38 Berkeley Square in RIBA Journal - tall, exposed timber project achieves Sweco Building Control Approval and Fire Authority agreement – Latest

38 Berkeley Square in RIBA Journal - tall, exposed timber project achieves Sweco Building Control Approval and Fire Authority agreement

Construction has started on 38 Berkeley Square, our Mayfair office scheme which is the first exposed timber project in London to achieve SWECO Building Control compliance since fire regulations became more stringent nearly two years ago, following the publication of the STA Guide [1] that sets out the criteria for performance-based approach to meet B3 Regulation compliance.

Designed by Piercy & Co for London-based asset and development manager Astrea, the new building will offer 83,000 sqft of high-spec office space over nine-storeys, including 9,000 sqft of retail/gallery space at ground and lower ground floors and 7,500 sqft of landscaped terrace gardens.

The adoption of a hybrid steel and exposed CLT (Cross-Laminated Timber) frame on a large structural grid not only achieves a unique feature soffit and low carbon floor construction, but also floor-to-ceiling heights that exceed BCO guidelines, resulting in truly best-in-class office space.

An innovative approach to compliance was required due to an awareness that current fire safety standards would not adequately cover the design of exposed combustible structural materials, including engineered timber.

George Georgiou, Director at Elliott Wood commented on the choice of timber: “We evaluated the risk of committing to timber knowing that so many other projects aspired to build with it – and worked closely with the team at Astrea to develop a road map to actually achieve it. By bringing on board specialist contractors through the pre-tender stages we were able to develop a solution that satisfied the London Fire Brigade, complied with Approved Inspector requirements and crucially, was insurable.”

For more information on our approach and the project, read the RIBA Journal article here: https://www.ribaj.com/building...