London Engineers are Raising the Roof
Posted on: 08/10/2014

Back in July 2011 developer CIT got permission to extend King’s Reach Tower by five storeys, allowing space for new retail units and an addition of 173 new flats. However, mid-last year new permission was granted to KPF to include an additional six storeys (a total of eleven new storeys) creating a 155m, forty-one story tower.

Whilst this building extension may not appear that newsworthy, the fact that this is to be done without dramatically reinforcing the existing structures and adding additional foundations is something of a marvel.

Originally built as a 30-storey tower block under the name of King’s Reach Tower, the structure was exemplary of the traditional podium-and-slab building types that dominated London during the 1960’s and 70’s.

The first role of the engineering team was to fully examine this traditional building, coming to run model simulations in order to understand every aspect of its construction. The existing structure included a central load-bearing concrete core and concrete columns along the tower’s perimeter; the engineers noted strong stiffness of the floors and walls and decided to take advantage of this feature. The current core was deemed strong enough to support the new storeys without additional foundations, so in order to ensure stability six new load-paths, or ‘wing walls’ which were constructed exerting from the upper core section rather than adding foundations, something that stands as an innovative idea in construction.

During a recent ‘topping out’ ceremony, which was held to celebrate the anticipated finish of the building next year, Albert Williamson-Taylor commemorated the work of all involved in the project with the words “without the work of a team committed to a design-led approach that combined architectural vision and engineering expertise in equal measure” such re-modelling would simply not have been possible.

Innovative projects such as this continue to occur, and open the door to a large quantity of development opportunities and careers.

The team at Blueprint are often involved in recruiting for such projects, and as such currently have several contractor and staff positions in demand.

For a chat in confidence about such opportunities give us a call today on 02392 603030.

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