Development of five plots in Shoreditch, incorporating new build elements and existing buildings. A consistent approach to the facades is required to ensure coherence between the designs of four different architects.
Eckersley O’Callaghan provided facade design services for this major new development on the edge of the Square Mile. Six buildings, designed by four architects and each comprising both new build and existing buildings, will provide a total of 33,040m2 of office space, 3,550m2 of shops and bars, 40 apartments and 1,400m2 of public space. We provided a detailed strategy for facade design, ensuring consistency across the scheme and designs produced by the different architecture practices involved in the development.
Our facade engineering was centred around designing synergy between the new and existing buildings. One initial focal point was to set performance targets of both new and existing building fabric. Following extensive collaboration with the design team regarding the best approach, this resulted in an in-depth thermal analysis of the designs and an assessment of the realistic performances, such as air tightness, for the existing load-bearing brick buildings. The architectural intent in most of these existing buildings was to keep the existing load-bearing brick walls exposed internally as much as possible. We initially investigated through thermal calculations of the build-ups and thermal bridging for the new like-for-like timber windows and the existing walls, the percentage required to be lined in order to meet the targets set by Part L. Some architects adopted some lined areas and others did not. For the plots with all exposed external walls intent, we negotiated with the building control that the heritage conservation was more important and we managed to leave the walls the architects wanted exposed.
On the new buildings, one of the main challenges was to design facade systems that could facilitate a realisable construction and logistics plan and streamlined installation on a highly constrained site. The team had to factor into their designs, the timing of installation, sequencing of construction activities, and overall project scheduling. The facade systems employed were hugely varied, from timber window,brickwork restoration and traditional brickwork with punched windows on the existing buildings and some more accessible lower blocks, through to fully DfMA approaches including unitised curtain walling, brick- faced precast and innovative brick-faced Ultra High Performance Facade (UHPC) panels for the larger buildings. The adoption of DfMA meant we could use just-in-time delivery and hugely reduce the amount of site workers / welfare on the scheme which paid dividends on such a constrained site. It also allowed us to optimise NIA, improve the construction programme and achieve a very high quality facade which was simple to snag and close out since most of the hard QA had been done in the factory via pre-testing.