→ BREEAM Excellent
→ 51% saving in embodied carbon when compared to a traditional concrete slab solution with the use of cement replacement
→ 25% enhancement in passive cooling over conventional flat slab alternatives
Pioneering concrete design shapes Royal College of Pathologists HQ. Home to medical research professionals for over 50 years, the Royal College of Pathologists moved into their stunning, award-winning premises on Aldgate’s Alie Street in November 2018.
The nine-storey building features a double-height entrance atrium and incorporates floor to ceiling windows on all floors to maximise natural light. Bennetts Associates’ architectural design includes a suite of state-of-the-art facilities for the College’s members and trainees, with a multi-purpose 210-person conference theatre, meeting rooms, office space and examination rooms.
The building includes two roof terraces adjacent to the sixth floor meeting room, accommodating up to 60 people. Other facilities include secure bike storage, showers and a cloakroom on the lower ground floor, helping boost active travel uptake.
Waterman’s Structures team worked closely with the architect to incorporate pioneering concrete techniques into the design. These included using an exposed board- marked concrete and brick finish internally, with underfloor ventilation and exposed trough slab soffits, enabling each soffit to be lit so that the ceiling achieves a warm glow throughout. This technique hugely reduced the amount of materials which would otherwise have been used for traditional finishing techniques.
The lightweight trough solution enabled reuse of the retained raft foundation, which was key to saving both considerable cost and time, whilst avoiding potential complications with undermining neighbouring properties. The resulting savings unlocked the budget to spend more on the public conferencing areas, giving the building a premium look and feel.
Designed with a focus on sustainability, the concrete frame was constructed with a carbon footprint at 51 per cent of a conventional concrete frame. The structural frame alone, not including thermal mass benefits, saves enough carbon to offset the occupant’s vehicle use for a year. The design also provides a 25 per cent enhancement in passive cooling over conventional flat slab alternatives. The sustainability- focused, purpose-built headquarters for the Royal College of Pathologists’ staff and professional members in Aldgate, featuring the pioneering use of concrete.