Newington Butts - AKT II

< >

Project Details

Project - Newington Butts
Sector - CLT
Technology - 
Company - AKT II

Project Overview

The “Newington Butts” project began as a research-based proposition back in 2003 between Client Firstbase, Architects RSH+P and AKT II as Structural Engineers. The brief was simple: to create a new residential typology which was lean, flexible and driven by a standardised and prefabricated approach.
In terms of the tower, we wanted to take the onus away from the central core in terms of providing stability function, allowing the core design to be lean in terms of size and thickness of walls. Thus we needed to find a supplementary stability system which could be integrated into the required residential brief. To achieve this we researched using the an “outrigger system” to mobilise the full stiffness of the tower footprint, but instead of dedicated “outrigger” floors, all the RC flat slabs act as outrigger arms mobilising the perimeter structure. This outrigger system was made possible by utilising 8 perimeter wall panels and 4 internal “locking” wall panels, thus maximising floor plate flexibility. These 12 wall panels per floor are all standardised precast units (either twin wall or solid) and repeat up the tower meaning the design and construction benefited from the quality control and programme advantages of off-site manufacturing techniques. 
The 8 corner balconies are also prefabricated and repeat up the tower. To achieve the required dynamic response, the balconies are linked together via tension rods to mobilise the global mass of the system in terms of dynamic damping.
The adjacent podium block was defined by a more linear system of loadbearing walls between units and thus the inherent efficiency and redundancy of timber CLT construction was utilised. All components of the primary frame were constructed from CLT including façade panels and lift cores, thus maximising the benefits of supply chain and knowledge.
Testament to the flexibility achieved through this early design logic was then when the client and architect changed in 2011 along with the market and tenure, the structural logic remained robust, and the inherent flexibility of the system meant that the floor plates could accommodate a change of mix and tenure. To continue to evolve this unique integrated design typology, we have installed anemometers and accelerometers at the top of the tower to measure the tower’s dynamic behaviour, the results of which will feed back into our continuing research and design.


Directory Search
Join Today! Become a Offsite Construction Hub member today and take advantage of the benefits of membership.
Member Login

View Video


The next issue of Offsite Magazine is closing very soon and includes skills development, hotel construction and the ways volumetric modular technology can revitalise a wide range of building sectors. Plus...

  • We hear about how the Marriott, Travelodge and Premier Inn brands are using offsite methods to create a new breed of hotel plus a detailed look at the Hampton by Hilton Hotel at Bristol Airport.
  • A summary of the reaction to the Hackitt Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety.
  • The CITB and BEX (Built Environment Exchange) tell us more about building a new skills base surrounding offsite technology and sustainable construction.
  • An overview of Centres of Excellence such as the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) Offsite Management School (OMS), Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) and Dudley Advance II.
  • Mark Hargreaves at DLA Design and Emily King from Portakabin highlight the potential of modular construction within the Education sector.
  • Derek Thomson at Loughborough University explains the need for through-life performance and design configurability with modular design.

You can contribute from as little as £500: Call 01743 290042 or Email

Offsite Magazine targets approx.10,000 key construction professionals per issue in print and over 60,000 via our digital issue.