Southmere Civic and Library Building, East London



Southmere Civic and Library Building, East London

PBA is providing structural and civil engineering in the construction of the new Southmere Civic and Library Building in Bexley, East London.

The Southmere Civic and Library Building is part of the overall regeneration of Abbey Wood and South Thamesmead. The building is to be the focal point of the first phase of the Southmere regeneration, situated on the edge of both Southmere Lake and the new public square area. The building houses a public library area at ground floor, with multi-purpose areas, a café and meeting rooms.

The building has posed some challenges throughout its design given that the building geometry involves a rotation of the upper floor relative to the ground floor level creating multiple large cantilevers around the building and large internal clear spans. PBA has used 3D finite element software to engineer a solution using storey height steel braced trusses to provide the most efficient structural solution.

We are also exploring the use of hybrid steel and timber as a composite structural system to provide efficient structural rigidity, whilst maintaining the client and architect’s ambition for a largely column free area to ground floor. Through the use of this Glulaminated timber/CLT structure, photovoltaic panels and green roofs, the building will achieve a BREEAM ‘Very Good’ score.