Latest News

    20th January ICE Webinar: Lunch-and-Learn 3-D Modelling

    16 January 2017

    20th January ICE Webinar: Lunch-and-Learn 3-D Modelling

    RPS’ Dr Grainne McQuaid to host ICE 3-D modelling Photogrammetry webinar with a focus on transport.

    Dr. McQuaid

    On 20th January 2017, Grainne McQuaid will host her own ICE Webinar on 3-D Modelling Using Noncontact Close Range Photogrammetry. You can register your interest by clicking on the 'book now' button from the link below and following the onscreen instructions.

    Methods developed at Ulster University can offer new ways of understanding road surfaces.

    Road surface texture is important at a range of scales. At a mega-scale potholes are a problem to road users and anyone involved in maintenance. Macro-scale relates to the roughness of a road and its ability to disperse water. This is particularly important at higher road speeds and is necessary to ensure safety in wet conditions.

    As a micro-scale, the surface texture of individual aggregate particles is essential to cut through films of water between the tyre blocks and the aggregate to ensure points of contact and reduce the risk of aqua-planning.

    This webinar considers how 3-D models based on non-contact Close Range Photogrammetry methods developed at Ulster University can offer new ways of better understanding these texture related properties. The method offers substantial scope for creating accurate cost effective 3-D models across a variety of texture scales right through to its use even for topographical surveys.

    RPS and Interserve Secure National Award for Factory 2050

    01 December 2016

    RPS and Interserve Secure National Award for Factory 2050


    RPS is extremely proud to be celebrating once again with Interserve Construction, after their Factory 2050 project has been awarded National Constructing Excellence, Project of the Year – Building. This success follows on from winning the Regional award for Yorkshire and Humberside in July.


    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. RPS was part of the project team, appointed as Technical Advisor by the University of Sheffield for this state-of-the-art facility constructed by Interserve. Engineers based in RPS’ Leeds office provided a number of key services to the project including Mechanical & Electrical engineering consultancy, sustainability and site wide infrastructure advice.

    Andy Briggs, Technical Director at RPS, 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”.

    He and the rest of the team are thrilled at this latest award and comments that “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”.


    RPS' Andy Briggs (left), trophy presenter, Mark Strangeway (third from left), Simon Dovener (centre) and Lianne Lawson (all Interserve), Darren Southgate (Bond Bryan) second from right, and Keith Lilley (University of Sheffield) far right.


    Highly Commended for School’s Leading Sustainable Design

    27 October 2016

    Highly Commended for School’s Leading Sustainable Design


    Hampshire’s Park Community School’s ambitious plan for a phased remodelling across the entire school site is one of the largest capital projects in the county. The multi-million pound project recently completed and was Highly Commended in the Sustainable Buildings category of the Hampshire Countryside Awards 2016 run by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE).

    RPS worked closely with Hampshire County Architects to ensure the successful design and delivery of an extensive landscaping programme for the secondary school at the heart of the local community. Effective and positive community engagement was key to the process to ensure that the plans met the requirements and aspirations of the local area

    The complex plan included both hard and soft landscaping areas, attractive social spaces and a dedicated smallholding on locally leased land where fruit and vegetables are grown and small livestock is kept. Over 70 new trees were incorporated in the plan – 20 of which were fruit trees selected for the school’s kitchen garden. Alongside the core curriculum students learn agricultural skills and small animal husbandry with fruit and vegetables grown being used in the school kitchens, and occasionally meat from school livestock. Younger students are taught horticulture on an accredited Royal Horticultural Society lesson plan.

    A strong geometric design serves to define social, play, sports and teaching areas across the grounds without isolating them from the other areas. Strategic areas of ornamental planting softens the hard landscaping and a significant number of trees across the site are retained including wooded areas around the boundary and Hermitage stream which forms part of a wider pedestrian and cycle network along the stream corridor

    The school remained operational throughout the works to deliver the ambitious facility on a substantial brownfield site.

    Sneak Preview of UK’s New Intercity Express Depot

    06 October 2016

    Sneak Preview of UK’s New Intercity Express Depot


    Reservists at Chetwynd Barracks, based in Nottinghamshire, UK, were recently able to enjoy a special early preview of RPS’ newly designed Doncaster Carr depot for Hitachi Rail.


    The Doncaster Carr site in Yorkshire has accommodated a rail depot consistently for over 100 years under various ownerships before Hitachi Rail’s purchase of the site in 2014 to serve its new fleet of 65 Class 800 Series Intercity Express long-distance trains on the East Coast Mainline network. The Class 800 hybrid trains are expected to run from 2018 as part of the UK Department for Transport’s multi-billion-pound Intercity Express Programme. It replaces the previous Intercity 125 high-speed fleet serving the line since the 1970s with a mix of up-to-the-minute electric/diesel and electric only vehicles (Series 800 and 801).

    Due to be officially opened later this year, the new rail maintenance, trainwash and storage depot covers 11,000m² alongside the delivery of a new two-storey office, and a top-end workshop and welfare facility. RPS provided architectural and structural engineering design services for the depot. The depot was constructed by VolkerFitzpatrick and received a British Safety Council International Safety Award last year.

    The Reservists were from 507 Specialist Team Royal Engineers (Railways Infrastructure), a Reserve sub-unit of 170 Engr Gp and the only rail infrastructure specialists in the Armed Forces. Principal Engineer Dale Hack from RPS Newark presented the Reservists with a detailed insight into the complexity of the project and our innovative design solutions before the guided tour.

    Newark currently employs four Reservists and has developed a strong relationship with the Ministry of Defence’s 170 (Infrastructure Support) Engineer Group under the Armed Forces Corporate Covenant recognising the valuable skills serving personnel, regular armed forces personnel and reservists can bring to business whilst accommodating their military obligations.

    UK Prime Minister Approves Hinkley Point C

    15 September 2016

    UK Prime Minister Approves Hinkley Point C

    Theresa May has confirmed government approval for the construction of Hinkley Point C.

    UK Prime Minister Theresa May has today given the go-ahead for the new £18bn nuclear power station in Somerset to be constructed subject to some revised conditions.

    The planned 3260MW plant is the first to be approved in the UK for over 10 years (since 1995). RPS provided planning and environmental advice to NNB Generation Company (a subsidiary of EDF Energy – France’s 85% state-owned leading power generation business) in support of the development.

    RPS provided planning and environmental consultancy on the project across a number of disciplines. RPS was first appointed as planning and waste consultant for the project to prepare, submit and negotiate consent for the Enabling Works Project which permitted significant site preparation works prior to submission of the DCO application to the Planning Inspectorate.

    RPS also provided planning and waste services as part of the preparation of the Development Consent Order (DCO) application. Additionally, they helped to develop the sustainability strategy and the Health Impact Assessment as well as providing support alongside the Environmental Impact Assessment process. RPS also attended and provided client support at the DCO hearings.

    RPS’ involvement covered not only the plant site but also further associated development sites including freight handling locations and the refurbishment of the nearby Combwich Wharf.

    As part of the instruction, a multidisciplinary team of RPS professionals developed detailed sustainability material to support the DCO application. Our role in this was to ensure that the sustainability statement submitted with the application was consistent with the aims of the UK’s National Policy Statement for Nuclear Energy and EDF’s corporate sustainability aspirations, as well as meeting wider stakeholder expectations. We worked closely with all parties to ensure that this was achieved to deliver an effective and sensitively balanced statement.

    Former Energy Secretary Edward Davey granted DCO approval for the plant in 2013 when it made widespread news as the first nuclear power plant to complete the DCO application process under the new Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects regime set out in the Planning Act 2008.

    The new power plant will sit alongside the existing Hinkley Point A and Hinkley Point B plants on the Somerset site which has been operational for 40 years. As a low-carbon power provider, Hinkley Point C will contribute significantly to the UK’s nuclear power programme – delivering around 7% of the UK’s electricity requirements. Through construction and operation phases it is also expected to create more than 25,000 jobs.