A retrofit first approach to sustainable building design, with the transformation of an outdated concrete office block to a vibrant new student hub for London Southbank University.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 provided structural and facade engineering services, including below ground drainage, for the £40m transformation of London South Bank University.
The project involved the redevelopment of the university’s existing 1970s building on London Road, which provided an internal area of 20,000m2 across four-storeys. The building had previously been used as teaching and office space, with an extremely cellular layout unfit for modern use. The new design repositions the building to become the campus’ Student Hub and includes lecture theatres, library, sports facilities and catering areas.
Design and construction works included carbon-fibre strengthening, existing structure verification and new structural additions of various scale. An additional 1,000m2 of accommodation has been created by retaining the original concrete frame, and infilling the lightwells with new floors.
The existing roof has been lifted up to create new, dramatic, double-height spaces, whilst a remodeled entrance – with full-height glazing and a sweeping new canopy – greatly enhances the visitor’s sense of arrival.
The existing facade has been 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.