Planning and Design

Getting the right specialist input from a scheme’s outset is vital for delivering successful outcomes. We understand that the early design and feasibility stages are when expert advice is at its most impactful on project viability, and that’s why we dedicate highly experienced staff to supporting schemes from the start.

Our cross-sector planning and design services span all engineering and environmental disciplines, bringing targeted expertise to a project at the right time. Underpinned by our collaborative culture, we take a cross-discipline approach and deliver optimum solutions at pace, maximising value and minimising risk. We are passionate about tackling the climate emergency, and we strive to embed climate resilience within everything we do.

Our specialists utilise the latest technology to solve complex problems efficiently and effectively.  We work in synergy with the project team to de-risk your scheme through proactive early engagement and consultation with targeted stakeholders, prioritising the identification of risks and opportunities from day one.


We ensure milestones from planning through to detailed design are carefully managed and sequenced with every survey, calculation and opportunity examined so you progress with confidence, supported by expertise to help you navigate each project stage.

Equipped with a deep understanding of the challenges you face, we provide the targeted knowledge you need to reduce risk, optimise value and deliver outstanding results.

We value innovation and constantly challenge our ideas and solutions to meet the brief, whilst positively contributing to tackling the climate emergency.

We continually benchmark our designs against evolving guidance and legislation, giving you the assurance that key decisions are well informed and will withstand the scrutiny of your customers throughout the assets lifecycle.

We pride ourselves on the quality of our service, placing technical excellence at the heart of everything we do. As your design partner we take  ownership and closely manage our cross discipline consultancy services to provide a transparent, seamless and cohesive experience. Our senior leaders are accessible throughout every project, providing assurance at each step.

Net Zero
& Sustainability

We ensure sustainability and net zero principals are embedded in every project at every opportunity.

& Appraisal

The ability to accurately assess the true value of any acquisition or asset is pivotal in the decision making process of any scheme.

Planning &

Exemplary designs need the best site teams to bring them to life, and we take great pride in helping you realise your vision.

Construction & Development

We cover all sectors and span all engineering and environmental disciplines, bringing the right expertise at each stage.

Operation &
Asset Management

Our in–house expertise provides you with a total solution to help you manage and operate your assets.


We recognise the need to optimise the value of your assets whether they are newly constructed properties or existing building stock.

Project Lifecycle Support

“Sustainability is a critical part of Berkeley’s Vision 2030. As our trusted partner for Camden Goods Yard, we value Waterman’s sustainability-driven cross discipline expertise. For us, one the key differentiators is the commitment of their very experienced staff and this helps drive decision making and innovation across out projects.”

Richard Syddall, Senior Development Manager, St George Plc

Key Services

Acoustics, Noise and Vibration.
Contaminated Land Advice.
Air Quality, Dust and Odour.
Flood Risk Assessment.
Sustainable Urban Drainage (SUDs).
Archaeology and Built Heritage.
Landscape planning and design.
Waste advice, permit and planning.
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
Transport Modelling.
Sustainable Transport and Travel Plan advice.
Bridge Design.
Rail design.
Health & Safety / Principal Designer.
Utilities and Infrastructure advice.

Geotechnical studies / investigations.
Temporary Works Design.
Structural advice / inspections and design.
Building Services advice / inspections and design.
Public Health advice / inspections and design.
Smart Technology.
Vertical Transport.
Energy strategies and renewables advice.
Embodied Carbon studies, Operational Carbon and Whole – Life Carbon, advice.
Circular economy and material passports.
Climate Resilience.
Sustainability Statements.
Energy Performance Certificates and NABERS Assessments.

Find Out more…

Featured Project

Manchester Metropolitan University’s (MMU) Student Union is a £9m, 23,000 sqm, four-storey scheme accommodating 5,000 students and staff.

Designed to be tough, flexible and fun, the facility comprises an entertainment hall, fully fitted night club and bar areas along with retail space, café bar, meeting rooms, offices and fitness studio.

Our team were appointed to provide building services, structural engineering and acoustics for this new build multi-use Student Union located within the city centre MMU campus area. The building design needed to offer flexibility to meet the wide range of potential uses and requirements, with the main hall needing to offer the ability to transform from nightclub venue to sports hall, dining area, exam hall and conference space, all with different operational parameters and requirements.

The four-storey building has glazed brick elevations interspersed with curtain walling and a green roof above the 18m clear span events hall. The exterior design utilises materials which reflect its cultural importance, whilst complementing the neighbouring Victorian pubs and playhouses. Internal spaces have been kept open and flexible, punctuated by exposed structures, services and pre-cast concrete walls. During preconstruction, archaeological investigations of the site revealed a number of intact 19th century basements. It was decided to preserve one of these beneath the café’ bar by constructing a concrete box around the basement and illuminating to allow viewing through the floor via an unusual glass floor.

A stacked system was used for the precast glazed brick cladding panels to avoid excessive loads onto the frame, and a precast design was also adopted for some of the foundation elements. Elsewhere, our acoustics specialists determined that the events hall roof needed to be of concrete construction, therefore, for lightness, 18m clear span steel beams were used to support the concrete roof.

The MEP strategy delivered heating, cooling and ventilation systems with energy efficient control to adjust to the differing hours of use and occupancies across the varied spaces in the building. We used high efficiency air source heat pump technologies to lower the carbon emissions of the building and to meet the Manchester City Council’s carbon emission targets, coupled with heat recovery on all ventilation systems, LED lighting, lighting controls and high thermal efficiency fabrics. The scheme has met and surpassed these targets. The building controls and metering systems have been interfaced back to the central MMU energy monitoring systems to allow zone by zone and floor by floor energy monitoring in line with the MMU’s approach to department energy assessments and initiatives. The fully mechanically vented building was designed to suit the city centre location and noise control requirements.

For consistency of detailing and speed of construction, a precast solution was adopted for both the structural frame and external cladding, the thermal mass of which was incorporated as part of the MEP strategy, acting as a key driver in the structural design selection. The building was developed from the outset to make full use of the exposed concrete frame, which harnesses thermal mass for the benefit of the internal environment. The offset of peak heating and cooling loads has created an energy efficient system to deal with the short-term increases in occupancy and space usage associated with the main hall and student areas.

This development achieved a BREEM ‘Excellent’ rating and has won RIBA North-West Regional and RIBA National Awards.

MMU Student Union