ABC… Architecture, Building and Culture

Architecture plays a critical role in shaping the foundations of our future environment, by working in collaboration and understanding the purpose and function required by the people using it. Needs and ambitions are carefully considered to create a stable environment through thoughtful engineering and planning.

The significance of city planning and engineering on social and economic development is one of the highest factors to consider. Obviously, good infrastructure promotes prosperity by linking people to resource, facilitating industrialisation, trade, and so on.

Architecture follows on from this and is the style of how things are built. You can see the effects of Architecture from different time periods around you everyday. The built environment represents many eras of architecture and has evolved substantially to form the cites/towns you now live/work in. Most buildings survive for several decades, and very many survive for centuries. Careful consideration must be undertaken regarding the building, it’s function, and who uses it before it’s construction.

We show our culture through the various examples of architecture around the world. Culture is known to influence and form the structures that define our experience of living. Throughout time, architecture has persisted as one of the most profoundly important reflections of culture. Whether we consider monumental structures such as the Roman ColiseumNotre Dame and Taj Mahal or modern icons such as the Empire State BuildingSydney Opera House, we see each building reflecting the story of the time, and how that iteration of culture wished to project itself to the future. Architecture is important for infrastructure, from bridges to public spaces and the planned layout of our cities.

Careful consideration from the initial planning phase must happen as this mold’s and shapes, our societies, our cities, our countries and even forms part of our culture.

Look around the cities you live in and think about the planning involved in making our lives better through thoughtful engineering, architecture and construction. I’m sure you’ve all travelled down the M1 lately. This is an example of improving our infrastructure, making it more efficient, connecting cities to accommodate the growing demand of users.

How engineering spearheads racecourse developments

There are 58 courses throughout the Britain, which vary in size and type. All must adhere to common track and facility standards set out by the British Horseracing Authority in order to obtain an annual licence to race.

Civil and structural engineering creates designed focused solutions to enrich the environment or a facility and deliver better services.

York racecourse is currently undergoing plans for a £5 million development of the Northern end of the course.

York is well known for the world-class horses who race there as well as the handlers, owners, jockeys and people who go to see them race, they want the experience to be the best it can possibly be. This is why it was decided to improve the facility there by looking into the functionality of the venue and the design and layout of the current site.

The plans will be to give racegoers improved viewing as well as greater ease of movement for visitors and horses. The scheme focuses on better equine facilities and a safer more enjoyable experience for the general public.

Cheltenham racecourse is another track undergoing development on a state-of-the-art new grandstand, which will replace the old A&R block in time for the 2016 Cheltenham Festival.

They are creating a brand new grandstand alongside Cheltenham’s existing main grandstand, to include better facilities for the annual members area, general public viewing areas, private boxes, ‘Super Club’ and the Royal Box.

The project will also see the creation of elevated walkways to improve people-flow and provide a multi-tiered ‘amphitheatre’ experience around the parade ring, allowing more people to get up close to the star horses at the heart of all top race days.

These are just a few examples of how Civil Engineering works to improve the overall experience for everyone by considering not just the design but the functionality and facilities required.

Take a look at some of the projects JPG have worked on to improve educational facilities, manufacturing plants, roads and infrastructures, here on our website.

CDM 2015 changes are now active!

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) came into force yesterday on the 6th April 2015, replacing CDM 2007. The legal requirements for CDM 2015 highlights the following phases:

  • the law that applies to the whole construction process on all construction projects, from concept to completion
  • what each dutyholder must or should do to comply with the law to ensure projects are carried out in a way that secures health and safety

Written construction phase plans will be required for all construction projects (including domestic client work) and a principal designer and principal contractor appointed when there is more than one contractor on a project.

In addition, employers will be expected to provide information, instruction and supervision for workers and to meet any gap in skills and knowledge through the appropriate training.

The CITB has made available six draft guides for the main parties involved: the five duty holders — clients, contractors, designers, principal contractors and principal designers — and workers.

They can all be found at

The CITB has made it clear that there will be a transitional period after the new regulations come into force and that this will run for six months until 6 October 2015.

“For projects starting before 6 April 2015, where the construction phase has not yet started and where the client has not yet appointed a CDM co-ordinator, the client must appoint a principal designer as soon as it is practicable,” it explained.

Further draft guidance on CDM 2015 is available from the HSE and can be accessed at

JPG Group wish to highlight the changes so businesses can make sure employees understand their duties and how this will affect what they do.

Egg-cellent Architecture from around the world!

JPG highlight some of the extraordinary egg shaped architecture from around the world.

Take a look at this small selection of great examples of structural engineering and architecture combining to produce something magnificent.


London City Hall, UK

London City Hall is located on the south bank of the River Thames. Its unusual egg-like shape reduces surface area and improves energy efficiency. Inside the ten-story building, a 1,640 foot spiral staircase goes up to an exhibition and meeting space called “London’s Living Room.”



The City of the Arts and the Sciences in Valencia, Spain

The City of the Arts and the Sciences in Valencia, Spain, is an egg-shaped entertainment-complex that is both culturally and architecturally amazing. It has glass windows and floors. The large “eye” is an Imax Cinema. There are three floors and 13,9930 square feet of the building, which also houses a Planetarium and a Laserium.



The National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing, China

The National Centre for the Performing Arts, also known as The Egg, is a 129,000 square foot titanium and glass opera house in Beijing, China. The exterior has over 18,000 titanium plates, more than 1,000 sheets of ultra-white glass, and a low-iron glass with a high rate of light transmission. It cost $468.7 million and seats 5,452 people in three halls, The Opera House, The Hall, and The Theatre. It is said to look like an egg floating on the water; an artificial lake surrounds it. The hallway goes underneath the lake, but with a massive glass ceiling, light shines through the water to give visitors an otherworldly experience. The Egg was designed by French architect Paul Andreu. It held its first concert in 2007.



The Egg-shaped digesters in Bottrop, Germany

The Egg-shaped digesters in Bottrop, Germany, are used for sewage treatment processing. Another large egg-shape building is located in Astana, Kazakhstan. The Egg-o house with the garden in the center was designed by architecture company A69 from the Czech Republic.