2023 Newsletter

A Thank You from All at Shire

A great big thank you to all our clients, suppliers and colleagues for their support during 2022. Any year that includes a war In Europe, materials shortages, rapidly rising prices and a drought is always going to be interesting. One positive legacy from the Covid years is an industry wide desire to work more closely together and this has helped enormously with this year’s challenges. So once again a big thankyou from everyone at Shire.

Penguin Time

The recent cold spell has reminded us that we all need more penguins in our life. Please click on one of the three links below to download your very own pet penguin.

Charity Food Bank Donation

Up until last week, we were going to adopt a colony of penguins, but the empty shelves at the local food bank changed that. Instead, we have decided to limit the adoption to one penguin (she’s called Pauline) and make a donation to the Foodbank at Catshill Baptist Church.

Merry Christmas

We will be closing for Christmas on Friday 23rd December and will return on Tuesday 3rd January.

Merry Christmas from all the Emperor, Little Blue and Rockhopper penguins at Shire!

Rootbase Patent & Future Build Show

We are thrilled to announce that we have been granted a patent for our innovative Rootbase S-Range product – designed to solve challenges faced in the building industry, to make for a more sustainable environment.

About Rootbase

Our Rootbase S-Range product is an innovative product designed to support loads of up to 15 tonnes individually. This product is intended to be an alternative concrete foundation, which is often expensive and labour intensive to implement. The Rootbase can be implemented in just fifteen minutes, with a range of connection heads that allow them to be used with various other materials. What’s more, they are reusable – ideal for temporary building projects.

This product has many benefits – not only because it is an affordable alternative to traditional concrete – but also because it is lightweight, compact in size, and easy to use.

Popular uses of the Rootbase S-Range include single storey buildings, shipping and storage containers, temporary cabins and classrooms, and holiday lodges and glamping pods.

Due to its innovative design and range of benefits, Rootbase has also been shortlisted for a Big Think Innovation award – an award group that recognises those who bring new ideas to life and change the way we experience the world.

Sustainable Design

One of the main benefits of the Rootbase S Range is that the product is reusable, contributing for a more sustainable built environment. The current climate crisis is one that all industries need to be aware of and should be working and adapting to fight. Using products such as the Rootbase that can be used time and time again, with a lifespan of over 60 years, helps the environment and strengthens the climate movement.

FutureBuild Show

We recently attended the FutureBuild show – an event that brings together brands across sectors, to collaborate and share knowledge with the focus to deliver a more sustainable built environment. The event featured keynote stages and a brand exhibition, allowing businesses to come together to combine expertise to discover and create solutions to make the industry more environmentally friendly.

If you’d like to evolve your building environment and use the Rootbase S-Range, contact our friendly team now.

Raising Money for St Basils in 2022

Here at Shire, we think it’s important to give back to those in need. In lieu of sending gifts out to our clients at Christmas, we decided that the money would be better spent (and I’m sure you’ll all agree) by gifting it to support those in need.

This meant that at Christmas last year (2021) we donated over £5,000 to St Basils – a charity that gives homeless young people a chance to improve their lives and kick start their journey to employment.

To try and keep things fun for our clients, we put together a little competition to help raise awareness for the charity. We hope you all enjoyed taking part and that the Framed Cell from the movie White Christmas is sitting proudly on the winners wall.

A Lifeline for Young People

St Basils charity works with homeless young people to help them find a stable home and develop confidence and skills to increase employment opportunities. Their aim is to give young people the skills and knowledge to prevent future homelessness.

St Basils works with those that are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, to increase opportunities and kick start their journey back to employment. By giving young people skills that will last a lifetime, St Basils work is vital for those that are in need, and who otherwise may be left without help and support.

The work that St Basils charity does is a lifeline for many young people – the charity houses over 500 young people every single night.

Learn more about St Basils and make a donation here

Shire and St Basils

We think it’s important to help young people in every way we can. Our donation goes towards accommodation for young people to help bridge the gap between starting work and receiving their first pay cheque – one which will give them opportunities to change their lives.

We take pride in being founded in the Midlands, and supporting a local charity is close to our heart. With over 40 supported accommodation schemes across the area, St Basils offers a vital helping hand for young people across the Midlands.

Looking Ahead

Throughout 2022 we will continue to support St Basils and the important work that they do, now more than ever. The last few years have been incredibly hard for many, and with a rise in homelessness and job losses, we want to continue to support the incredible work that St Basils do everyday, to help young people get back on their feet.

Beatles Christmas Competition WInner!

We’d like to say a big thankyou to everyone who entered our Christmas Beatles Competition! We had lots of fun looking through all the entries. Most of you hit the nail on the head with your entries and some of you even found some Beatles references that we didn’t intend to be there!

We put all the correct entries into a hat and drew a winner at random.

And the Winner is…

Congratulations,Maureen from Sedgwick!

Maureen said, “Loved your email – very entertaining and smart! And also made me read the whole email!”. We’re glad that our winner enjoyed taking part and we hope the rest of you did too.

We’d also like to offer a big congratulations to Caitriona Pearsall, who had the highest score of all the Shire Staff entries.

We hope 2021 is off to a good start for everyone! We’ll catch up with you soon with some more news from Shire.

Check Your Answers

If you want to check your answers, we’ve highlighted them in green below (and you’ll find the 3 bonus points highlighted in grey):

What a Year!

Well, it’s been a long and winding road, but we have finally made it to the end of the year! We’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support throughout the last year and wish you a very Merry Christmas. Things seem to be getting better and, hopefully, we can all get back to normal soon but for now, after a helter skelter of a year, it’s time to forget yer blues and come together with family and friends (of course, following whatever guidelines are in place) to enjoy some merriment.

Like every other business in the UK, we were forced to adapt to new ways of working and were constantly being told “you can’t do that” but thanks to the hard work and dedication of our teams, many of them working 8 days a week, we have been able to continue to provide most of our services.

Despite everything going on, there have been many positive parts of the year for Shire. Our RootBase concrete-free foundation system was nominated as a finalist in the Equipment Innovation category as part this year’s GE Awards, which for obvious reasons took place virtually, as well as being nominated as a finalist in the Big Think Innovation Expo at the Futurebuild Exhibition. We also took part in The Subsidence Forum’s Training Webinar where we demonstrated a day in the life of a Geotechnical engineer to show how different soil samples are collected.

For more news on what we’ve been up to and information about our services, visit shire-uk.com

Helping Homeless Young People Get Back into Work

At Christmas, we normally send our clients something fun to spread the Christmas cheer and say thank you. However, it seems out of step with the mood of the country to send a Christmas gift to offices this year, so we have decided to donate the gift budget to St Basils, who are focussed on supporting homeless young people.

St Basils supports those young people in getting into employment and learning how to look after themselves. Our donation will provide accommodation for twenty young people in Bromsgrove to help bridge the gap between starting work and receiving their first pay cheque.

If you want to learn more about St Basils or make a personal donation, please visit their website.

Competition Time

You may have noticed some references to Beatles songs throughout this email. There are a total of 12. If you can find them all, let it be known by naming all 12 songs via email to christmas@shire-uk.com for the chance to win a framed signed Beatles Abbey Road photo print and mini gold vinyl cd.

All correct entries will be put into a hat and a winner will be drawn on 8th January 2021.

Merry Christmas

This year we are closing our offices a little earlier than usual for the festive period – we will be closing at 1pm on Friday 18th December and will return on Monday 4th January 2021.

All together now – “We Wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!”

Best wishes,

Simon Crook, Richard Hartshorne, Ron Mace & the Team at Shire

P.S. I love you.


  1. The Long and Winding Road
  2. Getting Better
  3. Get Back
  4. Helter Skelter
  5. Yer Blues
  6. Come Together
  7. You Can’t Do That
  8. 8 Days a Week
  9. A Day in the Life
  10. Let it Be
  11. All Together Now
  12. P.S. I Love You

Bonus Points

  1. Something
  2. The End
  3. Help

Shire Shortlisted for GE Awards

The Ground Engineering Awards are designed to give the technical and project leads of clients, contractors and designers the knowledge and skills to deliver future projects.

GE’s annual awards event has become a highlight on the geotechnical calendar for many years. They are the most prestigious awards in the geotechnical industry, bringing together industry leaders to celebrate achievements in projects, people and business over the last twelve months. 

This year, Shire is proud to announce that it’s RootBase concrete-free foundation system was shortlisted for the Equipment Innovation category.


The RootBase S-Range is designed to solve the challenges of expensive and labour intensive traditional concrete foundations. The S-Range is designed to support loads of up to 15 tonnes and can be installed in just 15 minutes making them ideal for temporary or permanent single storey buildings or temporary structures, including shipping container structures.  

RootBase S-Range foundation systems are reusable, lightweight and can be installed using a lightweight post drive so can easily be reused once no longer required. This makes them particularly useful when relocating site offices or portable cabins.

Shire GE Awards 2020 Certificate

The Awards

For obvious reasons, this year’s GE Awards event was held in a virtual setting. It was a virtual gathering of the geotechnical industry that celebrated the hard work and dedication of the people behind projects and initiatives over the last year.

We were proud to be shortlisted for such a prestigious award and congratulate the winner. You can view the winners on the GE Awards website or if you missed out on the celebrations and want to access all the on-demand features, including networking tools so you can connect with fellow attendees, you can register for access here.

Hotter Summers Lead to a Rise in Subsidence Claims

With British summers getting hotter and dryer every year, more properties are suffering from subsidence issues.

Following the record temperature summer of 2018, insurers reported that subsidence claims rose by 25% and that they were bracing themselves for an additional influx as the warm weather continued.

Hot weather can cause the ground beneath a property to lose moisture and contract which causes foundations to sink. This can also be caused by tree roots drawing moisture from the soil. Whatever the cause, subsidence is a serious problem and can cause severe damage to property.

Not all homes are at the same risk of subsidence. Clay soil can shrink, crack and shift during hot weather making this type of ground unstable. Houses in areas that are prone to drought also have an increased risk of subsidence. The age of the property, local mining activity and leaking drains or water mains can also affect the stability of a property. 

What are the Signs of Subsidence

Subsidence can also cause windows and doors to stick as the building’s structure becomes distorted.

The first sign is usually from cracks appearing in plaster inside a home or in external walls. These cracks are often different from the usual cracks that appear. They usually develop very suddenly and often after long periods of dry weather. 

Other tell-tale signs include:

  • Gaps thicker than 3mm (roughly the width of a 10p coin).
  • Diagonal cracks that are wider at the top.
  • Cracks that are visible both internally and externally.
  • Cracks close to windows and doors
  • Cracks where an extension joins the house.
  • Wallpaper crinkling where the ceiling meets the wall.

However, it’s important to remember that not all cracks that appear are linked to subsidence. Buildings naturally shrink and expand as the weather conditions change and cracks can appear as new homes settle and plasterwork dries out.

Can Subsidence be Repaired?

Depending on the severity of the issue, most cases of subsidence can be cured. There are various methods and products available to lift your property back into position and reinforce the ground below.

Resin injection can repair even the most severe cases of subsidence quickly and effectively.

The first stage of any subsidence treatment is to assess the situation and identify the cause of the movement and the structural condition of the property. If resin injection is identified as a viable option, holes are drilled into precise locations into which resin is injected to lift the property back into position. This procedure is performed under highly controlled conditions using levelling monitoring technology and highly-trained operatives.

The resin injection method of subsidence repair also strengthens the ground underneath the property, thus reducing the risk of future subsidence. 

Resin injection subsidence repair is non-disruptive, fast, reliable, flexible and controlled. However, if this type of repair isn’t suitable, a qualified structural engineer will be able to advise the best option for repair.

About Shire

Shire aims to have an active involvement in projects, making recommendations where we see more effective solutions. We have gained a reputation for being ‘Thinking Engineers’ which has led to a varied workload in the Civil, Structural, Highways, Aerospace, Education and Rail sectors.

Over time, we have expanded our services to include geotechnical investigations, telecommunications design services, structural repair services (including piling, jacking, root barriers), product innovations and foundation systems to name a few.  We work on projects large and small to provide effective and affordable solutions.

If you have any questions or would like to speak with one of our experts, please feel free to get in touch on +44 (0)1527 579933 or send an email to engineers@shire-uk.com.

We Are All in This Together

Please remember that we are all in this together. These are difficult times, and the coronavirus is changing life as we know it, but remember that one day all of this will be behind us and we’ll share stories and memories about how we got through it; about the time when everyone’s health was everyone’s absolute No.1 priority and we all did our very best to protect that.

We Are Continuing to Support Our Customers

During these challenging times for everyone, we at Shire continue to support our customers.  We have added new assessments and practices to ensure we can continue to do that safely. We continue to provide support for structural design as well as emergency situations, surveys and geotechnical investigations. All designers and engineers are now working from home. All surveys and geotechnical investigations will continue with amendments to working practices that are in line with Government guidelines. Each one will be thoroughly assessed on their individual merit and circumstances.

Staying Responsible

As a responsible company, we have identified a small number of working practices, that relate to specific installations in a specific industry, where guidelines cannot currently be met. These are being rescheduled until Government guidelines can be met. However, this does not impact the work we do for the majority of industries.

In order to assess our construction work, we are referring to both Government guidelines and to the Construction Leadership Council Site Operating Procedures.  The Cabinet Office has confirmed that construction in England can continue as long as it can be done safely and in accordance with the guidance. We’re assessing this frequently and if anyone would like to review the information, please follow the link below:

If anyone has any concerns or queries, please contact Angela Griffin on angela.griffin@shire-uk.com or 07753 963677.

Shire UK Quickbase Television Ad

Have you seen our advert on SKY TV? Shire is confident that our QuickBase lightweight foundation system provides a perfect, concrete-free foundation solution for a wide range of applications, and we want to make sure everyone knows about it! That’s why we’ve been running an advert on TV. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can see it below:

Video Transcription

Are you needing solid foundations for your glamping site? Not sure of the best option? Then let Shire, a multi-award winning structural engineering company, provide the solution.

Shire has proven expertise when it comes to foundation and structural engineering dilemmas.

Maybe the site has trees to take into consideration or is situated on less than perfect ground, or you want to avoid using concrete.

Make sure you protect your investment from the start. To find out more visit shire-uk.com today.


QuickBase is Shire’s multi-award-winning flooring, beam and pile system. QuickBase is an entirely unique lightweight foundation system for conservatories and lightweight structures such as glamping facilities and single floor extensions.

QuickBase is based on helical screw piles that support part-recycled plastic ground beams connected via a series of push-fit joints to form a frame. The ground beam is then filled with a specially formulated non-shrink grout to give a high strength composite beam. The frame carries the load of the building through the piles to suitable bearing strata, uniquely removing the need for mass concrete foundations. It is then fitted with a premanufactured damp-proof floor slab onto which the inner wall of the conservatory,  extension or other lightweight structure is built.

QuickBase is completely concrete-free, easy to install and exceeds the requirements of building control regulations.


Engineering innovation is at the heart of Shire’s approach to structural engineering.  Shire was formed during 1988 in the belief that many clients were dissatisfied with the traditional reactive response of some engineers.  Shire aims to have an active involvement in projects, making recommendations where we see more effective solutions. We have gained a reputation for being ‘Thinking Engineers’ which has led to a varied workload in the civil, structural, highways, aerospace, education and rail sectors.

Get in Touch

For more information about QuickBase or to find out how Shire can help you, please feel free to give us a call on +44 (0)1527 579933 or send an email to engineers@shire-uk.com.

Shire Shortlisted for Futurebuild’s Big Innovation Pitch

Futurebuild is the biggest built environment event where brands of all sizes can share their innovations, from products to processes and solutions, with over 27,000 influencers and shapers. 

Shire is delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted for Futurebuild’s Big Innovation award at this year’s event.

Futurebuild brings the most important people in the industry together around the things that really matter to them through agenda-setting conferences and industry-leading keynote stages. This world-class knowledge programme, alongside the exhibition of innovative and inspiring brands, creates an unmissable experience. Futurebuild brings senior professionals from across the built environment together and aims to drive real change.

FutureBuild’s Big Innovation Pitch gives innovative product manufacturers an opportunity to put forward radical solutions to Futurebuild’s six key challenges before one is crowned champion. This is the industry’s largest callout for innovation to date and identifies novel new approaches to some of the biggest challenges facing us all.

We submitted our innovative RootBase foundation system to be considered and we have now been shortlisted to present our product as part of Futurebuild’s Big Innovation Pitch. 


RootBase has been designed to replace the need for traditional concrete foundations. Concrete is the most commonly used material for foundations of all shapes and sizes and we found that companies and individuals were looking for a way to reduce the cost and impact of using concrete for both project efficiency and environmental concerns.

As structural engineers, we found a requirement for a product that provided more support than a surface-mounted solution, particularly in less than perfect ground conditions, while being less expensive than a piled system.

We also came across a number of applications where the substructure would be relocated without leaving an impact on the site such as when temporary buildings are deployed.

How RootBase Works

RootBase, an innovative concrete-free structural foundation system uses a small steel ‘frame’ and ground anchors. It is removable, reusable, recyclable and uses less raw materials than equivalent concrete bases to achieve the same or better performance in terms of load capacity. 

RootBase is quick to install, requires no soil excavation and has an instant load capacity, therefore, reducing project timescales. RootBase foundations can be classified as permanent or temporary. Each base can be installed in 15 minutes and provides a load capacity of up to 15 tonnes each. 

For permanent structures, each base is designed with a lifespan of up to 60 years and is designed, installed and comes complete with structural calculations to suit Building Control requirements. For temporary structures, each base is also removable and reusable. Installation and removal leaves the ground in its original state. At end-of-life, the base is removable and can be recycled at one of the many steel recycling facilities across the UK.

Due to its lightweight and innovative design, a RootBase foundation system improves safety, is better for the environment and improves efficiency.

Futurebuild Exhibition

We are excited to have the opportunity to exhibit RootBase to other like-minded individuals at the Futurebase exhibition at Excel, London this march. We hope to see some of you there.


For more information about RootBase foundation systems, or any of the other products and services Shire has to offer, please feel free to give us a call on +44 (0)1527 579933 or send an email to engineers@shire-uk.com.

Shire is Proud to Sponsor Local Football Team

Shire is proud to announce that we are now sponsoring the under 8’s team of the local football club – AFC Bromsgrove.

Shire believes that it is important to support the local community and sponsoring the local football team is just one area in which we can help. Our sponsorship helps fund AFC Bromsgrove which means they can continue to provide valuable opportunities for local children. With the football kits taken care of, organisers can invest their money in other areas and focus on providing better clubs, more coaches as well as support and recognition for their volunteers – ultimately leading to even more opportunities for local families.

AFC Bromsgrove is a recently formed football club that offers children of all abilities a chance to develop their skills. They play regular matches at home and away and we are very pleased to have provided their kits to help them not only play well but look great doing it.

You can see AFC Bromsgrove in action around the local area where they are already sporting their fantastic new kit that was funded by Shire – unfortunately, we can’t take any credit for the design, but we are extremely proud to see our logo worn by such talented individuals.

You will find AFC Bromsgrove’s fixtures on their Facebook page, so get down to one of their matches and give them some support – we hope to see you there.