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Catch up with Luke

The Story

Its been 18 months since Luke Hunma and Michael Eager were first recruited by 48.3 Scaffold Design as Graduate Design Engineers. Over the coming weeks we catch up with them both to learn how their knowledge has developed, what they have enjoyed and the challenges they have faced. This week we speak to Luke Hunma and find out how he is progressing and what his challenges and high points have been to date. 

What knowledge did you have of Scaffold Design before you started the 48.3 Graduate Training Scheme?

My knowledge of scaffold design was limited, due to no previous training. I had learnt what I could from my peers, people who had worked in the scaffolding industry for more than 35 years. However, the production of design drawings and calculations was more or less self-taught.

How do you feel your knowledge has developed during your time at 48.3? Since joining 48.3 my knowledge, not only in scaffold design specifically, has increased massively. Subsequently my confidence has had a massive boost. I can now class myself as a competent scaffold design engineer: a feat – I thought would take longer than 1 year. This is solely down to the great guidance and the team of professionals surrounding me. What have been the main learning curves for you? My main learning curve has been producing high quality technical scaffold design drawings. My drawing skills and technical knowledge on how to solve problems have vastly improved, having produced over 200 design drawings at 48.3.

How do you feel your customer service skills have developed?

In my previous role I did not spend much time dealing directly with clients, mainly with the scaffold contracts managers. Since working at 48.3 I have built many good working relationships with clients and main contractor site teams. The great customer service that we provide has proven benefits when working with clients. A level of trust is made and maintained.

How do you incorporate the 48.3 values, vision and mission into your everyday work? I am a reflection of 48.3 and 48.3 is a reflection of me. Everything I do, whether it be drawings, calculations, attending site visits or even speaking to clients, I ensure I excel; there is no margin for error. Many people will see the design drawings and calculations I produce and I want everyone to be impressed when they see my work. 

How do you enjoy working in the team and being part of an evolving young company? The future of 48.3 is very bright and I am fortunate and excited to be a part of that. I believe the scaffolding industry as a whole will benefit from the young, passionate and dedicated team we have.

What has been the most challenging project to date and what were the key points you learnt? Tower Hill Station, London Scaffolding Contractor: TRAD Scaffolding Main Contractor: Balfour Beatty The project at Tower Hill station involved nearly every aspect of scaffolding all in one project. The main contractor (Balfour Beatty) are constructing a new hotel over the existing Tower Hill station. The first part of the project to be designed was a pavement gantry surrounding three sides of the site, with strict constraints imposed by London Underground. All station entrances CCTV and emergency signs had to be kept clear, pedestrian traffic was assessed and the gantry support towers were strategically placed to prevent congestion. The gantry beam level had to be at a set height below the future canopy to facilitate its construction; this created a headroom issue for pedestrians and the beam depth was limited to 450mm. Steel beam sections (I-beams) were used to span over station entrances: shallow enough so as to not block emergency signs and CCTV. The existing ground on which the pavement gantry was based had loading restrictions, due to the underground station being directly below. Steel beam sections were placed at ground level to spread the imposed load over existing steel beams below ground level. A 22m high Layher Allround system access scaffold was designed, supported from the gantry beams, to three sides of the new structure. The entire access scaffold was designed to be without any ledger bracing to maximise access on working platforms.

One side of the pavement gantry consisted of a cabin support gantry, supporting six site cabins (3 double stacked), which spanned 11m over one of the station entrances. In order to span such a large distance, and to maintain sufficient pedestrian headroom and avoid all signage and CCTV, twin steel beam sections were designed. The cabin support gantry consisted of four towers, supporting steelwork and maintaining pedestrian access in three directions. Adjacent to the cabins, also on the cabin support gantry was a 30m high 5.0 kN/m2 hoist run-off scaffold made up of a series of beams to transport people and materials at every floor level. The fourth side of the new structure, adjacent to neighbouring properties, required suspended access from the roof to facilitate work to the façade. A 7.5m high suspended access scaffold was designed with cantilevered beams at roof level. Before the new hotel structure can be built, repair work is required to the existing station roof. A duo-pitch temporary roof has been designed spanning approximately 14m over the station to provide temporary cover for roof repairs. Construction phasing has been the most important factor when considering design solution for this project.

What would be the one piece of advice you would give any graduate hoping to enter into the world of Scaffold Design?

Join (or be trained by) 48.3 Scaffold Design… Ben Beaumont, 48.3 Scaffold Design Managing Director added " Luke has been a credit to both himself and the company since he started. His willingness to learn and embrace the 48.3 ethos is fantastic, and he is always willing to go the extra mile for our clients whenever we need it. I have no doubt he will continue to progress and become one of the leading design engineers in the country".