Cobalt Place forms part of the redevelopment of the Saint John Bosco College site in Battersea, London.
The buildings are arranged to form a residential quarter with a central court space, a new community amenity that opens new views to the neighbouring Sacred Heart church.
This is one of the first UK residential structures built out of cross-laminated timber (CLT). This durable structural material has the potential to save on energy costs due to its compact wood layers allowing only half the air leakage of concrete, which reduces the amount of energy needed to heat the building by 40 percent.
The pre-fabricated CLT also ensured high speed construction and formed a key part of the building’s aesthetic. The project’s two carbon neutral town houses and two five and six storey residential blocks feature striking full height windows that flood the interior with light and give the new homes a spacious and airy feel.
The acoustic challenges included determining the sound insulation performance of the reasonably new material against the specific English Building Regulations’ requirements, as there was very little data available.
Sandy Brown used a combination of research into test data in Australia and other areas where CLT is more common along with computer modelling to better determine performance, particularly at low frequencies. There was also great pressure on the floor to floor height at the site, meaning the floor build-up needed to be optimised and still meet the enhanced sound insulation criteria adopted for the project, and to best reduce impact sound.
The project won several awards for innovative and sustainable design.
Other Sandy Brown projects using CLT have included Trafalgar Place in Elephant & Castle and Banyan Wharf in Shoreditch.