The Perfume Factory is a large private rental sector development in North Acton, in a mixed industrial and residential area. The development will deliver 480 homes distributed across a 34-storey tower, a 19-storey tower and two 10-storey buildings. Extensive communal amenities both internally and externally include dedicated child-play space and roof terraces. The development will be built using volumetric modular technology, off-site fabricating the 480 apartment units into approximately 1200 modules, reducing the construction programme by at least 6 months, compared to traditional construction.

Building Metrics:
480 Apartments
Height: 125m
Site Area: 4500m2

Essential Living
Darling Associates
Robert Bird Group Services:
Structural Engineering
Civil Engineering
Geotechnical Engineering

Key technical challenges

  • The primary tower structure consists of a composite slab and beam structure. Due to the long beam spans and thin slab, extensive analysis for footfall vibration was required to ensure the structure achieved code requirements and client expectations.
  • Working with the existing structure and developing design solutions that strengthened rather than demolished.
  • Extensive co-ordination with the mechanical engineer to develop a strategy that minimised beam penetrations and beam notches.
  • Differential shortening analysis with consideration of mega truss, steel structure, concrete structure and existing structural elements

Environmental performance

  • 5 Star Greenstar
  • 5 Star NABERs Energy and 4 Star NABERs Water ratings.

Key technical challenges

Key technical challenges include using modular construction techniques on one of the tallest modular towers in the UK.

RBG technical solutions include:
  • A concrete transfer deck at first floor of variable thickness between 0.5m to 1.2m where the modules will be sitting
  • A concrete core to provide stability for the two tallest buildings and vertical bracing to provide stability to the two low-rise structures
  • In plane bracing in order to provide adequate stiffness to the modular floor assembly
  • A piled foundation with piles of 900m diameter up to 50 metres deep under the tallest tower
  • Axial shortening considerations to evaluate the long and short term differential shortening between core and the adjacent steel posts of the modular units
  • Study of the dynamic response of the building under wind forces (particularly critical for a light-weight highrise building
  • Integration of amenity areas within the modular design

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