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Home > Delivering Solutions for Wates and Skanska that De-Risk, Reduce Costs and Drive Sustainable Outcomes

Is there a scenario where, the construction programme risks, associated with resource planning, costs and timescales are no longer present?


In short – we think so.


Well, this can only be achieved through running projects in an alternative (and much more efficient) way to how we typically do things within the industry, at present. It requires engineering and construction modelling to work together with a front-ended approach to coordinated digital design, providing the main contractor with a level of information and data, that has already identified and eradicated issues you would usually find at the construction or manufacture stage.

At Design4Structures (D4S), we have developed a solution that delivers on all of the above. We work with some of the UK’s largest contractors to implement these methods, achieving impressive results that positively push the boundaries of construction.

In this article, we share some of these success stories and provide insights into how have enabled main contractors and manufacturers to deliver projects more efficiently, confidently and of course with sustainability goals in mind.

The D4S Approach: Taking Projects from RIBA Stages 0-5

When we established Design4Structures in 2016, to join forces with our then 25-strong construction modelling team at TDS, our goal was for greater collaboration during the design phase.  After 7 years of growth, as a result of our methodology, we formalised it by consolidating construction modelling and engineering into the single Design4Structures brand.

With a team now formed of 60 infrastructure and structural engineers, and construction modellers, we have developed a solution that de-risks programme delivery as far as possible for main contractors and manufacturers. It’s a solution that provides a level of information and data, enabling clients to make confident and accurate decisions around project delivery.

We have created the ‘Design4Structures Delivery Framework’,  (see below) which sits as an overlay to the existing RIBA Plan of Works, with the in-house capability to take projects from concept, through to construction and manufacture. This enables our clients to achieve major costs savings in their project delivery through access to more accurate information to resource and plan projects, before they would typically reach the detailing and fabrication stages.

James McNee, Daniel Leech and jonathan Lock, D4S

Founding Members from left to right

James McNee, Daniel Leech and Jonathan Lock

In addition to this, we have formed a team of sector specialists who come together to provide optimal solutions, that consider both construction methods and materials.

Since early 2020, we have steadily grown a portfolio of main contractors and manufacturers, who understand the benefits to be realised through working with our teams and putting our methodology into practice, often for groundbreaking large-scale projects.

Wates: Reducing the Lucent W1 Construction Programme by 16 Weeks


In 2020, we were appointed by Wates to develop, what would become, an award-winning offsite modular strategy for the roof design for Lucent W1 at One Sherwood Street, behind the iconic Piccadilly Circus lights. D4S delivered a hybrid solution which seamlessly interlinked with the core building, whilst adopting a panelised approach towards the geometrically complex roofing structure.

The original design consisted of a traditionally built, hot-rolled steel roof with individual infill members to support the roof build-up and finishes. Due to the substantial constraints, including the intricate geometric design, build duration, temporary works requirements and location, D4S was instructed to review the design and provide an innovative solution utilising modern methods of construction (MMC)that would provide benefits from design through to construction.

The value of our approach for clients, really comes into play, when you explore how it was possible to deliver a project, which resulted in a reduced construction programme by approximately 16 weeks.

Through integrating our Engineering and Construction Modelling Teams, utilising BIM and 3D Modelling in Tekla, we took a fully coordinated approach. D4S delivered from RIBA Stages 4 through to 5, creating a unique MMC strategy, where delivery included structural design, steelwork connection design, a 3D connected model, general arrangement, fabrication and assembly drawings and a pioneering lifting design strategy with 120 procedure drawings.

Clash detection reviews, along with a pre-fabrication strategy, meant that potential issues with site installation and tolerance, could be addressed during the modelling process and effectively designed out. This essentially de-risked as far as possible, for all parties involved, whilst creating greater efficiencies around resource and procurement.

Our method, meant time and cost-savings were achieved due to the fact that:

  • 75% of the roof construction took place in a factory environment, which included 118 modular panels.
  • LGS purlins, insulation and cement particle boards, were included within the module manufacturer, reducing trades required on site.
  • there was a significant reduction of temporary works on-site.
  • tolerances were tighter, with increased control on elements and connections, with no requirement for on-site remedial work.
  • delivery numbers and durations were reduced.

From a safety perspective, less people were working at height, with zero site related injuries. You can read more about this project and the award-winning team behind it here.

Skanska: Maximising Offsite Pre-Fabrication

After closely following our work on Lucent W1, Skanska, approached us, in early 2023 to support with a £200m bid. Design Director, Derren Masters shares how Skanska are already benefitting from the efficiencies our delivery framework promotes:

We are looking forward to continuing to build our relationship with Skanska over the coming months and years.

Drop us an enquiry or contact one of the team directly to discuss working with us on your next project. Equally if you are part-way through a delivery programme and experiencing challenges, we’d be happy to provide our consultancy expertise, to keep you moving forward.

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