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After completing the Shell London project, we reflect upon the challenges we successfully overcame. Our Building Information Modelling capabilities played a huge role in this project. As a result, the project exceeded expectations in the delivery of creative and sustainable solutions.
LocationSouth Bank, London
ArchitectPerkins + Will
A successful collaboration with all stakeholders saw the transformation of London’s South Bank Shell Centre Tower. In short, the area includes a mixture of offices, homes and retail space, along with open and public areas. As a result, the area is a beautiful place to live and work in the cultural heart of the most exciting city in the world. This also encouraged sustainable development for the area. Furthermore, new pedestrian routes will connect nearby Waterloo Station with the South Bank of the River Thames. The project takes an area in need of redevelopment and revitalises it with a new mixed-use development, utilising sustainable glass partitions, of which London can be truly proud. Graham van’t Hoff, chairman, Shell UK, said: “We’re excited about our future here on the South Bank”.
At the heart of the development is the existing 1960’s built Shell Centre Tower. Collaboratively, Perkins + Will and Overbury refurbished the whole building to the same high standard on virtually every floor using the same design. We provided beautiful glass office partitions, doors, and tech panels across the offices. Subsequently, we provided innovative logistics for the glass office partitions. Our influences have seen the project not only contribute sustainable solutions here but also for other projects in the future.
Clients specified a high level of acoustic privacy for a series of meeting rooms and private offices on each floor. To achieve this we used Revolution 100 double glazed partitions and Edge Affinity doors. We housed the room booking systems in our innovative tech panels, all designed within BIM. Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a revolutionary design software allowing the storage of information behind the object on the original 3D design. Our designers used BIM level 2 alongside the architects of this project. Consequently, this allows data-sharing giving the opportunity to fix any clashes before the installation process.
In the cafe area where fire ratings were essential, we used our Technishield 65 glazed partitions and doors and provided a bespoke fire-rated balustrade. Christian Murphy, one of our resident BIM designers states that ‘building bespoke products using Building Information Modelling presents the biggest challenge, consequently we build new products from scratch within the BIM programme to fit the space.’
The interior fit-out of the Shell Centre Tower is now complete. However, the site certainly presented some logistical challenges that posed the question of how to ensure a sustainable development. Firstly, our team designed the transport and delivery solutions which are a sustainable route for the future. We manufactured a method of delivery which will benefit other projects as well as benefiting the environment. As a result, we are lowering our carbon footprint, as well as carrying more than ever possible in one journey.
New trolleys were created to maximise the load and ensure fewer journeys. Each trolley, which is 800 mm in width, can hold 5 doors allowing 3 trolleys to be accommodated across a lorry bed .i.e. 15 doors. This compares to 2 wooden pallets each that take 4 doors .i.e. 8 doors; a 188% efficiency gain. This also gives a lower carbon transport emission, causes less congestion in London and requires less manual handling.
The trolley is made of steel making it a far more sustainable option than the two wooden pallets it replaces. Although purpose-built these trolleys are now certified by LOLER (Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations) for use on other projects.
Each lorry now holds 45 doors instead of the original 24. This means less transport is required making it more environmentally friendly. This also gives a lower carbon transport emission, causes less congestion in London and requires less manual handling.
Specialist sustainable glass office partitions fire screens required a different approach. They were too tall for the door trolley and required an extension. Lifting these was complex but successful, requiring a crane to carefully position the load on the correct floor, safely and multiple times.
92% of waste on this site was recycled. We left an innovative Recycling Bag on-site with all deliveries. All protection and packaging was bagged and taken back to our manufacturing facility where it was reused or recycled wherever possible.
From the outset, this project achieves its environmental goals of BREEAM and LEED (Silver) accreditation. We contributed to these schemes includes high acoustic performance; high daylight transmittance performance; low environmental impact performance and certified responsible sourcing of component materials. We minimised wastage of products, packaging and protection materials and encourage the reuse of all, either on-site or off-site.
“The whole team have performed particularly well across all aspects of work throughout the project. Optima has maintained the same Project Manager, Huw Kelly and Cost Manager, James Hayes throughout the project, which has brought a high level of consistency.
I believe that you have delivered a fantastic project, which you should be proud of. Our client (Shell) is delighted with the end product, which when you take into consideration the longevity of the project and closing out under Covid restrictions was great. Well done and thank you for all your assistance and hard work over the last 4 years.
Optima’s overall approach to Health and Safety throughout the project has been 1st class. Taking into consideration that the project was over 4 years, there was not a single time that I can remember where we have questioned an Optima employee. the project achieved goal zero from the client with over 1.3million man-hours worked without a lost time incident. Optima were pivotal in achieving this, very well done.”