News Archive

UK First Factory 2050 Secures Regional Awards

28 July 2016

UK First Factory 2050 Secures Regional Awards

RPS helps Interserve Construction to regional awards and national finals for Factory 2050.

Award winners: RPS Technical Director Andy Briggs is second from right.

RPS is proud to be part of the project team, celebrating with Interserve Construction, after their Factory 2050 project picked up two awards at this year’s Constructing Excellence in Yorkshire and Humber awards.

RPS was part of the project team, appointed as Technical Advisor by the University of Sheffield, to provide the mechanical and electrical engineering services for this state-of-the-art facility constructed by Interserve. The facility picked up the prestigious ‘Project of the Year – Building’ award and went on to receive a Highly Commended Health and Safety award too. As winner of Project of the Year, the development secures an automatic entry into 2016’s Constructing Excellence national finals taking place in November.

“We are really pleased that Factory 2050 has received this well-deserved recognition” says Andy Briggs, Technical Director at RPS. “The end result is testament to the entire project team’s focus and commitment to provide a truly innovative facility that met the client’s brief today and in the years to come”.

About Factory 2050

Factory 2050, based on Sheffield Business Park, is the UK’s first fully reconfigurable assembly and component manufacturing facility for collaborative research, capable of rapidly switching production between different high value components and one-off parts. Engineers based in RPS’ Leeds office provided a number of key services to the project including M&E, sustainability and site wide infrastructure advice.

Andy Briggs explains: “Flexibility of such a cutting edge facility was of prime importance to the end user. The technologies and techniques which they utilise are ever changing, and to provide a truly future proofed facility, still fit for purpose in 2050, required innovation in building services provision and distribution. The application of significant renewables (GSHP), located in an external energy centre, extensive internal floor duct distribution systems combined with high level modular services, low energy displacement ventilation and highly controlled LED lighting combined to create a low energy, closely controlled environment, suitable for the client’s ongoing needs”.

Skibbereen Flood Relief Project Underway

22 July 2016

Skibbereen Flood Relief Project Underway

The contract for Skibbereen Flood Relief Project was recently signed in June by Cork County Council. This project when completed will ensure that priority areas in the town will be protected from the severe floods experienced over recent decades.

Roaringwater river near Skibbereen. Image: Hausmann. Reproduced under this Creative Commons Licence.

RPS has a long standing appointment from Cork County Council in relation to a Road, Traffic and Flood Relief Study for the town of Skibbereen, Co. Cork. This study identified the need for major improvements to the town’s road network, sewerage collection and treatment system, surface water drainage and flood risk reduction infrastructure.

RPS, working closely with Cork County Council, has been responsible for the planning, design, environmental assessment and project delivery of all aspects of the Study on a phased basis in line with budgetary constraints. Significant infrastructure provided to date has included the construction of new bypass road, sewerage collection system, surface water drainage network and wastewater treatment plant. The estimated capital expenditure to date is in excess of €40M.

Works will begin this month on the €15.8M contract between Cork County Council and Jons Civil Engineering Ltd. The project includes tidal and fluvial flood prevention work on the River Ilen and on three tributaries flowing through Skibbereen – the Caol, Assolas and Glencurragh. It is designed to provide a 200-year flood prevention, protecting over 300 homes and businesses in Skibbereen and surrounding areas. Skibbereen has suffered considerably from a long history of flooding, most significantly two major events occurred in 2009.

The project, designed by RPS, includes the construction of 2.9km of new flood walls, 4.2km of embankments, as well as new culverts, the replacement of old culverts, new stormwater pumping stations, works at John F Kennedy Bridge and associated drainage works.

RPS is responsible for both the on-site supervision and administration of this contract and has deployed a team of Resident Engineers to supervise the works in Skibbereen which is due to be completed in early 2019.

Brendan Brice and Grellan McGrath, RPS (far left) with Minister for State at the OPW Sean Canney and members of the OPW, Cork County Council, Jons Civil Engineering Ltd at the formal contract signing (Image: Cork County Council)
Surveying Sydney for Largest Urban Renewal Since Olympics

14 July 2016

Surveying Sydney for Largest Urban Renewal Since Olympics

RPS appointed surveyor for Australia’s largest urban renewal project.


RPS has recently been appointed by UrbanGrowth NSW to deliver integrated survey and spatial mapping expertise which will assist in the planning of the Bays Precinct Urban Transformation Program.

RPS survey teams have commenced their field operations which include a detail and contour survey across the 80ha of land in Sydney’s inner west. To meet the project objectives RPS is combining both traditional ground survey techniques with an aerial surveying program purpose flown for the project. These combined methods will provide accurate survey information for all features of the site including building roof geometry.

The survey information generated by RPS will be a critical input to the planning of Sydney’s largest urban renewal project since the Sydney Olympics.

The Bays Precinct Urban Transformation Program seeks to establish the Bays Precinct as an iconic destination that sets a new benchmark for what is possible in urban regeneration, positioning Sydney as a truly global city. The formal program area consists of the precincts of Blackwattle Bay, Rozelle Bay, Rozelle Rail Yards, and White Bay Power Station.

RPS is excited to be an integral part of what has been described by Premier Mike Baird as “possibly the most exciting and ambitious urban transformation and city building opportunity in the world today.”

RPS has a long term working relationship with UrbanGrowth NSW through engagements on projects including the Parramatta North Urban Transformation Program, The Ponds, Vantage, Riverstone Scheduled Lands and the Central to Eveleigh Transformation and Transport Program.

RPS Appointed for GWR’s Exeter Depot Expansion

05 July 2016

RPS Appointed for GWR’s Exeter Depot Expansion

The Great Western Railway network in the South West of England is currently undergoing the greatest investment since it was originally built over 150 years ago.


The modernisation programme will see the electrification of much of the Great Western network, and the delivery of new fleet of Intercity Express Programme trains; enabling train operator GWR to deliver more seats, more frequent journeys and reduced journey times.

RPS has been appointed by Great Western Railway (GWR) to develop preliminary designs for a major expansion of its depot at Exeter. The scheme, subject to funding, will provide state-of-the-art facilities to allow planned and corrective maintenance, together with increased capacity for overnight train refuelling, cleaning and stabling. The potential development of the depot will also provide accommodation for GWR’s local train operations team, train drivers and train crew.

The maintenance depot is on a prominent site adjacent to Exeter St David’s Station. Design of the new building will need to be carefully considered to reflect the site context and the proximity of the new building to the Isambard Kingdom Brunel designed station. It is hoped that the relocation of existing train operations accommodation will help to facilitate future enhancements to the station and adjacent public areas.

With the existing train maintenance depot crucial to the ongoing delivery of GWR rail services a key aspect of the design will therefore be the development of a detailed, phased, strategy allowing existing depot operations to continue until the new facility is complete. RPS will work closely with GWR’s depot operations team to ensure that the proposed phasing is optimised and any required temporary arrangements are fully identified.

A Great Western Railway high-speed train passes along the Dawlish coastline near Exeter. Wikimedia Commons: Phil Wakely - The perils of the late afternoon sun! This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

RPS has been appointed initially to develop the design to completion of GRIP Stage 3 in accordance with Network Rail’s Governance for Railway Investment Projects. The GRIP 3 design will be submitted for formal approval by Network Rail before progressing to the next stage of design development, and will be used in seeking the necessary planning approval. The scope of RPS design work includes civil and structural engineering, architecture, building services, permanent-way and signalling. RPS will also provide specialist town & country planning and environmental expertise, as required to support the design development and planning consent processes.

Our appointment to progress this project follows the completion of GRIP 4 design for GWR’s maintenance depot enhancements at Penzance and is the latest project to continue the longstanding record that RPS has as a specialist in the design of train maintenance facilities.