learning of over 12,000 students.

The Quad North building is one of the original campus buildings, built in the 1970s and the proposed home of the university’s dedicated medical school. Laboratories, research facilities, and engineering workshops grace its halls. But the building needed modernisation to accommodate several new departments.

As other parts of the building needed to remain in use, we implemented a bespoke phased approach. We undertook stock surveys of the site, examined the re-wiring and re-modelling, and assisted with the creation of new laboratories, teaching spaces and anatomy suite. We added solar panels for energy efficiency, and eradicated an existing asbestos risk.

We have been involved with the Brunel University Quad North project since 2019, and now that it is finally nearing completion, we are proud to have played a hand in the education of the UK’s future medical professionals.

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Connection Over Food Is Important for Your Team

Cold beer on a warm day, and the promise of poignantly finite weekend is one of life’s most bittersweet pleasures.

Once every few weeks, our teams have Friday afternoon off to sample the culinary delights of different venues around Oxford. Last week, some of our mechanical engineers – and one of our Directors – enjoyed a sumptuous vegetarian and vegan feast at The Punter Pub Oxford.

Revamped as a plant-based menu in late 2019/early 2020, The Punter now caters to the growing number of people in Oxford seeking to adopt this lifestyle.

From a menu stacked with eye-wateringly delicious, locally-sourced options, the team enjoyed a healthy, sustainability-friendly lunch, while taking in the psychedelic artwork on the walls of the pub.

As an Investors in People (Silver) company, CBG Consultants place value on the importance of social connection between team members and managers, both in the office and out. Creating space for teams and managers to decompress and engage with each other outside of the office is key to overall happiness and health. Connecting over food has long been known to create a space share more free-thinking ideas.

Credit: Eva Christodoulou, “(99+) How can managers build stronger relationships with team members? | LinkedIn” 19th June 2021.

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Celebrating CBG Consultants’ 10th Year at OCPN

We hosted the Oxfordshire Construction Professionals’ Networking event as part of our 10th anniversary celebrations.

The monthly events all take place at venues in central Oxford, and offer the perfect chance for industry professionals to catch up, or even meet each other for the first time – always useful when you have previously only communicated by email! The events are free to attend, and there are no heavy sales pitches or long presentations.

Two men smile at the camera, one holds an envelope.

The Handle Bar Oxford provided a relaxed and quirky venue for industry professionals to catch up over a glass of wine. With gravlax whirls and beetroot falafels in hand, guests mingled and discussed the latest news in their sectors.

The prize winners were Rob Goacher, of Jessop & Cook Architects, and Josh Chana of Faithful & Gould.

If you are a construction industry professional, and haven’t attended an OCPN event, find out more here, and keep up with the news and views of your associates.

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