Award Recognised Project

Cobalt Place, Surrey Lane

Cross-laminated timber design improves sustainability

A development boasting impressive sustainability credentials, using cross laminated timber to make a building with dramatically less embodied carbon than a traditional reinforced concrete design.

This project was designed with the use of cross laminated timber (CLT) in mind. The prefabricated nature of the CLT panels ensured high-speed construction, with a 15-week build period for the structural frame, improving the project’s sustainable credentials.

This project was a key part of a drive by Walsh to develop an industry-leading system of analysing sustainability on environmental and economic levels. Walsh now assesses the life cycle impact of embodied carbon on designs on several current projects.

Our detailed environmental analysis of Cobalt Place determined that the blocks combined were 41% of the embodied carbon of an equivalent RC structure. Under the London Borough carbon offset systems, an equivalent saving in CO₂ emissions compared to that achieved on the Cobalt Place development from using a timber frame over an RC one would cost between £3.2m and £4.8m.

Throughout the project several technical challenges emerged, such as the proposed cantilevers for the balconies could not be formed using the CLT. Instead they were formed using a bespoke support framework solution, developed by the design team. This customised solution simplified the on-site construction and connection detailing, and minimised steel tonnage.


  • Lendlease
  • AHMM
Completion Date2015

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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.