Camberwell College of the Arts

Value engineering facilitates economic design of academic building and student accommodation

Appointed by Hollybrook, Walsh developed a new student accommodation block and a new academic wing, including a central plant for a revamped UAL Camberwell campus masterplan. Walsh’s value engineering skills led to an efficient design and minimal temporary works.

Walsh worked with Hollybrook’s supply chain to develop a ‘grey’ box precast solution for the upper floor of the student accommodation block. This allowed for rapid erection of the upper floors in a tightly confined site which accelerated the programme and minimised disruption to the university and its neighbours. The floor slab were 175mm precast units supported on 160mm internal precast walls and 140mm external precast panels. These external panels were later clad with handset brickwork.

Once the PBSA was completed, works moved on to the new academic extension block. This was a striking louvred clad building and used long-span PT slabs to provide a column-free internal structure.

The new academic block features exposed concrete to all floors, walls, ceilings, columns and stairs and is naturally ventilated. The large basement theatre needed excavation up to 7m deep, so buttress piles were designed in to remove the need for temporary works and speed up on-site construction.

A new canteen and common rooms are located on the ground floor with the upper floors providing artist spaces for students. The top floor became the campus administration centre. To provide an open grid required for this, Walsh used post-tensioned concrete which also enabled us to avoid a thick transfer slab in the lower floors.

  • Hollybrook
  • UAL
  • Stephen Marshall Architects
  • Hollybrook
Completion Date2018

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Taking Sustainability Seriously

Sustainability is in our DNA and we have our own ambitious goals to achieve Net Zero as a business and with our designs. With innovative in-house monitoring tools, Walsh clients have seen on average reductions of 10-20% total embodied carbon, with some of our flagship work achieving 60-70% reductions compared with baseline figures.