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A cutting-edge timber office building pioneering the use of mass timber in the high-end commercial sector

The Black & White Building, London

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The simple appearance of this fully engineered timber office building belied its ground-breaking innovation.

Architect: Waugh Thistleton Architects

For: The Office Group

We saw the nimble approach of Engenuiti without whom a long lasting and durable – not to mention insurable – building could not have been delivered. They helped us bring key stakeholders on the journey of delivering a landmark timber building. Dave Lomax, Associate Director, Waugh Thistleton Architects

The Black & White Building is a new office building comprising two adjacent five and six storey tall blocks, featuring a mass timber superstructure and a concrete substructure. It is currently the tallest mass timber office building in Central London, replacing a warehouse that was not viable to retrofit.

The design team was tasked with creating ‘the most sustainable new building we could’, which developed into ‘designing a mass timber building equivalent in lettable area, function, and cost (once reduced finishes were accounted for) to a concrete alternative’. A serious challenge.

We were appointed as timber engineers to provide the complete design of all timber frame elements and connections. To enable the proposed framing, we had to innovate beyond current code allowances and develop new design software to deal with the complex fire requirements of the connection design.

By using engineered timber for the building’s entire superstructure – including core and staircases – the embodied carbon for the building has been limited to just 165kg CO2e/m2. This is well below the 20230 LETI target for office buildings.

For more information on how we were able to achieve this, visit our think piece: The Black & White Building – Proof that Mass Timber can Replace Concrete.

British Council of Offices Awards 2023 - Winner Sustainability Initiative

IStructE Award 2023 - Shortlisted

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