21 April 2020
sponsored by Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield
The Hoxton Southwark, located south of Blackfriars Bridge, delivered by Kier Construction and their project partners, is a mixed-use hotel and office development in London. This unique wedge-shaped building comprises a 192-room hotel with boutique office spaces above, includes conference facilities, restaurants and public bars, and a rooftop restaurant with panoramic views of the city.
The substructure consists of a reinforced concrete frame clad in prefabricated panels, a design selected to improve the acoustic mass of the building and create a flat slab soffit of minimum depth.
The stand out element of this project is the use of the pre-fabricated panels, with 523 façade panels being made off-site and over 400 façade panels with windows and glazing being pre-installed. The result - an architecturally stunning and exceptionally high-quality building that showcases the benefits of off-site construction.
In more detail:
Architectural impact: The building demonstrates that offsite construction can facilitate, not inhibit, architectural ambition. The aesthetic brings architectural intricacy and variety to the building envelope, looking like it is a traditionally built brick building. The high-quality facing masonry responds to the local historic context. Brick-faced precast panels with extruded aluminium punched windows and expressed piers have combined quality and efficiency.
Successfully overcoming challenges: The severely restricted London site is located on a busy main road and cycle superhighway, delivery solutions included just-in-time deliveries and using Datascope, an electronic booking system, to avoid programme delays.
Minimising disruption: The fast installation method allowed for just one person to fix each unit to the structure, vastly reducing all the associated travel implications for secondary materials and labour. For example, the project required far fewer installers, no mortar deliveries or mixing on-site, no blockwork and no scaffolding. Site waste and dust produced by on-site cutting and cleaning was eliminated, as well as any delays due to weather conditions.
Speed of construction: The quality of the factory-finished façade could not have been achieved in the timeframe through traditional methods. The building’s façade features over 250,000 bricks with panels being installed at a rate of 5 per day, completing in just 17 weeks. The instant-finish weather-proof envelope meant that the building was wrapped quickly, allowing following trades to progress on the floor plates in an internal environment.
Safety and wellbeing: Utilising health-focused fabrication and assembly methods, the structure was also specifically designed to support an off-site manufactured façade, making this building holistic in its consideration of health and safety, which has been incorporated throughout the design, manufacture and assembly process. The early decision to incorporate glazing into the precast panels negated the need for scaffolding, which significantly reduced working at height over a public footpath.
Sustainability: The project demonstrates high levels of sustainability through all stages of the project; from the type of materials used for both the precast façade and the energy-efficient production and transport of the units, to its quiet, low energy and efficient installation method. In addition, the resource-efficient use of materials combined with reuse and recycling schemes ensured minimal project waste.
About the Building Project of the Year Award - sponsored by Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield
The SECBE Awards team look for outstanding local projects that: demonstrate great team working between the client and entire supply chain; were delivered before the programmed completion date, below the approved cost plan and to quality exceeding expectation whilst delivering the highest of health and safety standards; achieved the lowest environmental impacts; delivered outstanding customer satisfaction and may have also received praise from other stakeholders, and demonstrates the highest levels of the application of best practice, innovation and technical achievement to overcome the project’s challenges.