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Unity Structures: Engineering Excellence

When people think of structural engineering, it’s typically grand projects that come to mind. Chris Young had an exciting time working on 40-storey skyscrapers in a big firm, but then he wanted to find something more personal and less corporate. So Chris set up Unity Structures, bringing his engineering excellence to the residential market, to help his clients build their dream homes. And now Unity Structures have found their perfect home here at ICKG!

Chris, welcome to ICKG! We’re delighted to have Unity Structures here as part of the community. Can you tell us a bit about your business?

We are structural engineers focused on building structures, mainly in the high-end residential market. We work on all those hidden parts of a building that make it stand up. Our role is to help our customers and their architects deliver their vision for a building.

How long have you been running the business, and what led you to start your own company? Do you have any particular goals going forward?

I established the company in 2017, and it’s been going well.

Before Unity Structures, I was an associate at Robert Bird Group; I had spent the previous four years leading the steel design for 100 Bishopsgate, a 40-storey skyscraper by London Liverpool St. Those big projects are incredible, but I was looking for something more personal, less corporate. So I set up on my own, and it has gone from strength to strength.

Now that we have a solid customer base, we are in demand. The plan is to expand the business. But not too much. I’m aiming for controlled sustainable growth, with a strong focus on maintaining our quality of service.


What kinds of structural engineering projects do you tend to work on? Are there any types of projects you particularly enjoy?

We do a bit of everything. But most of our work is in the high-end residential market—both new build and refurbishment projects.

For me, the most enjoyable projects are the challenging ones. We have added basements under existing buildings and renovated historic structures. Our clients want a luxury product and to enjoy the process.

The skill is solving all the inevitable problems that come with construction while making it enjoyable for our customers. Often, we are working on their dream project, they may have been planning it for years. So there is real satisfaction when you get it right.

You’ve recently moved into ICKG, what made you choose us and how are you finding it so far? 

I ended up here almost by accident. I was looking for a space in Colchester, and the Innovation Centre fitted the bill. But it’s been a happy accident and a perfect fit for Unity Structures.

Being amongst a community of businesses works for me. If you’re not mindful of the challenges, running a business or working independently can be isolating. Small things at the Innovation Centre, like the founders’ forum and business support sessions, are excellent resources. Having an opportunity to talk through your ideas with people who understand can make all the difference.

As a structural engineer, you often work in partnership with other businesses. Have you built any new partnerships within the ICKG community? Do you have any tips for other businesses about working collaboratively with other companies?

ICKG is an ideal set-up for business collaboration. Having a diverse group of companies in one place presents opportunities.

I’ve been working with Tom at Constellation Marketing on a brand refresh, a new website and other aspects of our marketing. This came out of a chance meeting at the founders’ forum. I like that networking style; it is natural, and you can talk to people with no agenda and see if you get on. Tom and I did, and it is going well.

Engineers and architects work hand in hand. So, sharing a building with Studio HEDG Architects has been another happy accident. It’s early days, but it has all the makings of a productive partnership.

My tip for other businesses is to take full advantage of ICKG’s opportunities. If you receive an invite to something, go along. It’s worked for me.


What’s next on the horizon for Unity Structures?

With Nicola joining as my new PA and recruitment plans underway to strengthen the team, we are poised for growth. I am excited about expanding our client base. Hopefully, the coming years will see us maintain our current client’s, build relationships and develop more projects in the commercial sector.


Find out more about Unity Structures by visiting their website

Find out more about our office space solutions, or contact us at info@innovationcentre-kg.co.uk  or 01206 405 50.

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