Our Services


Rickard Engineering offer engineering design services in all facets of façade, diagnostic structural and civil works. The practice is renowned for its expertise in the design of building facades, in particular for curtain wall construction and the design of glass reinforced cement (GRC).


Our services cover all classes of buildings: commercial, residential, industrial, retail, car parks, pre-fabricated and modular structures, demountable buildings, education facilities and materials handling facilities. Works include design in steel, concrete and timber materials specialising in:

  • Conceptual and schematic design
  • Wind analysis review
  • Lateral stability optimisation
  • Earthquake engineering
  • Detailed design and construction documentation
  • Site support
  • Peer reviews and value engineering

Our staff are trained to ensure that all structural design is appropriate for purpose and to be conscious both of construction cost and construction time.

With structural engineering we are particularly focused on the need to NOT overdesign.


The design of high rise building façades requires careful and detailed analysis. It is necessary to consider the “design intent” of the architect together with structural limitations and possible implications for construction. Concept design is essential to provide thermal analysis, ascertain likely wind loads, negative pressure, water-tightness and construction methodology and to work closely with owners, architects, contractors and other engineers.
Over many years we have become experts in the design of virtually every form of façade treatment including, but without being limited to:

  • Curtain wall and window design and certification
  • Precast concrete and GRC
  • Metal clad and rain-screen systems
  • Stone and terracotta
  • Structural glass
  • Fibre composites
  • Glass awnings and skylights
  • Thermal analysis of façade systems

The practice is renowned for its expertise in façades, in particular for curtain wall construction and the design of glass reinforced concrete cladding panels.


Project evaluation generally occurs post-design.

Value engineering is generally conducted pre-design or during the design process.

Over-design of structural engineering elements by some practitioners is, unfortunately commonplace. A peer review
by an experienced structural engineer can identify whether a structure has in fact been over designed. Rickard Engineering’s strict adherence to economical design within its own practice provides it with the ability to audit the work of others leading if necessary, to recommendations on design amendment and cost minimisation.

Rickard Engineering, both with project evaluation and value engineering, works in conjunction with Robert Hart who has experience working with architects, engineers (in all disciplines), builders and developers.


Charles Rickard is an acknowledged world expert in the design and application of GRC technology. He was the Technical Secretary to the Cement & Concrete Association during the 1990’s when he wrote the Australian Code of Practice for GRC. His pioneering use of continuous glass lament has led to much improved strength in façade structures and has been adopted as a standard throughout the world by the majority of GRC designers and fabricators.

Charles and his team are regularly invited overseas to provide GRC design services.

GRC is widely used in the Middle East and is quickly gaining popularity in Australia. It is the logical alternative to flammable composite aluminium cladding.


Since the 1990s, zero rated fibreglass has been available and has been used in such items as the Tangara train seats (for which we also designed the injection moulds) and other areas where fire rating is essential. The strength and exibility of GRP allows for its use in façades and other indoor and outdoor applications.

GRP is used extensively for swimming pools. Rickard Engineering was responsible for designing the rst free standing breglass swimming pool requiring no support from any soil or other structure.

Other commissions have included the design of seats for a grandstand at Randwick Race Course, the canopy to the lookout tower in Newcastle and agitation tanks for the manufacture of gelatine.

GRP has the strength of steel but the stiffness of timber.


Rickard Engineering has been involved in the design and the development of numerous products which are integral to construction and engineering both. We have designed a number of aluminium proprietary products for the exclusive use of contractors for use in building façades, a range of GRC drainage pits for Mascot Engineering and a re resistant GRC decking for use in country bushland areas.

We have the design skills in-house to meet most challenges for the design of specific products.

If you need to make it, we can help design it.


Charles Rickard has arguably the broadest experience in the design of swimming pools in Australia. Charles has enjoyed a professional relationship with Crystal Pools since 1984 – building concrete pools. If one considers the design of fibreglass pools, he has no peer.

He has acted for Compass Pools Australia since 1984. In 1987, Charles was technical secretary to Standards Australia for the major overhaul of the Fibreglass Pool Codes, AS1838 and AS1839. In 1993, he won an Australian Design Award for the first free standing fibreglass pool “Compass Maxi”.

A selection of aquatic projects include:

  • Bradbury Swimming Pool, NSW
  • Colmslie Aquatic Centre Brisbane, QLD
  • Eagle Vale Swimming Pool, NSW
  • Hilton Hotel Melbourne, VIC
  • Mt Annan Leisure Centre, NSW
  • Next Generation Club, ACT

When it comes to the design of swimming pools, Charles Rickard is an acknowledged expert in the field.


Rickard Engineering regularly provides advice to building contractors on means of stabilising existing structures during major redesign and/or refurbishment works.

Temporary works may include design of back-propping, in ll slabs, adjunct footings/foundations and the like.


Our team of professional engineers have disparate yet complementary skills enabling us to confidently design:

  • Retaining walls
  • Underground pits
  • Deep trenches including ground stabilisation walls
  • Concrete and steel tanks
  • Foundations including piling and piers
  • Pavements
  • Civil works
  • Storm water controls

Staff involvement in completed projects includes:

The new container parks in the Ports of Sydney and Brisbane, the runway pavement alterations at Sydney Airport, the design of the Dubai dry docks and the Newcastle coal terminal at Koorangang Island, the largest coal port in the world.


Rickard Engineering has been providing engineering diagnostic services in Australia since 1984 and has strong ongoing relationships in the public sector, in particular, the NSW Department of Education.

Every year Rickard Engineering inspects an average of one school every calendar week. Rectification of cracking in
old buildings requires pragmatism combined with a sound understanding of soil mechanics in relation to masonry and timber frame structures.

We also look at issues to do with residential strata when the enquiry is specifically to do with engineering. Such experience is also invaluable when evaluating the cause of building defects which become a matter of a building dispute.

We have a proven track record of achieving optimum design solutions whilst minimising costs.


Lawyers know the law; we know building construction.

Building and construction litigation can be costly, stressful for both parties and often unnecessary. In the end, no one really wins in court except perhaps the lawyers. We have found that in reality, the root cause of a dispute can often be found in poor design or lack of effective supervision rather than in the execution of trades workmanship.

We have the proven expertise to unravel and understand complex problems and to separate and identify the design, management and construction responsibilities attaching to the particular dispute, without resort to the law.

We confer with both parties to gain an understanding of the issues from their respective points of view. We then undertake a process known as “Early Neutral Evaluation” to guide our initial determination of the factual basis of a claim by claimant and defendant, both. When our review is complete we provide totally unbiased advice on how to resolve a dispute at a fraction of the cost of litigation.

Our team of industry experts have the experience and skills to resolve your dispute quickly, fairly and cost effectively.