Another great profile by B4 Network! Meet Mark Harris: Engineer, antiques collector and gardener
The office is buzzing with excitement today after last night's announcement that Solid Structures are finalists in the West Oxfordshire Business Awards!
After a couple of gruelling interviews earlier this year, last night we found ourselves on the all important finalists board for both the Small Business of the Year and the Employer of the Year.
We'll find out on the 29th March if we've won, so fingers and toes crossed until then!
After many weeks of hard training, the day had finally arrived for us to tackle the Bidwells Golden Triangle Ride, 100 (and 3) miles across the country from Oxford to Cambridge in aid of Maggies.
An ample turnout from the office saw William Morris, Richard Young, Adrian Reeves, Dani Trevail and our summer student Alex Harris (no relation to Mark Harris) line up at the start all eager to get underway in the September drizzle.
Alex broke away almost from the off, in pursuit of the front group to attempt a win for Solid Structures. A strong threesome who started 5 minutes prior kept him at bay and saw him riding solo for the first 45 miles.
The rest of the team kept a good pace, working together as a foursome and helping each other when in difficulty. Much to the relief of Adrian at 60 miles in when he suffered a puncture, our resident enthusiast William was at hand to assist only to be thwarted by a dodgy valve core resulting in a double pumping session.
All of the Solid Structures team finished in good time, Alex was in the first 10 riders to reach Anstey Hall in Cambridge in a respectable time of 5 hours 28 minutes. The rest of the team rolled in later looking surprisingly fresh and in a time of 6 hours 17 minutes. All of the team then celebrated with a hot shower, gourmet hot dogs and burgers along and a couple of well deserved drinks kindly offered by Bidwells to rejuvenate the exhausted finishers.
Posted by Mark
Solid Structures are pleased to announce that we have successfully achieved Constructionline Silver accreditation for meeting pre-qualification requirements appropriate to public and private level procurement.
We have also been awarded the Health and Safety Accreditation by Acclaim Accreditation for securing the health and safety standards required under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.
At the beginning of April, we bid our final fond farewell to our Hook Norton Brewery home and set up permanent camp in our brand new offices in Chipping Norton.
We're pretty chuffed with our new office space. Please do pop in and we can show you round properly!
It’s hard to believe that the time has finally come for us all at Solid to bid a fond farewell to the Brewery offices we’ve called home for the last 12 years. With a continually expanding team (now at 16), space has become tighter and tighter for us. To put it bluntly, we’re now bursting at the seams.
Sean and Mark’s quest to find more space led them, almost two and a half years ago, to a derelict, dilapidated property to the rear of Chipping Norton High Street. Bleak, neglected and in need of a total internal rebuild; they could hardly contain their excitement! Project ‘build an office’ was born.
It was crucial in the planning stage to create a modern office space which was big enough to cope with our continued growth and, equally as important, an environment where our team would enjoy working.
Being a complete redevelopment project, we’ve had our fair share of ups and downs along the way. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve grown a few more grey hairs...but it’s been worth it and we’re thrilled with the new, completed Solid Structures HQ. Please pop in if you’re passing, we’d love to give you the grand tour!
After finishing my degree and before starting with Solid Structures, I spent 6 weeks in Zambia working with the A2Z project. A2Z is a group of students from the University of Bath who help fundraise & build new sports facilities in Zambia. Our 2017 team assisted with the construction of a netball court and changing rooms for the Mtendere Community School.
The first challenge was for us to fund raise for the trip. We were able to get sponsorship from companies including Speller Metcalfe, The Institution of Civil Engineers, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Wentworth House Partnership and Solid Structures of course.
The existing changing rooms were derelict and we found a disintegrating asbestos roof, which they had originally wanted us to recycle. Following further fundraising in the UK the roof was replaced with a new metal sheeted roof.
Our duties included encouraging PPE and site safety, promoting careers in construction with the female students and educating locals about the dangers of asbestos.
The experience gave me an eye-opening experience into the differences in construction approaches and a new heightened appreciation of the benefits of health and safety.
The construction project is facilitating the work of The Perfect Day Foundation and Volunteer in Zambia (VIZ), a UK Sport Programme which aims to establish a high quality, progressive and coordinated sports leadership development exchange programme. Ace2Zambia aim to provide much needed facilities to enable the excellent work of VIZ to continue. They aim to enhance the lives of the communities by working with local contractors as well as enable a platform for knowledge sharing.
To find out more about the program, search “ACE2Zambia”.
We had the pleasure of joining the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice team when they were given the keys to their completed building, soon to be opened as Berkshire’s first children’s hospice.
Built by Beard Construction, the project took 16 months and creates a calm and tranquil environment for patients and their families, day care visitors and staff. The facility will cater for children suffering from life limiting or life-threatening conditions.
Fiona and John Devine set up a hospice at home in memory of their little boy, who sadly passed away in 2006, aged only eight, from a rare brain tumour. The new building has been an 11 year ambition with a huge fundraising effort to enable them to achieve their dream.
Solid Structures worked with Beard Construction to successfully overcome the challenges raised during the build.
Alexander Devine are still fundraising for this worthy cause.
To find out more about the hospice visit www.alexanderdevine.org or to assist them in their fundraising efforts email firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by Mark
Great News! Our training scheme has now been approved by the Institution of Civil Engineers. This means we can support the development of our team to achieve chartered status in both ICE and IStructE.
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We’re really excited that Stefano Tusa has joined Solid as a Graduate Structural Engineer.