Leading the build of a new BREEAM town house for a top London university

Ranked in the UK’s top 40 universities, Kingston University has undergone the build of a new town house to serve as its public face, providing a welcoming gateway to a contemporary and inclusive campus.

Key information

Location: Royal Borough of Kingston-Upon-Thames, London, UK

Date started: 2013

Completion date: 2020

Client type: Real estate

Key services: Project management, cost management, CDM principal designer and BIM services.

A new university gateway

Designed by RIBA Gold Medal winning practice Grafton Architects and winner of a 2021 Civic Trust award, the Town House building acts as the gateway to the main Penrhyn Road campus and the wider Kingston town centre.

The 9,400m2 building is home to an extensive library and archives, group study space, dance studios, studio theatre, covered courtyard, cafes and two roof terraces – all set out over six floors. It is also designed to welcome the local community and visitors from further afield with public access to the library, archives and café spaces.

We were appointed in June 2013 as the lead consultant providing project management, cost management, principal designer (under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations) and building information modelling (BIM) services.

Integrating BIM and a team of experts

Using our digital framework, we worked with Kingston University to test and re-think the way programmes are delivered and supported them with their digital vision. The Town House project became the pathfinder for setting a robust and effective BIM strategy to support a whole life approach to data. Throughout the delivery of the project, the BIM strategy was used as the baseline to validate the developing design, providing confidence that the project can be constructed as designed, without the risk of the need for change at a later date.

Using our 5x5 independent model validation solution, we were able to interrogate the developing design in a virtual environment, providing confidence that the BIM model is accurate prior to the appointment of the main contractor. This included design clash detection.

Through our BIM integration, we developed a dynamic framework of information requirements, standards and protocols to procure at scale consistently and effectively. We also implemented the foundations of an approach that provided a clear, visual and interactive view of progress and performance to drive quality and improve confidence and efficiency of decision making.

Building sustainably

The building achieved a BREEAM target of ‘Excellent’ through the application of a whole life cost approach and the use of sustainable building components and systems. A Thermally Active Building System (TABS) helps cool the building and reduce reliance on inefficient conventional air cooling. Measures to conserve water have been incorporated, such as increased water fountains to reduce bottled water and a sustainable underground drainage system to reduce the load on the local network.

The Town House also includes a photovoltaic array providing renewable energy directly to the building users, as well as brown roofs and accessible roof gardens to encourage biodiversity in an otherwise urban setting.

For further information contact:

Kalyan Casal

t: 020 7544 4171