Ten years before it became widely recognised, Nick tackled the Consumers’ Association and the Association of British Insurers about cracking in Victorian terraces which were commonly ascribed to subsidence but was, in fact, horizontal thermal expansion. Repair with Polyfilla and paint rather than underpinning was the appropriate remedy.
Our experience is both in new building, where we avoid undue conservatism, and in the appraisal of existing buildings, particularly the way they react to thermal and soil movements and the idiosyncrasies of timber and old brickwork. We strive in our engineering analysis to model behaviour accurately, allowing the commitment to reduce material wastage to have a real effect, and understand why it is actually very difficult to make buildings fall down (think Leaning Tower of Pisa!).
Ecos Maclean undertakes hundreds of assessments of private houses each year and draws up recommendations for energy-efficient and sustainable refurbishments. Sustainable design is increasingly important to achieve planning and a thorough and objective assessment is often wins the argument. Most of our work is in London and the South but we have been asked by clients to deal with projects across the UK, a Michaelangelo reproduction in Italy and a derelict church in deepest Russia.