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Andy Goodwin

The Green Construction Recovery

Decarbonising construction to produce more sustainable and better performing buildings will be crucial to creating a more viable ecological future. Andy Goodwin, Managing Director of sustainable specialist contractor, B&K Structures considers the pitfalls surrounding a green construction recovery. It can be done – lockdown provided evidence of just what can

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Offsite Awards Recognise Outstanding Projects

The team at B & K Structures are celebrating award-winning success, with their projects picking up no less than two trophies and three highly commended certificates, at the Offsite Awards which were held in London this week. As one of the UK’s leading offsite specialist contractors, involved in the design,

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Latest Issue

BDC 318 : Jul 2024

Andy Goodwin

The Green Construction Recovery

Decarbonising construction to produce more sustainable and better performing buildings will be crucial to creating a more viable ecological future. Andy Goodwin, Managing Director of sustainable specialist contractor, B&K Structures considers the pitfalls surrounding a green construction recovery. It can be done – lockdown provided evidence of just what can be achieved in a few short weeks. But mitigating climate change is no small task however as we start to return to work, it is clear that both a ‘green recovery’ and securing a more resilient economy have been at the forefront of the government’s statements and plans. The government’s response to climate change has been to set net zero carbon targets by 2050 but if further restrictions come into play, I simply cannot see how this is achievable if we limit the use of our most sustainable, replenishable and natural construction material – timber. There is a lot resting on the government’s shoulders at present and as we wait for the decision of the MHCLG consultation, the shift in the media mood is tangible. Roger Harrabin reported on BBC News that the government is planning to reduce the maximum height of structural timber buildings from six storeys to four to reduce fire risk. Harrabin rightly pointed out that this action would contradict other advice to increase timber construction because trees lock up climate-heating carbon emissions. Likewise, under the banner of ‘Do you want beautiful, sustainable and safe tall buildings? Use wood’ – Rowan Moore of the Guardian shared his perspective stating: ‘This is the engineering of timber so that it can act as an alternative to steel and concrete. Its environmental benefits are compelling: whereas concrete is a particularly devastating material, said to account for 4%-8% of the world’s CO2, timber locks up the carbon absorbed by the growth of trees. While construction is a major contributor to greenhouse gases, building in wood has the potential to reduce them.’ Until recently the benefits of carbon sequestration were not widely discussed. But with the growing evidence of global warming and the need for change – sustainability is now back at the top of the construction agenda. Timber creates a natural carbon store through sequestration. For example, cross laminated timber has a net store of 676kg of CO2, /M3. In simple terms the use of timber will have a positive impact on the environment, embodied carbon is therefore pivotal in the fight to reduce our carbon footprint. We have been advocating this for years, but it appears that potentially banning engineered timber in the external walls of residential sectors above 11m – has created a groundswell of support for timber construction. It is clear that the UK is out of step with the approach being taken by leading economies in Europe. Even our UK partners are taking a more pragmatic and practical approach. The Scottish building regulations are eminently sensible – building up to 18m in structural timber is permitted when supported by evidence of non-combustible cladding and well-designed fire management systems. Global concerns to mitigate climate change have prompted some cities and governments to consider the embodied emissions of the materials we use to construct buildings, particularly the sum of all the energy required to extract, process, manufacture, transport, build, and maintain each material. With this consideration in mind, timber is an attractive option since it can achieve less embodied and operational emissions in comparison to concrete and steel. In addition, the prefabrication of timber components with precision can deliver a highly efficient building envelope that improves insulation, saves on heating and cooling and minimises thermal bridging. In these highly uncertain times, the construction sector needs absolute certainty that there will be no backtracking on the government’s commitment to strengthen Part L of the Building Regulations. We simply must not lose sight of the UK’s ambition to create a low-carbon economy. About B&K Structures Through careful design detailing and value engineering, B&K Structures is able to offer the best possible offsite manufactured construction solutions, ensuring a smooth integration for follow-on trades – delivering award-winning, environmentally and sustainable projects on time and to budget. B&K Structures has worked with some of the UK’s most renowned clients to develop outstanding buildings with sustainable credentials. For more information on their product portfolio and full range of services go to www.bkstructures.co.uk

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Offsite Awards Recognise Outstanding Projects

The team at B & K Structures are celebrating award-winning success, with their projects picking up no less than two trophies and three highly commended certificates, at the Offsite Awards which were held in London this week. As one of the UK’s leading offsite specialist contractors, involved in the design, manufacture and delivery of some of the UK’s most renowned buildings – B & K Structures have proven experience in understanding complex engineering structures incorporating glulam, cross laminated timber, steel and timber cassettes. Managing Director Andy Goodwin said of the company’s success: “The resurgence of offsite construction has played to our strengths, being innovators in offsite manufactured hybrid structures since 1974. It is gratifying to be recognised for our achievements by such eminent judges as Mark Farmer, the author of the government commissioned report Modernise or Die.” With over 200 outstanding submissions, the Offsite Awards were hotly contested. B & K Structures came out on top of two of the award categories picking up the trophy for Best Hybrid Construction Project for The University Centre Farnborough and Commercial Project of the Year for Nando’s Cambridge. In addition, the Sky Control Centre was Highly Commended by the judges for the Best Use of Timber and another of the company’s projects, Daltons Lane – the world’s largest cross laminated timber building – was Highly Commended in both the Best Use of Timber and the Housing Project of the Year categories. Best Hybrid Construction Project – The University Centre Farnborough Farnborough College of Technology offers a wide range of education programmes accredited by the University of Surrey. Designed to be the College’s flagship building, the University Centre Farnborough, is a major step towards the College reaching its objective of becoming a community university. As the main entrance to the college, the new two-storey hybrid structure incorporates the benefits of cross laminated timber panels, glulam beams & timber cassettes – combined to create a modern teaching & learning facility. Commercial Project of the Year – Nando’s Cambridge Nando’s, Cambridge is the company’s first ‘Next Generation’ restaurant in the country and forms a sustainable construction prototype which will be rolled-out across the wider Nando’s estate. The high-quality design incorporates a number of sustainability measures, which will contribute positively to the commercial future of the restaurant as well as being eco-friendly to the surrounding area. The sustainable structural form, erected in just three weeks, includes timber cassette walls, with glulam roof beams and a visual cross laminated timber soffit. Best Use of Timber – Highly Commended: The Sky Control Centre The Sky Campus, located in Osterley, West London – has been undergoing an extensive redevelopment to consolidate the company’s operations. The second phase of the development, the Sky Control Centre – is a mixed-use scheme with a combined total of circa 41,000m² – encompassing office space, studios and production facilities together with research and development zones. The site is also home to an energy centre, servicing facilities, plant and equipment, as well as bicycle parking. B & K Structures supplied and installed over 7,500 linear metres of glulam beams and just under 16,000m2 of large timber roof cassettes. The Sky Control Centre building is the largest timber roof cassette project in the UK. Best Use of Timber & Housing Project of the Year – Highly Commended: Dalston Lane Standing at 33.3 metres, at the time of construction, Dalston Lane is the tallest timber structure in the world with the largest cross laminated timber panels measuring 12 metres long by 2.8 metres high. Ranging from five to 10 storeys – Dalston Lane incorporates 121 residential units comprising contemporary style one to three bedroom apartments, which are spread across nine floors totalling 10,850m2. The development has been constructed from approximately 4,400m3 of cross laminated timber with only seven tonnes of steel beams. Optimised Offsite Solutions Offering a complete package of structural solutions, across a comprehensive product portfolio including glulam, cross laminated timber, timber cassettes and steel frame, as part of their hybrid structural solutions – B & K Structures has an outstanding, award winning track record across all commercial sectors. Through careful design detailing and value engineering, B & K Structures is able to offer the best possible construction solution, ensuring a smooth integration for follow-on trades – delivering environmentally sustainable projects on time and to budget.

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