Hoare Lea

Hoare Lea
Industry engineering consulting
Founded 1862
Headquarters Bristol, UK
Number of employees
Circa 800
Website www.hoarelea.com

Hoare Lea is a British firm of consulting engineers specialising in mechanical, electrical and environmental engineering (building services engineering). Founded in 1862, Hoare Lea has offices located in Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Isle Of Man, Leeds, London, Manchester, Oxford, Plymouth and Glasgow. It has a growing international presence.


Hoare Lea was founded by Henry Lea in 1862.[1] With an expertise spanning the mechanical and electrical disciplines, he was the first person to advertise himself as a Consulting Mechanical Engineer when he opened his office in Birmingham.[1]

Lea pioneered electrical lighting, and methods of efficient heating and air conditioning systems. In 1882, Lea supervised one of the first electrical lighting systems installed in a public building at Birmingham Town Hall.[1] Other notable examples of Lea's work include the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, widely recognised as one of the first air conditioned buildings in the world.[1]

Lea died in 1912 leaving control of the practice to his son, Fred M. Lea, also an engineer and his long-standing principal assistant. During the inter-war recession the firm continued to design for public buildings, and in 1939 Donald Lea amalgamated the Practice with that of Edwin S. Hoare and Partners of Bristol to form Hoare Lea.[1] Hoare Lea transitioned its legal status from a partnership to limited liability partnership (LLP) on 1 May 2016.


The Cube, Birmingham

The firm has a range of specialist teams to complement its mechanical and electrical engineering discipline.

Professional development

Hoare Lea has a comprehensive and structured Initial Professional Development (IPD) scheme developed for graduate engineers pursuing Chartered Engineer status.[3] The scheme comprises on-the-job training as part of a design team; a two-year lecture programme focused on technical, management and communication subjects, and construction site experience. Hoare Lea has recently established an exchange programme with a leading UK architectural practice.[3]

Hoare Lea's IPD scheme is also accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).[3] Hoare Lea was also a founder member of BSRIA, the Building Services Research and Information Association.

In addition to its IPD scheme, Hoare Lea has a national continuing professional development (CPD) programme with two strands – a management development programme and a technical update programme.[4]

The management programme has a series of one-day courses covering a range of management and leadership topics, mainly small-scale workshops delivered by in-house and external presenters, trainers and facilities.[4] The technical programme includes updates in the principal engineering disciplines, covering technical and regulatory developments and case studies as well as sustainability workshops.[4]

Hoare Lea offers options for further study and many employees attend specialist courses and conferences and undertake academic qualifications to support their continuing development.


Cabot Circus, Bristol

Hoare Lea has worked on many award-winning projects, in 2016 a Hoare Lea project - the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford - was shortlisted for the Stirling Prize.[5] In the same year, the industry body CIBSE recognised the firm with Building Services Consultancy of the Year Award (companies with more than 100 employees).[6]

In 2011 the firm won the Integrated Project Team Award at the CIBSE Building Performance Awards for Ceredigion County Council's new office building, Canolfan Rheidol, Aberystwyth.[7]

At the 2010 Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) Engineering Excellence Awards, Hoare Lea won both 'Infrastructure (Medium Firm)' and 'Building Services (Medium Firm)' categories. The awards were presented to Hoare Lea for its work on the converged network infrastructure at Cabot Circus and for Warwick Digital Laboratory.[8]

At the 2009 Building Services awards, Hoare Lea’s professional development activities were recognised through the ‘Training Initiative of the Year’ award.[9] Hoare Lea also won the ‘Best Use of IT Award’ for its work at Cabot Circus. In 2008 Hoare Lea won both ‘Large Consultancy of the Year’ and ‘Innovation of the Year’ at the Building Services Awards. This was the third year in succession and the fifth time in the eleven years since the awards were established, that Hoare Lea received the ‘Large Consultancy of the Year’ award.

Other notable award-winning projects include Horizon House, Bristol, winner of the BREEAM Offices Award 2010[10] and One New Change, London, Overall and Mixed Use Winner of the MIPIM Architectural Review Future Project Awards 2010.[11]


Some of the notable projects in which Hoare Lea was involved are as follows:

Highbury Square, London


External links

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