Blackdale Residences, University of East Anglia - Best Project Ever!

Blackdale Residences comprises two 4-7 storey residential blocks, Barton House and Hickling House. Between them they contain 514 apartments, a cafe with a roof terrace, a launderette and shared courtyard; all built to BREEAM Excellent standards.

With a tight build programme, we explored the most effective build solution, using a range of digital design tools and considered multiple offsite construction techniques to ensure we could deliver on time and to a high quality.

The project embraced BIM level 2 with full 6D asset information; incorporating time, cost, virtual modelling of buildings and all aspects of life-cycle facility management. This powerful data-based modelling, visualisation and analysis was critical to the project.

A programme of this nature, with offsite construction of Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) panels and prefabricated pods, close collaboration between the design and construction teams was critical. Leveraging BIM Level 2 and coordination meetings enabled rapid coordination with real time clash detection and ensured issues were identified early and resolved immediately.

With each of the 514 bedrooms having en-suite shower and toilet facilities, the buildings are very heavily serviced. Close collaboration between Ramboll and the building services engineers ensured easy installation and maintenance of the services. The structural layout was designed in tandem with the bathroom pods that were constructed offsite, as a result the pods were simply lifted into place during the site construction.

At 7 storeys tall Blackdale Residences is one of the tallest CLT buildings in the world. The building’s frame comprises 3,600m3 of CLT, generating an embodied carbon saving of 1,700 tonnes when compared to using a concrete frame. Using CLT helped the project achieve a BREEAM Excellent rating, supporting the University of East Anglia’s environmental policies and commitment to carbon reduction.

Martin Lovatt, Senior Estates Project Manager for the University of East Anglia, described  the UEA Blackdale project as ‘the best project ever’ and went on to say ‘There is so much learning to be taken from this project… and show others ways of working together in a truly collaborative manner that makes working a real joy.’
Blackdale Residences recently won Project of the Year at the 2018 Structural Timber Awards – http://www.structuraltimberawards.co.uk/winners-and-finalists/2017-winners 

Project data
Client: University of East Anglia
Architects: LSI Architects
Completion: 2016
Value: £29.5m

Services we provided
Digital design
Structural engineering
Ground engineering
Civil engineering

The team
Gavin White
Oliver Neve

Original link - Ramboll

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