He leads engineering design teams — putting sustainability at the heart of the work — and is proactive in supporting clients in the maximum possible retention of existing building fabric, and the adoption of circular economy principles. Currently, he leads a team specialising in refurbishment and use/reuse of sustainable building products.
Key to his track record in the delivery of complex retrofit projects is his deep understanding of structural systems and building fabric, old and new. Many projects have been for London estate clients, such as Grosvenor, Derwent and Howard de Walden, and located in conservation areas and/or involved heritage-listed buildings. Working on such constrained sites has also led to experience coordinating with organisations such as Network Rail, London Underground and utility infrastructure companies.
Robert enjoys the realisation of tangible solutions to structural challenges. He works with many different materials, including mass timber and exposed concrete, and has done pioneering work on the reuse of steel. In working with existing buildings he is often looking to integrate lower-carbon materials and work effectively with what’s already there. He is leading a research project on Optoppen, working with European partners to promote the upward extension in timber of existing buildings.
He has led the design teams for several complex refurbishment projects, including Grosvenor’s award-winning Holbein Gardens — the redevelopment of a 1980s building as a net-zero retrofit exemplar, near Sloane Square (arch: Barr Gazetas, eng: Heyne Tillett Steel). Also for Grosvenor, he worked on Ice Factory (refurbishment, Belgravia) and Newsons Yard (new-build, Pimlico).
Other projects include the structural lead for Derwent London’s Featherstone Building near Old Street and several Premier Inn hotels, including the London Shoreditch Hub, with complex Network Rail interfaces and full facade retention.
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