Walton on Thames is a later living project developed by Guild Living, an alliance made up of architects, main contractors and later living specialists, focused on providing an innovative approach to procurement centred around collaboration. The development, located in the London borough of Elmbridge, accommodates circa 200 units across either two-bedroom units or greater care suites. The project includes four buildings all set around a central landscaped courtyard and includes the following exclusive residential amenities:

  • Retail
  • Swimming pool and spa centre
  • Wellness and wellbeing area
  • Restaurant
  • Café
  • Bar
  • Library

Buildings A and B join at level 02 and rise to eight-storeys tall, with buildings C & D linking together at 4-storeys tall. A single storey basement accommodates 70 car parking spaces by means of an automated stacker system beneath building D.

Building Metrics:
Four buildings ranging between
five to nine-storeys tall,
70 car-parking spaces,
200 units,
GEA of Approx. 26,000m2
Sectors:
Residential + Retirement

Client:
Guild Living
Architect:
Marchese Partners
Robert Bird Group Services:
Civil Engineering
Structural Engineering
Geotechnical Engineering

Key technical challenges

The desire to incorporate a column free entrance at ground floor level brought a range of design challenges, particularly due to the residential layout above. Options that were considered include:

  • Highly reinforced concrete transfer beam
  • A steel truss
  • Walking columns transferring loads away from the façade of the building

Each of these options, having its design and construction challenges, are to be dismissed on a cost basis with a final solution incorporating carefully positioned columns.

Present across a large portion of the site is the existing foundations from a town hall demolished in the 1990’s. The foundations located 3m below ground level are made up of 1m thick reinforced concrete and are expected to have been backfilled with site winnings likely heavy with asbestos. They are necessary to be broken out locally where proposed structural foundations are required.

Key Technical Innovation

Walton on Thames is situated in the London borough of Elmbridge, an area that has declared a ‘climate emergency’ and has put into effect multiple policies and procedures aiming to accomplish a carbon neutral state for the region. Robert Bird Group (RBG) proposed the use of Cross Laminated Timber for the construction of buildings 3 & 4 to mitigate carbon impact, by specifying CEM free concrete and recycled replacement aggregate where appropriate. Embodied carbon reporting carried out throughout the design aims to identify reductions in carbon during the design process.

RBG has worked closely with the Landscape Architect to develop a high-quality public realm design that offers amenity benefits to the residents as well as being functional. To achieve a carbon neutral design, RBG explored the possibility of incorporating sustainable drainage features, such as swales, water gardens and other water features into the external landscape.

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