Transforming with renewable wood

Published 30 October 2018
CLT by Stora Enso provided a structural solution for the rooftop extension of Coombe Road in Kingston-upon-Thames, UK. Two additional storeys were built on top of an existing office building to create eight luxury rooftop duplex apartments in just 14 weeks.

Ideal solution for building in high density urban areas

With growing populations leading to increasing urbanisation, demand for housing and commercial property in cities continues to grow, however available land is often limited. Rooftop extensions provide a potential solution to help resolve housing crises in cities, helping to sustainably regenerate and improve urban areas.

“In densely populated areas, with massive wood we can add a number of new storeys to existing buildings or transform office space into homes. In addition to speed and ease of construction, massive wood has high strength while remaining light-weight. For example, the lightweight nature of CLT (cross-laminated timber) provides major weight reduction benefits, allowing designers build on top of existing buildings with a limited load capacity. This means the designer can add more storeys than with traditional construction methods, but with no compromise on quality and design”, says Gareth Mason, UK Business Development Manager, Stora Enso.

Dont move improve!

The cost of selling and buying a property is high and can be completely out of reach. Extending is a good way to increase return on investment, add value to your property, or simply provide you with more living space.

A CLT structure was erected on the roof of an existing three storey building to create an office to residential conversion. Altogether, the project comprises fifteen 1-bed and 2-bed flats in the main building with an additional eight rooftop duplex apartments all designed to Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes. Building with CLT enabled installation of the rooftop extension even though the building was occupied throughout construction, requiring the roof to remain in-situ and water-tight at all times. To overcome this, the structure was erected on temporary brackets drilled to the roof and filled with resin to prevent rainwater ingress, these were removed once the building was watertight.

Building Sustainable and Resilient Cities

The United Nations General Assembly has designated the 31 October as World Cities Day. In 2018, the theme is Building Sustainable and Resilient Cities.

“Wood is recyclable like many other materials, but recyclability is no longer enough. Wood is the only renewable construction material and wooden structures store carbon, effectively reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Therefore building with wood contributes well to the initiatives of World Cities Day!”, continues Gareth Mason, UK Business Development Manager, Stora Enso.


Photos/illustrations: Stephen Davy Peter Smith Architects / Kings Street Group / Dexters