Archwood House UAL

Modular construction approach shortens programme

Regenerating a former industrial site, Archwood House provides much needed student beds for University of the Arts London’s Camberwell College campus. Walsh worked with Hollybrook through both planning and construction phases. Walsh was the lead engineering consultant undertaking the detailed design of the in-situ frame and foundations as well as the civil engineering packages.

The constrained site had limited access, so Walsh acted as coordinating engineer on the superstructure, working closely with the architect and precast concrete specialist FP McCann to develop a structural solution which maximised off-site (MMC) manufacture. One which could be installed using mobile cranes because of site constraints.

The floor slabs were just 175mm thick which reduced the embodied carbon and the weight of the building, thereby providing savings to the foundations. As well as providing a sustainable solution, the concrete wall panels took up less floor space than a traditional “stud wall” approach thereby enabling the developer to provide more bedrooms.

The façade used a factory-built insulated precast “sandwich” panel which avoided workmanship issues whilst providing a well-insulated and airtight face to further improve the environmental credentials of the buildings.

Taking the MMC approach reduced construction time by 60% versus a traditional build and a further 17% (five week) programme saving was recognised over and above this as the buildings went up so easily.


Imagery credited to Clive Sherlock

  • UAL
  • Stephen Marshall Architects
  • Hollybrook
Completion Date2022

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