Learning Curves With Dreadnought CLT

16th December, 2020

B&K Structures helped transform a former naval hospital in a UNESCO World Heritage Site into the Dreadnought Building at the University of Greenwich – a major project showcasing what engineered timber can achieve.

B&K Structures were part of the team that sensitively restored the Grade II listed building by stripping it back and modernising it, ready for its role at the heart of the University. The Dreadnought building retains its character and sense of history while also providing a state-of-theart hub, creating learning and gym facilities and a 500-person capacity bar, together with teaching and social spaces.

The project required the refurbishment of the existing building, together with a new PEFC-certified infill structure to the courtyard comprising visible grade cross laminated timber (CLT) floor panels to the first and second mezzanine floor levels. At roof level, the design specified a combination of white wood spruce glulam beams and insulated timber roof cassettes.

Attended by 2,000 students, the Dreadnought Building provides a home for the Students’ Union and Student & Academic Services at the heart of campus life. Within the complex, the new University Library, School of Architecture and Construction buildings are arranged as a series of ‘fingers’, separated with open light-wells to fill the buildings with daylight.

Collaborating with five delivery partners to ensure a right- first-time approach, B&K Structures undertook design for manufacture and assembly (DfMA) workshops, using video conferencing for overseas partners. The key focus was to ensure clarity of design and detailing to eliminate errors from the delivery and installation processes, which had to work within the confines of a restricted site.

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