Plans for Wales’ tallest building approved

Clarkebond structural engineers have been appointed to design a student accommodation building which at 42 floors high will be the tallest building in Wales and the tallest student accommodation in the UK.

A planning application for Custom House, which will sit on land bound by Customhouse Street, Bute Street, Hope Street and the railway line in Cardiff, has just been approved by Cardiff Council.  Located within Cardiff’s new Enterprise Zone, the scheme looks set to become a landmark building for Wales and a significant addition to the city’s landscape.  Wales’ highest building currently is the Meridian Tower in Swansea which has 29 storeys.

Clarkebond have provided a number of services on the scheme including site investigations, flood risk assessment, draining strategy and structural design.

In addition to addressing the particular challenges associated with the design of tall buildings, i.e. stability and control of building movement under lateral loads, Clarkebond engineers have designed a scheme which also takes account of the specific issues associated with this site. These include the close proximity of the site to the South Wales main railway line, a main gas pipeline running through the site, constrained site boundaries, and a combination of made-ground with alluvial soils.

Consideration also had to be given to the commercial requirement to enable occupation of the building in the shortest time frame from commencement of construction.

Clarkebond has also been advising on structural issues relating the external building cladding, a unique unitised system, which will enable the cladding to be installed quickly and from the inside of the building, thereby avoiding the need for external working from height.

“We are delighted to be working on such a prestigious, landmark scheme,” comments Clarkebond’s Executive Director, John Pavey.

Subject to planning it is expected that the 450 unit building, which includes retail space on the ground floor and a glazed public viewing gallery on the top floor, will be ready for occupation at the start of the 2018 academic year.

Developers:  Watkins Jones
Architects: Rio
Structural and Ground Engineers: Clarkebond