Timber Works
CLT: built in two days in central London
4th September 2018

CLT: built in two days in central London

Adding light and useable space to a brick Victorian semi-detatched property in a Conservation Area in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, whilst providing a high level of insulation and using sustainable materials, was the challenge presented to Gresford Architects.

Their solution was to become one of the early-adopters of Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) building at domestic scale within the Capital. It took only two days to erect the pre-fabricated CLT panels on site. Less specialist trades were needed for the build, and less site clear-up time was needed.

The CLT ‘box’ structures which formed the core already offered a high level of insulation and were then further ‘wrapped’ with wood fibre board insulation, to create a very high level of thermal efficiency.The CLT frame was left exposed for aesthetics in the kitchen area and around the new windows. External Douglas Fir cladding by Piveteaubois and internal Pine cladding tied together the natural feel of the eco-friendly extension.

Cross-laminated timber is an ideal material for offsite construction and is already popular for major commercial projects. With its high thermal efficiency, and with the carbon storage provided by the sheer volume of laminated timber pieces involved in its creation, CLT also offers stability, even for multi-storey buildings.

The breathability of the timber provides comfort for building occupants, and the lack of heavy equipment needed on site offers quieter, cleaner and potentially safer construction. CLT panels can be pre-fabricated with apertures and tunking conduits ready- cut, making the build and fit-out phases swifter than for traditional construction



TimberWorks case studies are published by the Timber Trade Federation. The Federation’s Responsible Purchasing Policy, to which all its members must adhere, has been recognised widely for its rigour, and reinforces high standards of due diligence amongst its membership.

Procuring wood products from a TTF member thus represents ‘Timber you can Trust’. The Federation also drives continuous improvement, such as its research and action to improve testing of plywoods, and its actions to promote correct product definitions for treated timber products across the supply chain.


Projects Info

Location: Tower Hamlets, London
Architect: Gresford Architects
Materials & Main Wood Species: Cross-laminated timber (CLT), Douglas Fir, Pine


[Download this project as .pdf here]