Banyan Wharf - Wenlock Road
Project: Banyan Wharf, Wenlock Road
Company: B & K Structures
Ten storey Regal Homes residential development, Banyan Wharf - situated within the London borough of Hackney - has taken cross laminated timber (CLT) to new heights. Set to take the title of the tallest cross laminated timber residential building in Europe, Banyan Wharf is home to 50 one, two and three bedroom apartments – all sold off plan, prior to completion together with 1,190 square metres of commercial units.
Timber technology was the preferred core structural component for the build, due to Hackney’s commitment to creating more sustainable buildings. A complex hybrid cross laminated timber and steel structure was vital in creating the most efficient and sustainable structural solution for the buildings unique ‘twisted’ design - the first of its kind. The innovative ‘cross’ floor plates, which rotate on alternative floors, created complex geometry that did not lend itself to being built purely in timber, therefore a steel frame and concrete core were paired with the CLT. The steel frame was used to take the gravitational load of the structure, which was transferred on alternative levels as the floor plates twisted. The floor plates then act as a diaphragm to transfer stability forces from facades to the full height concrete core in the centre of the structure.
The twisting cruciform plan, described by Hawkins\Brown project architect, Alex Smith as more than a ‘mere architectural whimsy’ - ensures that all flats are corner units, allowing them to have at least dual and in many cases triple aspect views over the city or along the picturesque Wenlock Basin. The distinctive layout of the building creates spacious east and west facing terraces plus four courtyards with far reaching views. The application of the ‘cross’ floor plates generates daylight and ventilation into the building, which is located in a confined urban location.
Cross laminated timber wall and floor panels up to 200mm thick and weighing up to four tonnes, were delivered to the site with all openings pre-cut, allowing them to be lifted straight into position. The number of lifts required were also reduced as the prefabricated wall panels were produced up to 12m in length, therefore individual panels were able to span the entire length of the structure. This saw a reduction in the onsite lifting works which helped with the close proximity of the site to adjacent properties and site restrictions; however methodical delivery programmes still had to be sequenced to ensure just in time deliveries were maintained. As follow on trades started work on the lower floors whilst the structure for the upper storeys was in construction, meticulous planning was needed across all teams and throughout the supply chain, as there was only room for a single trailer or van delivery.
Outcome / results / success factor
Banyan Wharf features energy efficient double glazing, allowing for flexible ventilation in the summer months, together with a green roof to enhance insulation and assist with drainage.
The ecologically designed canal garden, comprising locally sourced plants, ensures that the development will positively contribute to the local environment. Due to its impressive timber clad façade – offering enhanced sustainability, Banyan Wharf is set to become one of London’s most
prolific residential projects.
As Banyan Wharf was delivered by a BOPAS Accredited structural frame provider, assurances are provided to the lending community that their structures will deliver a consistent performance over a determined durability of 60 years. As designers, manufacturers, and constructors involved in
offsite manufactured systems, B & K Structures, the UK partners of the X-LAM Alliance, has been rigorously audited and approved by BOPAS to maintain the highest levels of quality assurance throughout the design and build process, ensuring their construction systems are approved for
integrity, durability and performance.
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