Engineering a Better Society

Engineering a Better Society

As an engineering practice we have always tried to do things differently at Elliott Wood. To do more than simply focus on the day-to-day and ask what difference we can make as individuals, engineers and a community.

To reveal the hidden opportunities that make the engineering work harder for our clients, society and our planet. In doing so, we can make a difference far beyond the nuts and bolts.

We created a phrase to capture our approach. We called it Engineering a Better Society. It states our commitment to improving the design and engineering of the places where we live, work and play. We needed a structure for our approach, so we wrote a manifesto, we called this ETHICS. To help us meet, talk and share we needed a place, so we created The Building Society.

But we cannot do it alone, and we aim through collaboration to elevate industry knowledge and inspire people, projects and policies that can shape social and environmental reform.

Our video series showcases reflections from some of the most influential figures in the built environment on how we can do more to engineer a better society. The short films will deliver a diverse array of thoughts and ideas from throughout our industry, including journalists, architects, designers, developers and of course engineers!

“We wanted to capture real insight and opinion from some of those committed to improving the places where we live, work and play and the society we live in. We’re thrilled by the level of contribution and support we have been receiving in our ongoing commitment to Engineer a Better Society, and look forward to growing this during 2019, our 25th anniversary year, and beyond!”

Gary Elliott, Founder & CEO, Elliott Wood

Gary explains the thinking behind our Time to do More campaign and some of the key initiatives that could lessen the industry's impact on the environment, in this interview with Journalist and Author, Helen Parton.

“It’s a rallying cry to the industry to do better things. For many years the industry has been bad - and I don’t use that word lightly - it is a hugely polluting industry. So we can’t keep doing the same things. It’s time to take our thinking to the industry and see if we can influence others to do better as well.”

"At Elliott Wood we know that how you live, work and play will have an impact on happiness and that today the boundaries separating these are blurred. We also know that in 21st century technology, infrastructure, health, education and sustainability all have an enormous, increasing and ever changing impact too. But, people and communities will always remain at the heart of society and by better understanding what holds them together will enable us to engineer a better society."

Gary Elliott, Founder and Chief Executive

Peter Murray, Chairman of New London Architecture, reflects on the exciting changing relationship between the professions within the industry. With architects and engineers collaborating more closely than ever before, we’re seeing significant positive impact delivered for society as a whole, for today, tomorrow and the future.

“When I started out as an architect, it was generally thought that the architect did the drawings and then the engineer worked out how big it ought to be. But that changed! The engineer is brought in right at the beginning of the problem solving and I think that’s really important. Bringing together all these people to deliver benefits to society right across the board.”

Richard Baldwin, Head of Development at Derwent London, ponders on the role of engineers within the built environment, and how innovation and development can lift the human spirit.

“Engineering is all part of architecture, making sure the building stands up, it’s also making sure that it’s economical, and it’s about creating volume and space. Clever engineers can stretch the performance of materials like concrete and steel to give more volume to buildings.”

NEON, an award winning design practice based in Margate, explore the space between architecture, design and the often unseen engineering behind it all.

"We live in quite divisive times, and what art is really good at is offering multiple perspectives which can open your mind to other possibilities or realities. To do things that look so effortless and aesthetic and beautiful, there’s often a lot of engineering behind them to make all that happen. It’s about maximising the potential and possibilities of the materials."

Viliina Koivisto and Mark Nixon, NEON