Joe Seal


MEng (Hons) CEng MIStructE
Associate Joe Seal is driven by twin passions that could be considered two sides of the same coin — conservation, heritage and refurbishment projects, plus sustainable design and workflow. In 2022 he passed the rigorous selection process to be included in the Conservation Accreditation Register for Engineers (CARE) for civil and structural engineers, based on his in-depth experience in the conservation sector.

“I love the repurposing of old buildings, making sure their legacy lives on in a well respected fashion. I’m fascinated by the stories and history behind them. Some have been rehashed many times over the centuries and every building presents new challenges.”

Joe understands that the way load paths work in heritage buildings is key to resolving their technical performance issues. Among the many engineering challenges he’s faced are accommodating unusual floor levels/layouts, dealing with different materials, designing complicated repairs with detailing appropriate to aesthetic intent, minimising impacts on existing structures and devising appropriate remedial techniques. He enjoys overcoming the obstacles, working out how best to ensure that each structure’s unique ‘spirit of place’ lives on.

Joe co-leads our sustainability design group. He is very interested in the re-use of materials such as steel, masonry and timber, as well as structures. Or, as he puts it, “The industry’s got so many construction materials already made, I want to make it easier for us to use more of them.”

He’s also focused on the workflow associated with sustainable design and overseeing how to improve Whitby Wood’s embodied carbon calculations — and how they feed into and inform our designs and our practice’s development — and how to direct our knowledge sharing more effectively.

Joe’s notable projects include the redevelopment of Bamako Villas in Mali; the modern extension and refurbishment of a Victorian terrace house in a London conservation area, including a Whitby Wood bespoke timber staircase; alterations to a Grade II listed house in Bristol; and the development of two Somerset farms to incorporate a new wetlands and learning centre — using locally sourced materials and timber.

TEL +44 (0)20 7442 2216

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