A retrofit first approach to sustainable building design, with the transformation of an outdated concrete office block to a vibrant new student hub for London Southbank University.

Eckersley O’Callaghan are providing structural and facade engineering services including below ground drainage for the £40m transformation of London South Bank University.

The project involves the redevelopment of the existing four-storey 1970s London Road Building with an overall internal area of 20,000m2. The building is currently used as teaching and office space, with an extremely cellular layout unfit for modern use. The new design will become the campus’ Student Hub and will include lecture theatres, library, sports facilities and catering areas.

Design and construction works include carbon-fibre strengthening, existing structure verification and new structural additions of various scale. While retaining the original concrete frame, the current lightwells will be infilled with new floors, while the existing roof is lifted up to create new dramatic double-height spaces. An additional 1,000m2 of accommodation has been created. The building entrance is also being remodeled, with full-height glazing and a sweeping new canopy.

The existing facade will be removed and replaced and the structure re-clad with a combination of brickwork, glazing and glass reinforced concrete.

By refurbishing and saving as much of the existing materials as possible, the cradle to gate embodied carbon component related to substructure and superstructure for the project is just 49 kgCO2e/m2. This value can be compared to the approximate structural components of LETI targets – about three and a half times less than the 179 kgCO2e/m2 2020 LETI target and just under a half that of the 105 kgCO2e/m2 2030 LETI target for education buildings.

London, UK

London South Bank University