OFR presented with the Silver Employer of the Year Award
OFR presented with the Silver Employer of the Year Award
OFR Consultants was recognised in the Employer of the Year category at the SME National Business Awards in London this weekend. We received the Silver award for Employer of the Year, underscoring the company's dedicated efforts in people development and fostering an open, inclusive working culture.
An international award for our colleague Carmen
Huge congratulations to our colleague Carmen Gorska who is fresh back from her trip to Tsukuba, Japan where she received the coveted silver Thomas Philip Medal of Excellence award for her scientific paper titled ‘Fire dynamics in Mass Timber compartments’ at the 14th IAFSS conference.
We’ve appointed four new board directors – and more great new OFR colleagues
We've announced the appointment of four colleagues to its board, news which comes amidst a spate of colleague announcements. Stewart Dabin, Dr Danny Hopkin, Jack Wilshaw and Richard Rankin each join the board as directors.
A core concept for tall buildings
UK government has confirmed that it will adopt an 18-metre height threshold for second staircases in all new residential buildings. In response, we’ve released updated plans of our second staircase concept – something which will support the viable development of safe, tall buildings in an increasingly difficult construction market. Here, Rich tells us more.
Sam Bryant wins coveted SFPE UK Award
OFR Consultants colleague and Fire Engineer Sam Bryant has won a coveted award from the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE). The annual awards programme celebrates individuals who have made significant contributions to the advancement of the profession.
Even better days – more OFR colleagues support good causes
Colleagues in Scotland supported The Conservation Volunteers (TVC) this week – a charity organising and managing conservation projects all over the UK. In this article, our colleague Lewis Strachan tells us more about supporting the organisation at a site in Glasgow as part of our Better Days offering.
Contributing to clearer rivers in Bath
Our OFR colleagues in Bath recently took time out of their days to support the Bristol Avon Rivers Trust (BART), an organisation dedicated to putting healthy rivers at the heart of community life. The team joined the scheme as part of our Better Days programme, an OFR initiative which enables all of our colleagues to support causes that are important to them – by providing an allocated day of paid leave each year. In this article our colleague Rhys Williams tells us more
Investing in people to create safe and sustainable buildings
Competency has always been important in the construction industry and in this new article, our colleague Steven Ferreira – who along with colleagues James Daniels and Ahmed Maani recently completed his Chartership – talks about the importance of professional qualifications, and the mechanisms in place at OFR as we support colleagues through their academic endeavours.
The Paper Garden in pictures
This month, we celebrated the completion of The Paper Garden, a new community project for London which has see the transformation of a former car park into a 200m2 classroom and ecology garden – a collaborative seedbed in which to nurture creativity. Here our colleague Liam Caddy shares some of the pictures and highlights.
Contributing to a landmark collaborative facility – our work at NMIS
From RIBA Stage 2 through to completion, we have worked on behalf of HLM Architects as part of the team delivering the incredible new National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) building. Principal Fire Engineer, Graeme Shaw shares how our fire engineering guidance on the building will help to raise the bar for collaboration across sectors…
Helping our colleagues through the OFR Technical Institute: Part 3
We are always looking for new and innovative ways in which we can support our team with personal and professional development. The OFR Technical Institute was set up to offer bespoke training and has helped many colleagues since to develop their knowledge and skills. Here – in the last of this week’s blog series on the Institute – our colleague associate director, Tom Bentley tells us more….
Helping our colleagues through the OFR Technical Institute: Part 2
Investment in personal and professional development is an important part of our culture at OFR, and today – as we continue our new series of blogs, in which colleagues tell us about their experiences with the OFR Technical Institute – we meet Muthia Khairunisa. Muthia gained her bachelor's degree in civil engineering from Kyoto University, Japan and her Master's in Fire Safety Engineering from the IMFSE program – here she talks about benefitting from the OFR Technical Ins
OFR and STA clarify CLT fire compliance for industry
Leading fire engineering consultancy, OFR Consultants working in collaboration with the Structural Timber Association (STA) is offering the wider industry valuable clarity on the fire safety design of mass timber buildings.
Helping our colleagues through the OFR Technical Institute: Part 1
This week we are launching a new series of blogs, in which colleagues tell us about their experiences with the OFR Technical Institute. Today we start with Bianca Coutinho who joined the business in 2021 and has recently been promoted from graduate to fire engineer. She has previously worked within the in fire engineering field with businesses internationally in Brazil and Ireland. Here she tells us more…
Collaborative Creation – The Paper Garden at Canada Water
On behalf of British Land, we have been supporting the ongoing progress of the Canada Water masterplan across various elements of the project. Here our design director Jack Wilshaw tells us more about a very special, sustainability project.
A new concept for high rise safety; creating safer and sustainable buildings with 81% net:gross
The construction industry has a responsibility to make high rise buildings safer and more sustainable... Matt Brook Architects made a proactive move to address this with the design of a core that was safer for residents and firefighters as well as being highly efficient. Working collaboratively with OFR, the core has been developed and validated through testing. Read more about the process here.
Investing in future talent through our OFR Technical Institute
The OFR Technical Institute was introduced in 2020 – giving colleagues high quality, in-house training that helps them deliver great work for our clients. Here, our Technical Director, Dr. Danny Hopkin tells us more.
Mind matters; today and every day
Our Mind Matters team is made up of mental health first aid trained individuals who are passionate about supporting their colleagues and raising awareness of issues such as anxiety and depression. With Mental Health Awareness Week underway, we look at how the team has been helping others throughout the year and the topics they have been exploring during the campaign week.
The daily juggle
At OFR Consultants we protect and promote our people, investing in them to ensure that they can manage their work and home lives effectively. This month, we announced a series of new initiatives for our OFR working parents, with increased maternity and shared parental leave pay. Here, we hear from three parents in our workforce who talk about their approach to juggling the family work-life balance.
Protecting our whole selves!
OFR prioritises colleague wellbeing, and we have a range of initiatives driven by our Mind Matters team who share information and deliver engaging sessions throughout the year. This month, our brilliant colleague Sam Bryant helped us celebrated MHFA Whole Self Day, delivering a talk on how we can bring whole selves into the workplace. Here, she tells us about learning how not to leave an aspect of our personality at the door.
Built by Nature awards €200,000 grant toward development of a Commercial Timber Guidebook
To foster cross-sector industry alignment on solutions to ensure the widespread adoption of large-scale mass timber offices, the Built by Nature Fund has awarded a €200,000 grant to a diverse UK consortium - including OFR Consultants - focused on unlocking the barriers to structural timber through the development of a technical Commercial Timber Guidebook.
Supporting our working parents
Since 2016, we’ve worked hard to establish a flexible and inclusive working culture, working with our colleagues to nurture an environment where productivity is more important than presenteeism. It’s something that’s appealed to the many working parents in our team who this month, have been given even more benefits from OFR. Our head of HR Lucy Kirkup explains.
Waste to Energy: how our team is expanding its portfolio with progressive sustainability-focused projects
Having completed works at the Baldovie Waste to Energy plant at Dundee, we are bringing our expertise to a number of other projects in the UK. Here OFR director Jamie Gibson explains more…
Weighbridge Road Waste to Energy Plant
OFR Consultants is working on the creation of a new waste to energy plant which will include advanced gasification plant and an anaerobic digestion facility.
Our work at Smithfield in Birmingham
The 17-hectare Smithfield regeneration scheme in Birmingham is set to transform this historic market site into a people-centred yet sustainable, low-carbon destination. Here, our project director, Stewart Dabin talks about our involvement.
Fire strategies for prisons; our latest projects further diversify our OFR portfolio
Our OFR portfolio spans multiple sectors and multiple countries. From shopping malls in Africa, to a research centre in Antarctica, to Google’s new HQ in London. Recently we’ve expanded that offering again working with the Ministry of Justice on fire strategies as part of a £1bn project that will upgrade four prisons across England.
Showing our support for Forever Manchester
We’re big fans of Forever Manchester, donating to the organisation and supporting its events throughout the year. This week, ten of our colleagues showed their love for the charity, attending a birthday party celebration and sponsoring an award, and here our colleague Helen Buckley tells us more.
Our London team supports Silvertown
eam, but also with ongoing work on some of the city’s most talked about developments. Here, principal fire engineer, Matt Stallwood talks about how we have been involved at East London’s pioneering Silvertown development.
Our work in the arts and culture sector
We've been privileged to be involved in some of the UK’s most ground-breaking projects – but it’s our growth within the arts and cultural sector following previous project successes that has seen our team build on its industry-leading experience. Here, our director Andy Passingham talks about how we are providing the knowledge and skills to ensure that heritage buildings such as galleries and museums can continue to be safe and accessible for the public well into the future.
Seven interesting projects from seven great years!
Our jobs as fire engineers are always interesting, with a broad portfolio that covers everything from the world’s tallest Octagon-shaped tower to a research station in the Antarctic, to… a new music studio for an 80s pop band. Here we look at some of our most unique OFR projects.
Helping deliver the UK’s lowest carbon new build workspace
It’s an exciting time for construction, with innovations that are making the creation of truly sustainable buildings a reality. In Manchester, members of our team are providing fire engineering advice on what is set to be the UK’s lowest carbon new build workspace, Ev0. Our associate director Jamie Gibson explains how we are providing fire engineering support on this pioneering exposed timber development…
Collaboration is key in spreading the word on fire safety
Following the news of our partnership with the Fire Science Show – a weekly podcast connecting fire researchers and practitioners with fire engineers – we’ve invited the podcast’s founder Wojciech Wegryznski to tell us more about his mission.
Our newest partner – the Fire Science Show!
We are always looking for ways to amplify our work, share best practice and engage with more great engineers in our sector to pioneer new ways to protect people, place and planet. Today we have announced a new partnership with the Fire Science Show – a weekly podcast connecting fire researchers and practitioners with fire engineers. Here, our colleague Daniel Codd tells us more.
Simon Lay has been appointed to the Building Advisory Committee
Simon Lay has been appointed to the newly established Building Advisory Committee which has this week hosted its first meeting. The BAC was established under the Building Safety Act 2022 as part of the Government’s reforms of building safety. The reforms are designed to create lasting change and make it clear how residential buildings should be constructed, maintained and made safe.
From water tanks in Mexico to protecting primates in Vietnam, we’re proud to have supported the WLT this year
This year, as we continued our OFR journey to Net Zero, we set upon our Carbon Balancing journey with the World Land Trust (WLT). The partnership has helped us balance our carbon...
Supporting the community through Haringey Giving Week
We are proud of working alongside many other businesses within the industry, that share our values and community-focussed ethos. This November, as part of the wider team delivering Related Argent’s regeneration of Tottenham Hale, we are getting behind Haringey Giving Week – a week-long fundraising campaign. Here, Karen Hugh tells us more about what this involves and who it will benefit…
Barnsley’s historic Civic gets refurbishment go ahead
We’re enjoying being an important part of the team working on an incredible refurbishment project in Barnsley. The restoration of the Barnsley Civic will provide the city with an exciting new leisure, office and retail venue whilst bringing this once important building back into use.
Setting a fire engineering precedent with significant Midlands development
As a significant development project, the £110m Octagon in Birmingham will put the great Midlands city once again on the global stage. Upon completion, this progressive project will be the tallest octagonal-shaped residential building, not only in the UK but throughout the world. Here our colleague Rich Rankin tells us more about OFR’s role in the project.
Creating buildings that are fit for the future
ur colleague and founding director Sam Liptrott recently signed an open letter to the government, calling for better designed buildings. Here, he tells us more about his hopes for the future of the built environment.
Investing in future talent; OFR welcomes eight new colleagues in September – taking staff headcount to 115
In a period of rapid growth, leading fire engineering consultancy OFR has appointed eight new colleagues to its UK wide team – seven of whom are graduate fire engineers.
Building Magazine lists OFR as one of the UK’s top consultants
OFR Consultants has ranked in Building Magazine’s annual ranking of the top consultants in the UK’s construction sector. The company features in the top 150 practices in the country; the listings also show that OFR is the only specialist fire engineer to appear in the Top 50 Engineers list.
OFR Designs Fire Strategy for Challenging Cumbrian Citadel Project
Our Manchester team, led by director Richard Rankin is involved in a challenging, transformative project in Carlisle. Known as the Citadel project, it will see a historic area of the city repurposed...
Supporting our colleagues on Mental Health Day
Today is World Mental Health Day which this year focuses on making mental health and wellbeing for all a global priority. At OFR, we strive to do this every day, ensuring that our colleagues have access to any support they need. Here our colleague and mental health first aider Katrina Speirs-Simpson tells us more.
Calling all graduates! Come and meet our team
OFR is made up of great people – brilliantly talented colleagues based across the country who help us deliver exceptional work for clients. There’s 115 of us now, all based out of seven offices – but we’re on the hunt for even more talent to join the team! This autumn, we’re heading out to graduate fairs across the country to meet more budding fire engineers! Here our colleague Helen Buckley tells us more.
Our journey to Net Zero; OFR partners with the World Land Trust
As we continue our journey to Net Zero, finding new ways in which to reduce our impact on the environment, we are today proud to announce the start of our Carbon Balancing journey with the World Land Trust (WLT).
Ruoxi and Mel get the chop for children’s charity
Two members of our OFR team have recently raised a whopping £1,237 for children’s charity, The Little Princess by having their locks chopped. Principal fire engineer, Melanie Harris and senior fire engineer, Ruoxi Shi have smashed their original goal of raising £1,000, thanks to generous donations by OFR colleagues, friends and family.
Helping colleagues enjoy a hybrid working future
Like many other businesses up and down the UK, we have been reviewing our day to day working practices since the pandemic and chatting with all members of our team about hybrid working; in this new blog our colleague Karen Hugh talks about the recent office moves that have empowered our people to work in an even more agile way.
How Sam’s Better Days supports Scottish Girl Guides
Our Better Days allowance enables all of our colleagues to support causes that are important to them within their own communities – by providing an allocated day of paid leave each year. Here, fire engineer Sam Bryant who is based in our Edinburgh office, explains how she has used her Better Days Days’ time to develop her skills and experience within the Girl Guides to help others.
Our first ever OFR scheme comes to fruition
Back in 2016, Simon Lay and Sam Liptrott founded what is now OFR Consultants. One of the first projects the pair took on was supporting the delivery of a £500m regeneration programme at Tottenham Hale. Now, as the first phase comes to completion, Sam tells us more about the creation of the scheme.
Fusing the old and the new
At OFR we are fortunate to work on a range of projects, covering all sectors, geographies – and architectural typologies. Here, our director Andy Passingham talks about the work we have been doing to support museums, galleries and other historic buildings as they undergo sensitive restorations and redevelopments, with safe design principles in mind…
OFR Consultants celebrates with further team growth
Leading fire engineering consultancy OFR has appointed five new colleagues to its UK wide team.
Topping out an exciting new development for Google at King’s Cross
Google's new King's Cross office officially reached its 'topping out' milestone this week as the final steel beam was put into place.
The International Women in Engineering Day Series: Meet Maisie
23rd June is International Women in Engineering Day and to celebrate, we’re hearing from the great women in our business, as they talk about their careers in this sector. We’re concluding the series with an interview today with our Graduate Fire Engineer Maisie Gleeson. Here, Bath-based Maisie tells us more about establishing her career, and why she didn’t want to be a doctor or a lawyer!
The International Women in Engineering Day Series: Meet Sam
23rd June is International Women in Engineering Day and to celebrate, we’re hearing from the great women in our business, as they talk about their careers in this sector. Today, we meet Sam Bryant who was last year crowned as the Women in Fire Safety Rising Star. Edinburgh-based Sam talks about her childhood love of Lego, and how her passion for seeing the end-product helps her today.
The International Women in Engineering Series: Meet Janine
23rd June is International Women in Engineering Day, and to celebrate, we’re hearing from the great women in our business, as they talk about their careers in this sector. We’re kicking off the series with Janine Kayode. A London-based principal fire engineer, Janine was a 2021 winner of the Women in Fire Safety Awards, and here she talks about her love for the industry, and the challenges she’s faced on her journey…
We’re working on the University of York’s Student Centre Contest
You may have seen in the architecture press this week that our clients O’Donnell + Tuomey and ADP Architecture have won The University of York’s competition for a ‘landmark’ £35 million student centre. Here our colleague Ryan McCreadie tells us more.
OFR ranked as one of the UK’s best companies to work for
OFR Consultants has been named in a list of the Best Companies to Work for 2022. The company ranked highly in the lists, earning a place in the top 10 Best Consultancies to work for. OFR was also ranked 41st in the UK-wide overall companies category - making it one of the best businesses to work for in the country.
Around the world in 80 ways: Nigeria, Africa
We are proud to serve clients all over the world, with projects spanning a range of countries and architectural types. In this new series, our colleagues will take you on a tour of the world, showcasing some of our work – starting here in Nigeria, where our colleague Ryan McCreadie gives us a brief tour.
We’re proud to work on these award winning schemes
Congratulations to our architect and developer clients who this month have won, and been shortlisted, for RIBA Awards for projects across the UK. The RIBA Awards are some of the most renowned accolades in architecture, and we’re proud to see some OFR projects on the winning lists.
Supporting the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity
We are proud to be cheering on our colleague Alan Curran - London technical director - who will use his OFR Better Days allowance to embark on a gruelling 210 mile cycle ride from Leitrim to Killarney in just three days!
Global thinking, local application
Our OFR projects span the whole globe, with projects from the UK to Antarctica, Africa, the Middle East and many places in between. Here, our colleague Rich Rankin explains how we uphold our international knowledge, ensuring that we can meet local regulation, no matter the market we are working in.
Fire and Smoke Modelling Lecture: giving back to academic community
Members of our team were invited to share their industry knowledge, experience and insight at a lecture at the University of Edinburgh last week. Former student and OFR colleague, Ieuan Rickard along with Andrew...
Helping the Mayor of London and GLA move into their new home
The Mayor of London’s much anticipated move to London’s Royal Docks completed just over a week ago thanks to support from OFR colleagues in London, with a stellar team that comprised Project Director...
Conversations Series 1: Modern Design Methods for External Fire Spread
Welcome to our Conversations Series. As an important part of encouraging our graduates and engineers to undertake internal research and develop concepts for new ideas, they present and discuss their insights and personal observations...
Baldovie Waste to Energy Plant
OFR provided a detailed fire strategy which integrated life safety, business continuity and property protection objectives into a fully co-ordinated approach.
Earls Gate Energy Centre
OFR Consultants is supporting client Brockwell Energy on a fire engineering strategy in Grangemouth. Involvement has included both complex engineering analysis to ensure all life safety objectives are achieved, together with onsite support during the construction phase.