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How to choose the right civil engineering partnership?

Civil engineers play a big part in the early stages of a development project, with planning, enabling works, groundworks and infrastructure works all creating a robust foundation for future construction.

How do you choose a groundworks and civil engineering partner committed to excellence in delivery for your project?

We’ve put together some considerations to help you choose which civil engineering firm to partner with for your next groundworks project.

Select a partner with local operational knowledge

Not only does this simplify the management of resources, but it also helps to ensure that the civil engineering firm has location-specific insight. This gives them a better understanding of the local landscape and gives them in-depth knowledge of the local bureaucratic systems, smoothing the process for obtaining things like planning permission and Section 278 agreements.

Based in Bedford, ECL is ideally placed to take on projects in the so-called ‘varsity line’ between Cambridge and Oxford. This is an area that’s currently ripe for development, as more and more people are looking to move their family home out of London, but still live within an hour’s commute of the capital.

Work with a recommended supplier

Groundworks and infrastructure aren’t places where you want to cut corners. Mistakes early in the process could be disastrous later on. So look for a civil engineering firm that has experience working on similar projects. Be sure to take a look at some of their previous projects and ask for references.

At ECL, we’ve been carrying out groundworks and other related services for more than 25 years. Over that time, we’ve built a wealth of knowledge and expertise and we continuously invest in training, helping us to keep on top of developments in the industry, as well as technological advancements and updates to best practice.

Chose a partner with the infrastructure to scale

No matter the size of a project, laying the groundworks will take careful planning and require a significant level of expertise. For smaller projects, there may be any number of firms capable of carrying out the work.

However, as the scale of a project increases, so does the complexity of managing it. ECL specialises in large-scale developments. We invest in the systems, equipment, and people necessary to cope with the unique challenges of projects, large or small.

Ensure they are able to carry out Section 278 works

Transportation is a crucial part of any development project. Getting the roads right will help to ensure that the people who will eventually live in, work in and visit the area can travel on effective road systems.

According to Section 278 of the Highways Act 1980, developers can carry out works to public highways with agreement from local highways authority. Section 278 agreements are extensive documents that cover all aspects of the project, including the firm that will carry out the work.

Having worked on a wide range of road improvement projects, ECL has the knowledge and experience to carry out all manner of Section 278 agreement construction services, from roundabouts and junctions to traffic calming measures and pedestrian and cycling facilities. And we can undertake all aspects of a project from planning and permission through to construction.

Choose a supplier that can offer a complete solution

Opting for a package solution from a single service provider, rather than enlisting the services of several different companies, can simplify a project and help to ensure budgets and timelines are maintained.

With our vast range of services and expertise, ECL offers a comprehensive self-delivery solution that can include a variety of groundworks and enabling services, as well as surveys and planning. We’ll act as a single point of contact, organising all the works, machinery and people. This reduces hassle for our customers, mitigating risks and delays, and helping to avoid increased costs that can sometimes occur when trying to coordinate several different subcontractors on site.

Check their safety record

Safety should always be a top priority. When choosing a civil engineering firm, always look for a company that holds the relevant health and safety certifications, such as operatives with CSCS cards and SMAS Worksafe accreditation. You can also ask about specifics such as accident rates and health and safety training.

ECL are committed to safeguarding the health and safety of our team — and everyone else on site — at all times. All of our employees go through extensive health and safety training and team members all hold relevant health and safety certifications. As such, we are proud to have achieved an industry-leading low accident frequency rate of just 0.05.

Partnering with ECL

If you’re looking for an expert, reliable and well-equipped civil engineering firm for a large-scale development, ECL could be your ideal partner. We provide a comprehensive range of civil engineering services, including groundworks, enabling works and infrastructure, and we have experience working on developments ranging from 100 to more than 3,000 new homes.

To find out more about our services and how we can help with your next project, please get in touch.

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