New Mass Timber Office Approved as Brent Cross Town Takes Shape

One of Europe's largest urban regeneration projects uses timber to achieve net zero objectives.

Thu 06 Jul 23


UK-based real estate developer Related Argent has secured planning permission from Barnet Council for the second commercial building as part of its Brent Cross Town development in North London, UK.

The project, designed by Bennetts Associates, will use off-site construction to “set industry-leading targets for embodied carbon reduction, operational efficiency and user wellbeing.”

“The project epitomises everything Related Argent is hoping to achieve at Brent Cross Town in terms of sustainability and social value,” Peter Fisher, Director at Bennetts Associates said.

“Furthermore, this project supports the new and existing community by providing key, interactive areas for all, including the wildlife.”

The project is part of the Brent Cross Town development which is one of Europe’s largest urban regeneration projects in North London. (Photo Credit: Brent Cross Town)

It is the first mass-timber framed office building approved in an office park that accommodates 25,000 workers and 280,000 square metres in buildings using mass timber frames and all-timber flooring.

The project follows the approval of an all-timber building located on the former site of Holborn Town Hall, which will boast a glulam frame along with cross-laminated timber slabs.

The new building will sit next to the newly-opened Claremont Park, alongside two major new public squares that will be a gateway to the rest of the neighbourhood.

The view of the proposed 9 storey cross-laminated timber building from the Claremont Park. (Image Credit: Bennett Associates)

Typical floor plates are 1,700 square metres and will have a gross floor area of more than 15,000 square metres, with views over Claremont Park and beyond to the playing fields and Hampstead Heath.

The ground floor enteance offers welcoming experience with a colonnade linking the prominent office entrance with a food and beverage tenancy. (Image credit: Bennett Associates)

The approval is the latest as Brent Cross Town progresses with five buildings, including residential and student rooms, already under construction, alongside associated infrastructure.

Wood Central understands that the developers of Brent Cross Town will use cross-laminated timber to construct commercial offices out of all timber or a hybrid of mass timber and low-carbon concrete. 

Footge courtesy of @savills

Brent Cross Town, which is being delivered by Related Argent and Barnet Council, is among Europe’s largest urban regeneration projects and, once completed, aims to be one of the UK’s largest net zero town centres.

The three terraces will be densely planted, providing biodiversity net gain and enhancing the experience of its occupants. (Image Credit: Bennett Associates)

In an interview with Dezeen in 2020, then Brent Cross Town’s development director Peter Runacres spoke about the power of mass timber in delivering net zero communities.

“Timber is one of the few truly renewable building materials,” explains Brent Cross Town’s development director Peter Runacres. 

“Who knows what the future of the workplace will be like in five, ten or twenty years? We want to create buildings that are there for a long time and are supremely adaptable… It’s much easier to do that with a timber building that you can cut and carve.”

Matt Flood, Brent Cross Town’s current development director, said: 

“Delivering majority-timber buildings in the UK is ambitious and therefore can be challenging; however, we must continually innovate for a zero-carbon future.

Renders of the buildings reception have been provided by Bennett Associates. (Image Credit: Bennett Associates)

The Brent Cross Town urban development will eventually have 6,700 homes and will be set on 200,000 square metres of green space. 

It combines multiple outdoor activities, using urban forestry to develop a new-community model for residents. 

Most importantly, it addresses the urgent challenge of the global Climate Crisis, achieving net zero carbon by 2030 at the latest.

“We’re addressing this with low-carbon construction, renewable power, circular economy principles, carbon offsetting — and by empowering everyone who lives and works here to make low-carbon lifestyle choices of their own.” 

The first residents of the newly built units will move into the precinct in late 2024.


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