Category Archives: Seminar

The New Telecoms Code – Are You Equipped?

Telecoms code

With the new Telecoms code coming into force this Autumn John Staves gives his opinion on what this new code will mean for site owners.

“I believe that the new Telecoms code will have an adverse effect on transactions; rather than easing the process which is the declared intent of the changes, site owners will be reluctant to agree leases that come under the code and renewals and new site roll out will be delayed as a result. 

Costs will increase as a result of more deals being taken to tribunal and the improved mobile services envisaged will not materialise. 

Just imagine letting a room in your house to one person and finding that you have any number of unknown visitors coming in and out as they please, without any more compensation being payable to you.  You have no power to set the rent or control who visits, whilst your lodger can charge anyone he likes to share the facilities without needing your permission!

Unintended consequences of poorly drafted legislation seem to be the order of the day.”

Last October Thekla Fellas, Fladgate LLP  was our key note speaker at our Telecommunications Seminar at Leicestershire Fire & Rescue Headquarters. Thekla has particular expertise in telecommunications disputes under the Electronic Communications Code.

telecoms code

More recently, in September 2017 John Staves attended Thekla’s seminar; The New Telecommunications Code: are you equipped?

To understand the main changes to the code and how the new procedures  will work click here

As one of the UK’s leading Telecoms Site Management companies, we provide professional, independent advice to Fire and Police Authorities to maximise the value and performance of their property portfolios.

If you want to find out how we can help you, please give us call on: 0118 962 9666.

John Staves Chair IStructE BIM Conference 2017

John Staves

Members of the Institution of Structural Engineers gathered in London last week for the Institution of Structural Engineers 2017 BIM Conference, “Moving towards BIM 2020 – Business as usual”.

BIM conference

Institution of Structural Engineers Headquarters, Bastwick Street, London

Delegates were welcomed by John Staves, Managing Director at Michael Aubrey Partnership. John talked about his passion for BIM and how as an industry we need to embrace these changes if we are going to continue to grow and meet the needs of our clients.

Our first speaker of the day was Dr Anne Kemp, chair of the UK BIM Alliance and Atkins Director responsible for BIM Strategy and Implementation across the UK.

Dr Anne Kemp

Anne talked about the UK BIM Alliance and the 3 “C’s”

  • Co-ordination
  • Co-operation
  • Collaboration

and how BIM supports what we already do – it’s about the management of the data. Together with other industries we need to mix up our ideas. At the moment we are struggling to truly collaborate.

Next up was Sarah Rock, Associate at Gowling. Sarah has written extensively on BIM for various publications including the Construction Manager BIM Handbook and is a well regarded speaker on the legal aspects of BIM.

BIM conference

There is very little case law around BIM, but Sarah highlighted a recent case Trant V Mott Macdonald Ltd (MML) where the question of who should host the common data environment was brought into sharp focus.

A considerable amount of reliance is placed upon the party hosting the data, the BIM Operator.  The BIM Operator should have a continuing obligation to ensure that the data is available to others, to allow them to progress the project.  This obligation should survive suspension and termination of their employment.

To read more about this case and judgement, click here

Sarah Rock

Sarah stressed the need for BIM practitioners to “talk” to the legal profession and to get in touch via the UK BIM Alliance.

Next up was Nigel Stroud, Geometry Information Manager at Heathrow Airport.

BIM conference

Nigel is currently part of a company wide Asset Information team leading Heathrow’s asset information strategy

Nigel talked about the enormous task of collating all the information at Heathrow and attaching this information to each asset.

At Heathrow they have a “Gateway Delivery Process” where Employer requirements won’t allow you to proceed until the next stage until it has been signed off. This ensures that everyone is clear what is required at each stage.

Graeme Forbes from Clearbox was next on stage. Graeme asked the question; are we doing BIM for the right reasons? Simplicity must dominate. As a business what is motivating you to change – is it compliance or are you trying to save time and money or both? Leadership is key and the right  technology to deliver your project is critical.

bim conference

After a quick break for tea and coffee, up next was Martin Simpson, Professor at the University of Liverpool. Martin is passionate about the digital transformation of the built environment and at Liverpool University he has set up a group to support the construction industry in its digital transformation journey “The Centre for the Digital Built Environment”

BIM conference

Martin referred us to a brilliant blog by Marzia Bolpagni

Marzia provides a comprehensive review of the ‘LOD’ term and its many nuances from across the world.

Last up was Emma Hooper, Independent Digital Information Specialistl.

Emma Hooper

Emma talked about her inspiration reading the Latham and Egan reports and how so little has moved forward since then.

A fear of liability has taken over, it’s become a game of blame.

Emma talked about how the procurement models we use are out of date for the new digital age. BIM promotes collaborative and efficient working, yet the way we procure our projects promotes siloed working and individual agenda plagued by inefficiency and a culture of blame.

Integrated project insurance (IPI)

Integrated project insurance (IPI) was one of the new methods of procurement put forward in the 2011 Construction Strategy. Described as an industry disruptor it will change the way we all work from client to subcontractor. One project bank account, one insurance, one team, removing the issues associated with liability and blame which suffocates the industry.

The fact is BIM cannot change the industry alone. IPI complements BIM methodology, and is an example of what is needed to change the industry – Dudley College Advance2, the world’s first IPI project, demonstrates how this can work.


John finished the day by thanking all the presenters and summing up the presentations.

John said “Now that the industry is getting to grips with model authoring, this day has provided a great overview of the commercial concerns and pointed to a range of possible solutions for us all to take away and update our approach to construction projects in a collaborative BIM environment”.

How are you dealing with these BIM challenges in your business?  We’d love to collaborate with you!  Give us a call on 0118 962 9666.

John Staves


BIM Conference 2017 – The Institution of Structural Engineers

BIM conference

We are thrilled to announce that our Managing Director, John Staves will be chairing The Institution of Structural Engineers 2017 BIM Conference.

The conference will focus on the need for practising engineers to adopt BIM more widely and how to collaborate more effectively with architects and builders.

Moving Towards BIM 2020: ‘Business As Usual’

Expert speakers will explore various aspects of BIM including security, safety, legal issues, Level of Detail (LoD) and Level of Information (LoI). The event will also include exciting presentations and case studies delivered from both a client and consultant perspective.

The conference is a fantastic opportunity to network with other engineering professionals, learn more about BIM and extend your CPD. Don’t miss this opportunity to get involved in the 2020 agenda of the UK BIM Alliance.

Date          26 September 2017

Time          09:30 – 17:00

Location    The Institution of Structural Engineers, 47-58 Bastwick Street, London, EC1V 3PS, UK

For more information and details of how to purchase tickets please click here.

Managing Structural Safety – Condition Surveys , Seminar Part Three

Condition Surveys

Our third speaker for the day was John Staves, Managing Director at Michael Aubrey Partnership. John is a Chartered Structural Engineer and has worked in the Telecoms industry for over 30 years.

Specialist Telecoms Knowledge

He could be described as a “poacher turned game keeper” as initially, John’s specialist knowledge was gained through working with the mobile operators – he understands the Telecoms market and it gives Michael Aubrey Partnership a unique stand point when representing the Fire and Police Services – providing them with independent, unbiased advice.

John opened his presentation talking about what the drivers were for structural safety, with reference to BS8210 2012. He talked about how British Standards are moving away from being prescriptive to acting more as a “prompt” to think. Allowing you to set out a framework – more of a risk management approach where you;

  • identify hazards
  • identify who could be at risk
  • eliminate, reduce or control the hazard and
  • train those affected by it

Telecoms Condition Surveys

John shared his experience talking through a recent case study where Michael Aubrey Partnership were asked to undertake detailed condition surveys on 65+ drill towers and ancillary structures across the UK.

Masonry drill tower







Using a traffic light system of categorisation he was able to help the Fire Authorities identify which structures were in urgent need of repair.

  • 13% of drill towers were identified as being “red” and having defects so serious that they required immediate action
  • Over half of drill towers required maintenance within 12 months

Maintenance Schedule

Ordered by priority, a maintenance schedule was generated which allowed the Fire Authorities to plan their maintenance project around this.

Economies of scale were able to be achieved with contractors, as maintenance programs could be carried out in a methodical, planned way.

Importance of Routine Maintenance

John also talked about the importance of regular routine maintenance.

Whilst unexpected deterioration, damage or failures may still occur, with a regular maintenance cycle you will minimise the need for major refurbishment and repairs

Structures deteriorate over time and will continue to deteriorate if regular routine maintenance is not carried out. Minor repairs and preventative maintenance, should minimise future problems and ensure your structures remain in peak condition.

In summary;

  • Adopt a risk based approach
  • Set your maintenance policy in line with the British Standard BS8210: 2012
  • Adopt a tier based approach with regular inspections and reporting by users, annual reporting by your estates department and specialised surveys every 3 years

When was the last time you carried out a detailed inspection of your property portfolio? If you did, would you find your sites in the Red or Green category?

Control of Electromagnetic Fields at Work Regulations 2016 (CEMF) Seminar Part Two

Electromagnetc spectrum

Our second speaker for the day was Brian Collins, BSC Associates. Brian is a specialist in radio frequency (RF), Radiation, RF measurement and the Health and Safety impacts of RF radiation.

On 1 July 2016 the Control of Electromagnetic Fields at Work Regulations 2016 (CEMF) came into force. Brian outlined the regulations’ requirements and their likely impact in the workplace.

Electromagnetic fields at work

Brian described the main areas that have changed are;

  • There is now a requirement for documentation
  • ALL sources of EMF’s are included
  • There is a specific requirement to consider workers at particular risk

The CEMF requires employers to assess and limit the levels of Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) to which their workers are exposed and minimise the risks to workers arising from exposure to EMFs. This does not include long-term effects.

Any assessment should be recorded and where the exposure limits values and/or action values are exceeded, an action plan should be prepared and implemented.

Brian described the typical base station antenna radiation patterns and how you cannot tell how hazardous a situation is, unless you can determine how much power is being fed to the antenna – a visual inspection is not enough.

Base station antenna

Brain described that as an employer you must;

  • Document the potential exposure of your employees
  • Obtain information directly from the radio system operator
  • Insist that operators regularly update their information on potential hazards as Installations for the mobile service are frequently modified
  • Be particularly aware of real danger to employees at special risk

Speaking after Brian’s presentation John Staves said

It is clear from Brian’s presentation that the new Regulations will increase awareness of RF issues and also simplify the ways that property owners can demonstrate compliance”.

How do you think these new regulations will affect you and your business? We’d be interested to hear your thoughts.

Telecommunications Code Seminar, Part One

Telecommunications code

Property Managers, Health and Safety advisors and those responsible for property assets, gathered at Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Headquarters yesterday to attend the first in a series of seminars exploring the implications of the new Telecommunications code, RF and Structural Safety.

After welcome and introductions from Duncan Wells, Michael Aubrey Partnership, Thekla Fellas, Fladgate Solicitors opened the seminar examining how the new code will affect property owners.

Thekla talked about why the government feels reform is necessary; citing their commitment to incentivising investment to fully support the rollout of the country’s digital communications infrastructure.

Thekla talked about;

  • How the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) want to make it faster, easier to secure sites for the Operators – it’s a political decision
  • How it is going to be virtually impossible for landowners to get Operators off their sites
  • How the new telecommunications code will give Telecoms operators access to land – moving to a “no scheme” basis of valuation regime (a  valuation which will favour Telecoms operators).
  • How the new telecommunications code will put digital communications infrastructure on a similar regime to utilities like electricity and water.
  • New rights that will make it easier for telecommunications operators to deploy and maintain their infrastructure
  • Telecommunications operators will have a new automatic right to upgrade and share apparatus
  • Telecommunications operators cannot be charged extra for changes where there is minimal adverse visual impact or burden on site providers.
  • Improved dispute resolution

Telecommunications code

What Impact Will The New Telecommunications Code Have For Property Owners?

The change in the basis of valuation to a “no scheme” rule reflecting the underlying value of the land. Reduced rental income: This will limit the value of consideration that the site owner receives for granting the lease.

When Will this take Effect?

The new Telecommunications Code rights will only apply to contracts signed after the law has come into effect and will not apply to existing contracts retrospectively – transitional provisions are not supposed to be retrospective. The bill is currently scheduled to come into effect in Spring 2017.

Speaking after the event John Staves said

No one is sure what impact this new legislation will have on property owners, but after listening to Thekla’s presentation I think that these changes could well be detrimental to the operators who will find that property owners are reluctant to allow new installations with such sweeping terms. 

It seems really odd that private companies already making huge profits are being given powers which appear to reduce their costs at the expense of private landowners. 

Whilst the intent to make better communications readily available is positive, my concern is that the proposed Code will not achieve this objective and could well slow network development by driving more deals for sites to the Courts for determination“.

Are you a property owner? How do you think this new legislation will have an impact on your property portfolio?



Construction Industry Summit 2016


John Staves, our Managing Director attended the Construction Industry Summit 2016 this week. 

CIS Summit 2016

The two day event delivered a compelling programme, with a distinguished line-up of experts, industry leaders and talented young professionals. Highlights included keynote speeches from Dr David Hancock on the Governments Construction Strategy and Lord Digby Jones, “A Post Brexit Country”.

Take a look at our twitter feed for the day. Encouraging to hear industry leaders recognising that BIM is the way to add value through better collaboration.

David Hancock CIS2016





























BIM CIS 2016








Lord Digby Jones

“Ask An Expert” @ Grand Designs Live!

Ask and expert Grand designs

Having attended the event as visitors for many years, we were thrilled when we were selected to appear on the ‘Ask An Expert’ panel at this year’s Grand Designs Live show.

The event was held over 9 days at the impressively large north stand at ExCel in London’s docklands and covered over 5,000 sq foot with 600+ exhibitors.

Structural Engineering is often seen as a distress purchase as we are often appointed after the Architect has completed their design,  so it was a great opportunity for us to get in early and talk to people about their “Grand Design” and give advice about the structural implications of what they wanted to build.

Talking about the event John Staves said,

“This is the first year that Structural Engineers were invited to attend the event, previously supported by Architects and Architectural technicians, we attended Friday 8 May and Saturday 9 May and were fully booked 10am-6pm!”

What Types Of Projects Did You See?

“There were a complete range of projects from genuine “Grand Designs” for replacement dwellings and new dwellings through to minor internal alterations. Most people wanted help with feasibility – and the most common questions were;

       Was their project practical and was their project financially feasible?

Lots of the conversations were around practicality and feasibility, most structural problems can be solved, it’s just how much it’s going to cost.”


What Did You Enjoy The Most About The Event?

“Helping people move forwards in their own project. The variety of projects day to day is what I enjoy about the job anyway. The challenges weren’t so much the permanent building structure, it was the buildability that would massively impact on the cost.

For example, one project was a new build, replacement dwelling down a small lane that was only 2m wide, so you would have to think not only how am I going to get components, materials in, but also how am I going to lift them into place? There will be big clear spans and you have to think how are you going to achieve that with small components. You’re not going to swing in quarter tonne 10m long beams, it’s not practical. We had a discussion in that meeting about BIM (Building Information Modelling).”

How BIM Could Help

“We discussed how the whole process could be planned and thought through well in advance so things would run smoothly with those site constraints – over and above building a house in a field.

BIM would help them with the sequencing of the build, make sure that things fitted together, we could break the building down into small enough components that would actually work with the access constraints, but lifted into place by smaller equipment, we could test that things would work before the project even gets to site. BIM would also offer them more certainty about the cost of the project as it could be built in a virtual world before any work started on site.”

Would You Be On “Ask An Expert” Again?

“Absolutely! It was hard work, fairly intense, with people arriving with no advance knowledge of their project to advise them on the spot. But at the end of the day it’s quite rewarding to know that you’ve helped 15 + people get on the way with their project.”

Around The Exhibition

“We were working for two days and on the third day had the opportunity to go around the exhibition and meet up with Architects who were exhibitors at the event and talk to them about how they interacted with the Structural Engineer. It was a great opportunity to understand their problems and how they work so we could better design our own services to work with them.

John and Kevin McCloud

Attending the Grand Theatre to listen to Professor Hazim Awbi and Kevin McCloud talk about Toxic Home Syndrome was really interesting. The main message was for designers to not only think about airtightness of our buildings, but also consider proper mechanical ventilation. Other tips for a healthy home included using ecofriendly cleaning and beauty products, consider wood flooring and switching off technological devices at the plug.”

If you missed the event you can see more at

“BIM Made Simple” Event – What A Success!

Construction professionals gathered at Bearwood Lakes Golf Club this morning to attend the launch of our “BIM Made Simple” series of seminars.

John staves shared his passion for BIM, together with Gillian Wright, MD at Traico sharing her passion for collaborative working.

Feedback from the event was fantastic, here are just a few snippets;

  • “It was great to know and see the BIM processes working on a real project”
  • “Really useful information, thank you”
  • “Great case study”

Speaking after the event, John Staves said “it has been a real pleasure to share our knowledge and passion for BIM with delegates this morning. Good discussions and feedback from different disciplines across the construction sector make events like this really enjoyable”. BIM is delivering for us, could it help your business?

“BIM Made Simple” Breakfast Event

Join John Staves and Gillian Wright, Managing Director of Traico for our first “BIM Made Simple” Breakfast Meeting. Click here to register.

They will be unpacking how you can achieve a BIM Level 2 compliant project, not just what you need to do to achieve it and how it can benefit your business.

In this seminar John and Gillian will cover topics such as:

  • Why using BIM doesn’t have to be complicated
  • How you can profit from using BIM
  • Why you don’t need to invest in the technology to benefit from BIM
  • How to get your team ready for BIM
  • What is needed for your BIM journey and how to start it
  • BIM from a Client’s perspective

Thames Valley BIM Hub

Join John Staves, Richard Lane and Tina McGeachan for our next Thames Valley BIM Hub Event!


When? Monday 12th January 2015 16:30 – 19:00
Where? Hosted by: BSRIA: Bracknell – Old Bracknell Lane West, Bracknell, RG12 7AH

Our last event focused on design technology. This event looks at collaboration tools, surveying, 3d printing and interactive displays.

Come along if you want to:

  • stay up-to-date with what’s happening in the BIM world
  • receive updates from Richard Lane, Chair, on the latest work of the BIM Task Group
  • network with other companies in the Thames Valley with BIM on their agenda

Companies presenting include:

Project 4 : BIM Collaboration and Management Tools

FARO: 3D measurement technology
Computer-aided measurement and imaging devices and software. Technology from FARO permits high-precision 3D measurement, imaging and comparison of parts and compound structures. The devices are used for inspecting components and assemblies, production planning, documenting large volume spaces or structures in 3D, surveying and construction.

Hobs Studios: 3D printing
3D solutions for architectural, engineering, construction and product designers. Hobs has an impressive selection of technologies including full colour 3D printing, stereolithography (SLA) and multijet 3D printing to ensure we can support all forms of rapid prototyping.

Asite: BIM Collaboration and Management Tools

IDN: Interactive technologies
IDN specialise in collaboration and communications in the work place by integrating and supporting the adoption of technology. This includes interactive displays, digital signage, video conferencing, room booking technology, audio, control and collaboration tools.

What Are BIM Hubs?
BIM Hubs are part of a national and regional network established by CIC to promote a consistent understanding of what BIM means to the industry and its impact through all levels of the supply chain.
The resounding strapline to BIM is that we need to work better together and the Thames Valley BIM Hub meet regularly to:
•share BIM knowledge and best practice
•facilitate collaborative activity – helping companies to meet ‘BIM Buddies’
•support the development of the supply chain’s BIM capabilities
•increase BIM capacity across the region
•ensure regional input into national discussion and policy decisions

BIM is the future, so whatever your interest or level of involvement, please join us!

To book your place email [email protected]
There is no charge for this event but do please let Tina know if you book, but are subsequently unable to attend.

Asbestos Awareness Training

Big thanks to James Sykes from AV Asbestos Ltd for coming into our offices today to provide the team with “asbestos awareness” training.

asbestos mtg 2 asbestos mtg 1