Engineering Support for Architects

engineering for small architects

Today I’m talking to Carly Barrow, Director at Greenway Barrow Architects.

Carly talks about how collaborating with Michael Aubrey Partnership has

  • saved her time
  • delivered better designs, all whilst
  • reducing her client’s costs


greenway barrow

I started my practice four years ago, previously I worked for a larger organisation specialising in luxury residential property renovations.

carly barrow

Before collaborating with Michael Aubrey Partnership, we’d work on our own and go through the whole of the initial design process,; the planning stage right up until building regulations.

front elevation
proposed plans

Structural Support At The Early Stages of a Project

Taking a “best guess” at what would work structurally, sometimes our designs were over enthusiastic, other times they were too cautious.

When it came time to appointing a structural engineer, often we’d have to make changes to the design, as we hadn’t had any structural input at the early stage of the project.

Also we would often spend a lot of time tendering to different structural engineers, normally the client would go with the cheapest option, which wasn’t always the best option!

What Level of Service Did You Receive From Other Engineers?

Not very responsive, not very helpful.

How Did you Come To Be Working With Michael Aubrey Partnership (MAPL)?

Our enquiries increased significantly over the initial lockdown.

Previously we had been working successfully with John and the team and we asked them if they could help out on a couple of measured building surveys.

How Did That Go?

It went really well.

It meant that I didn’t have to find the time to be carrying out surveys and also right from the start we had an ongoing relationship through the initial design.

engineering for small architects

Structural Helpline

If I had a structural question, I had a “structural helpline” to make sure that the design I was putting forward to the client was viable.

Advantage of Structural Advice At The Early Stages of a Project

Having structural involvement from an early stage is beneficial.

The Client benefits, as it saves time on duplication of effort – they don’t pay for the Architects survey AND the Structural Engineers survey.

Overall, their project fee is slightly reduced and they are getting an improved service.

save time

Saves Time

project fee reduced

Project Fee Reduced

improved service

Improved Service

95% of projects of our projects are with you! – it’s just so much easier to do it that way, it’s much better for the client.

How Does Working Like This Help You?

It allows me to progress projects more efficiently and better serve my clients. It probably saves me about a week or two at the start of a project to get things set up.

It also saves me times later on in the project when I have to look for an engineer to work with, whereas now I know there is someone on board that I can trust.

Advantages of Working With Michael Aubrey Partnership

Your team are really responsive.

We had a project recently where we had a couple of questions and your engineer came back to us straight away and was happy to accommodate our changes.

The quality of information that you produced, and the level of detail is far superior to a lot of other structural engineers.

When I send things over to your team, you’ll have one hit at it, and I’ll get it back and it will be 99% as I anticipate.

You can spend a lot of time toing and froing with other engineers who just don’t give smaller projects as much consideration.

Working with you guys is saving me time because you are really good at what you do.

Information that you produce is very clear, some people send out sheets and sheets of generic information and specification which aren’t applicable to certain projects. Everything you send out is relevant and very clear.



save time

Saves Time

quality service

Quality Service

clear info

Clear Info

What Other Architects Say About Your Work

Another positive comment about your drawings from another architect

“I think you have some really good engineers; I would hold onto them. You do not usually get this level of information on small schemes”.

roof structure

Who Do You Mainly Work With at MAPL?

My initial point of contact is Jamie for the surveys, he’s really responsive and helpful and is willing to pick up any changes.

All of your team are really responsive, if there is an issue you will get back to me within a couple of days which is really good as it makes a big difference, so we are able to progress projects efficiently.

What Do Building Control Have To Say About Us?

Whenever I put your information into Building control, they are always really happy with it and I rarely have them come back to me with any questions.

Once they mislaid the structural drawings, when they knew it was from MAPL they said “no worries it will be fine, their information is always great” nice to hear they have good faith in your designs.

Our Fees

Your fees are good value, the quality of service is excellent!

Thank you for your kind words Carly, it’s good to collaborate with you!

Are you a Director of your own small Architectural practice?

Do you use the services of structural engineers?

We’d love to be given the opportunity to help you on your next project.

contact us