Date: 19th February 2018

Curtins receive official BIM Level 2 Verification certificate

We are thrilled to announce that Lee Barnett from our Leeds office picked up Curtins’ official BIM Level 2 Verification certificate from BSI last week!

Curtins’ BIM Journey

Our position at the forefront of BIM is not an unusual place for Curtins, given our extensive history of technology investment.

The company was one of the first engineering practices in the UK to recognise the benefits and efficiencies in the 1980s of AutoCAD, which led to our early investment in technology and our people. We as a company, as well as our clients and our people, have all benefited from this early adoption.

We identified early that BIM would be more than just an evolution in drawing technology and we were one of the first investors in the new Autodesk Revit Structure software upon its first release in 2005.

We now have a talented and multi skilled workforce empowered with a multitude of BIM authoring software and we extensively use Autodesk Revit and AutoCAD 3D Civils as our engineering BIM tools.

Curtins remain at the forefront of the engineering application and use of BIM within the built environment. Find out more about Curtins and BIM here

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Curtins Host Inspiring Women’s Day for School Girls across Merseyside

Date: 28th November 2019

Curtins Host Inspiring Women’s Day for School Girls across Merseyside

Yesterday Curtins brought together 100 schoolgirls, from eight Merseyside schools, to hear seven women share their experiences working in male-dominated environments.

With contributions from Everton FC, EY, Brabners LLP and Curtins, the key messages were clear: You have choices, you have opportunities and you are enough.

Each company involved has an impressive track record of contributing to events in their communities that empower young women and promote social values. Collaborating on this event was something that resonated with the values of each organisation.

Commonwealth boxing champion, radio DJ and #PavetheWay founder Stacey Copeland hosted the event. She shared her experience of growing up in a sporting world when the female competition was illegal. Stacey’s passion and drive shine through in abundance, and she now tours the country delivering talks at schools to ensure attitudes to gender balance continue to change for the better.

Curtins Structural Engineer Niamh McCloskey spoke of her journey to engineering as a career choice, and the barriers she faced along the way. Niamh shared her view on the importance of role models; both looking for them, and the responsibility of being one.

Our speakers from Everton FC were Alison Haynes and Rachael Lomax. Alison is the Director of Tax at the football club and has had a long, varied and successful career in accountancy and taxation. She recalled several decades’ experience of encountering glass ceilings and the impact that had. She reminded the girls in the room how far things have come, highlighting their fortunate position having increased access to choice. Alison implored them not to waste that choice, and to pursue what is right for them.

Rachael gave a poignant speech about her journey to Everton FC where she is now the club’s Access Advisor. Rachael began her career as a Clinical Psychologist before a traumatic event led to her questioning whether that was how she wanted to spend the rest of her life. She went back to basics, worked out what sparked joy and realised she had to pursue her passion for helping people. Rachael spoke fervently about her current role and the impact she has on fans visiting Goodison, giving the students insight into a different side of football.

Michelle Mullany from EY talked about her experience working for a financial consultancy and having no direct role in finance herself. As a Business Development Manager, she encouraged the students to look beyond the obvious business roles and to have the confidence to pursue a job based on the skills they can bring to the role, not only the experience required. Michelle also recapped alternative routes to jobs beyond traditional degree access.

Brabners LLP is a law practice with nearly 100 years of history, but with a firm view on the future. Their contributors to the event were Joanne Radcliffe and Siu Yin Ho. Joanne focused on her experience overcoming challenges and succeeding in business as someone from an underprivileged background. She implored the girls to reject labels and instead create their own narrative and personal brand, suggesting that the skills they are picking up now can be applied to their future careers. Siu shared her journey into law; how she overcame various barriers to embark on a successful career in the legal profession as someone from a BAME background.

The day was one of positivity, encouragement and inspiration where each speaker brought a spark of something new, whilst echoing themes from others.

We hope that each student took something away with them. They may not recognise what resonated for a week, a year or even a decade after, but seeing what could be – through the eyes of some of the finest role models in industry – is a powerful message that Curtins were delighted to be able to deliver through this fantastic event.

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Curtins win “Consultancy” category at the Cardiff Property Awards

Date: 18th November 2019

Curtins win “Consultancy” category at the Cardiff Property Awards

Curtins were delighted to be awarded the title of “Consultancy” at the inaugural Cardiff Property Awards.

Key members of the Cardiff team attended the packed-out event and accepted the award on behalf of the Cardiff Office.

The category was aimed at consultants in the Cardiff area who play a key role in the property sector’s engineering, construction, environmental impact, planning and regulations. Curtins have been established in Cardiff for over 30 years and during that time have consistently delivered on high-end projects as well as smaller, attention to detail projects. The Cardiff office has seen extensive growth in recent years in line with increasing demand and is proud to be part of some ground-breaking projects. Curtins valued that this progression was noted by the judges.

On winning the award, Dean Saxton, Associate said “Amazing result for the Cardiff Team. It’s fantastic that our hard work has been acknowledged in this way”

The judges at the Cardiff Property Awards said “Curtins’ wealth of experience creates bold futures for many businesses, whilst succeeding with its own. Enhanced turnover, increasing work and fast-growing staff cements it as a progressive consultant.”

Congratulations and well done team!

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Curtins achieves Cyber Essentials Plus Accreditation

Date: 30th October 2019

Curtins achieves Cyber Essentials Plus Accreditation

As part of our ongoing commitment to Information Security, Curtins has gained Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation.

The Cyber Essentials standard was set up by the Government to assess how UK companies secure data and sensitive information. Plus accreditation on the scheme is awarded to companies who can demonstrate strong cybersecurity procedures and policies, backed up by the testing of equipment and servers against online attacks.

David Price, Head of IT at Curtins, says:

“Upon joining Curtins it was clear that cybersecurity – and security in general – is very much at the forefront. We have strong Information Security Management Systems, backed up with several layers of defence with a higher than average employee understanding of the threats we all face daily.

“We see increasing numbers of clients and frameworks requesting such certification, so achieving the Plus standard is a further acknowledgement of the work we do to protect our systems, data and our clients.”

 

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Happy 30th birthday Bristol!

Date: 24th September 2019

Happy 30th birthday Bristol!

We’ve had an office in the heart of Bristol for 30 years this year. Last Wednesday, we threw a boat party to celebrate!

The anniversary bash was held aboard the MV Balmoral, moored outside our office on Hotwell Road. Around 130 guests from across the region joined us for live music, drinks and of course, a slice of birthday cake!

Stephen Beggs, technical director of the Bristol office said, “Curtins Bristol has come a long way in 30 years. We began in the city restoring non-traditional housing and although this has been a thread running through our history, our projects have certainly become larger and more complex.

“At present, we’re working on some exciting schemes including the £100m regeneration of Swansea Central, and we’ve just completed the new 26-storey student accommodation Zenith building in Cardiff.”

He added: “What hasn’t changed, however, is our loyal clients, some of whom we have had the privilege of working with for three decades. I think the large number of guests who joined us for the evening is testament to the thriving construction industry present in Bristol and the local region.”

A member of the National Historic Fleet, The Balmoral has sailed to almost every port and harbour in the United Kingdom that can take her and has carried more than two million passengers is around the coastlines of the UK and Ireland.  Above all, she is known throughout the Bristol Channel and in the city.

Talking at the event onboard the vessel, Stephen said, “We’re grateful to the Balmoral team for enabling us to hold our anniversary celebrations on board, and also for the volunteers who so enthusiastically helped get her shipshape and Bristol fashion for the evening.”

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Curtins’ digital innovation recognised at Insider Yorkshire Property Industry Awards 2019

Date: 23rd September 2019

Curtins’ digital innovation recognised at Insider Yorkshire Property Industry Awards 2019

We were thrilled to take home the ‘Best use of Tech in Property Award’ at the Insider Yorkshire Property Industry Awards 2019 on Thursday evening.

The award acknowledges companies that are embracing new technologies, innovating. looking to the future and considering how they can improve the industry.

The award was in recognition of our work on Leeds Skelton Lake Services – a ‘new concept’ Motorway Service Area combining world-class design and facilities.

Curtins Associate, Andy Saville, says: “The project includes a roof of curved ribbons, which would have been very difficult to develop in a two-dimensional environment as no two cross-sections through the roof structure were the same.

“The BIM processes on this project allowed the design development to be undertaken entirely within a virtual environment, reducing the risk of human error.

“Congratulations to everyone involved in the project. We are all looking forward to the grand opening in January.”

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Kendal office hosts welcome party

Date: 18th September 2019

Kendal office hosts welcome party

Our colleagues in Kendal celebrated the new office premises at K-Village with clients, friends and colleagues from across Cumbria and Lancashire on 11th September.

After four decades in converted office spaces in Kendal’s town centre, we moved into the contemporary and fit-for-purpose office space at K-Village in July.

Our Kendal team greeted guests on the riverside terrace to enjoy drinks, nibbles and music by a Lancaster-based saxophone and piano duo.

Other local Kendal businesses played their part too. Catering and glassware were supplied by Cracking Spread and Castle Crockery.

Andy Roberts, director of the office said, “After several decades in a converted terrace house on Lowther Street, I’m delighted that we have now relocated to new and accessible offices suitable for our growing team.

“It was a privilege to celebrate our move with both clients who have been with us for 40 years as well some newer faces with whom we are currently building relationships. A great evening to mark the momentous change for our team.”

Our new Kendal office on Riverside Place features a large meeting room with views over the river, modern workspaces, accessible facilities and car parking.

The office can be contacted on 01539 724 823 or kendal@curtins.com.

 

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Curtins transport planner elected to European Council committee

Date: 13th September 2019

Curtins transport planner elected to European Council committee

Dublin-based Senior Transport Planner Rachel Ivers has been voted onto the Executive Committee of The European Council of Spatial Planners – Conseil Européen des Urbanistes (ECTP-CEU), representing the whole of Ireland.

Rachel will serve a two-year term on the Executive Committee, having been nominated by the outgoing representative and the Irish Planning Institute (IPI). The current Executive Committee comprises representatives for Ireland, Spain, Belgium, Germany, Serbia and the UK.

Rachel has been involved in the ECTP-CEU since 2011 and was on the very first Irish Young Planners workshop.

Tony Dolan, Curtins Executive for Transport planning says: “Progressing through the ranks up to the Executive Committee is a fantastic achievement. We are delighted to have such experience leading the Transport Planning specialism in Dublin.”

Chief Executive at Curtins, Rob Melling adds: “We are all very proud of Rachel’s achievement, and we will support her through the duration of her two-year term. Congratulations, Rachel!”

What is the ECTP-CEU?

The ECTP-CEU brings together 28 professional spatial planning associations and institutes from 24 European countries as well as corresponding members. It is an umbrella association providing members with a common framework to promote the visibility of planning and urban development  in Europe.

The ECTP-CEU also sets standards of education and conduct for the planning profession, engages with local, national and European governments and celebrates examples of good planning throughout Europe.

What’s next?

Rachel is attending the European Biennial of Towns and Town Planners in Plymouth on the 11th to 13th September, which coincides with her first General Assembly meeting on Friday 13th September. The event is organised in partnership with the Royal Town Planning Institute RTPI.

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Carl Peers joins our transport planning team

Date: 11th September 2019

Carl Peers joins our transport planning team

We are pleased to announce a key transport planning appointment in our Manchester office.

We welcome Carl Peers as the newest member of our transport planning team with over 15 years’ experience working with the private and public sectors.

Formerly at SYSTRA (JMP Consultants), Carl brings specialist knowledge and expertise in transport and development planning. He is conversant with guidance and policy and will be able to provide advice on a range of highways and transport matters that deliver cost-effective and realistic development schemes for our clients.

Carl’s experience compliments our sector specialisms, with a broad range of land uses including residential, commercial, retail and education and mixed-use developments. As part of our comprehensive service, Carl will provide advice at all stages of planning from initial feasibility to planning submission and the discharge of planning conditions. In addition, his specialist experience of urban regeneration schemes in town and city centres will be instrumental on larger masterplan schemes.

For more information on our transport planning services, please click here.

We’re pleased that the appointment will see Carl playing a key role in our Manchester office, where he will work closely with our regional heads including Alex Vogt in the North, Shazad Khan in Yorkshire and the North East, Matt Price in the Midlands and Steven Farthing in the South.

Alex Vogt, our head of transport planning north says, “I am delighted that Carl has joined us in this leading role. His skills and breadth of experience will add to our existing transport planning offer in Manchester and enable us to further service our existing and new clients with senior level input at all stages of a project.”

Tony Dolan, executive director for transport planning, added, “The appointment of Carl will enable us to build upon our established transport planning offer, alongside the full range of Curtins pre-planning services, including our civil & structural, infrastructure and geo-environmental specialisms”.

Carl Peers commented, “It’s an exciting time to have joined Curtins’ transport planning team in Manchester. Curtins has an excellent reputation having successfully delivered a large number of high-profile schemes in the Manchester region. I look forward to assisting with the growth aspirations of the business across the North West.”

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Curtins staff begin Mental Health First Aid training

Date: 10th September 2019

Curtins staff begin Mental Health First Aid training

Suicide prevention remains a universal challenge for individuals and businesses alike, and today we mark World Suicide Prevention Day. Tomorrow sees us embark on the first of our two-day Mental Health First Aid training for members of our team who have volunteered as champions.

Fighting the stigma
The first aid training is designed to tackle the stigma of mental health and provide trained staff who can offer support to any employee or person experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress.

Through vital training and support networks such as Mental Health First Aiders, we will be building on our wider activity to address the stigma of mental health in the workplace and support those at risk of suicide or self-harm.

Course curriculum
The Mental Health First Aid training will teach our champions to:

  • Spot the early signs and symptoms of mental ill-health
  • Start a supportive conversation with a colleague who may be experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress
  • Listen to the person non-judgementally
  • Assess the risk of suicide or self-harm
  • Encourage the person to access appropriate self-help strategies, professional or internal support mechanisms
  • Escalate to the appropriate emergency services, if necessary
  • Maintain confidentiality as appropriate
  • Complete critical incident documents as and when necessary
  • Protect themselves while performing their role

This training programme is a key part of our on-going commitment to promoting positive mental health in our workforce, and beyond.