Buro Happold is a professional services firm providing engineering consultancy, design, planning, project management and consulting services for all aspects of buildings, infrastructure and the environment. It was founded in 1976, by Sir Edmund Happold in Bath in the southwest of England when he left Ove Arup and Partners to take up a post at the University of Bath as Professor of Architecture and Engineering Design.
Originally working mainly on projects in the Middle East, the firm now operates worldwide and in almost all areas of engineering for the built environment, with offices in seven countries. The parent company owns the subsidiary companies Happold Consulting, Happold Media and Happold Safe and Secure. The firm includes a number of specialist engineering consultancy groups.
Buro Happold was founded on 1 May 1976, with its first office on Gay Street in Bath, United Kingdom. The firm started with eight partners:
The King’s Office, Council of Ministers and Majlis Al Shura (KOCOMMAS), Central Government Complex in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia was the firm’s first major design project in 1976. Initially, Buro Happold offered only structural engineering consultancy, with a particular strength in lightweight structures, but in 1977 it added civil engineering and geotechnical engineering and in 1978 building services engineering. In 1982 Buro Happold started to work with Future Tents Ltd (FTL) on a variety of temporary and recreational structures. The firms combined their operations in 1992, but split again in 1997.
In 1983, Buro Happold opened an office in Riyadh, and has since opened offices around the UK and internationally:
View of the Great Court, British Museum, London.
By 1993, Buro Happold had 130 employees and 8 partners. In 1998 this had grown to 300 employees and 12 partners, while in 2000 with over 500 employees the partnership was increased to 23. In 2006 the partnership stood at 25 with over 1400 employees and 14 offices. Due to this growth and the addition of so many different services, the company was restructured in 2003 to consist of multi-disciplinary teams of engineers, each with structural, mechanical and electrical engineers supported by specialist consulting groups.
In 2005, Buro Happold launched Happold Consulting, a management and overseas development consultancy with expertise in the construction sector, and Happold Media, a subsidiary offering graphic design and media development services. In 2007, Buro Happold launched Safe and Secure, a subsidiary offering security consultancy and design services. The firm now places over 100 distinct different services under the headings:
Significant amongst its specialist consultancy services are its fire consultancy group, FEDRA, and software development group SMART which worked with Sheffield University to develop Vulcan software, widely used throughout the fire engineering industry. SMART also develops Buro Happold’s in-house software Tensyl, a non-linear finite element analysis and patterning program for fabric structures, and people flow modelling software. Also notable is its group COSA, which undertakes computational modelling and analysis and the Sustainability and Alternative Technologies Group.
In 2007 Buro Happold became a limited liability partnership, and in 2008 appointed 18 new partners.
Por Juan de Dios Bermejo