BSkyB Health and Fitness Centre

The second stage of the project was the development of BSkyB Health & Fitness – a purpose built staff amenity building designed to rehouse an oversubscribed gym that had been operational for over 14 years, as well as providing other health and wellness facilities.

It was decided that the build would be constructed from engineered timber from the outset – a material rarely used in multi storey fitness studios.  Therefore careful definition of the buildings performance was crucial to ensure the correct structure could be delivered.  The fabrication that the engineered timber construction provided reduced the overall delivery period for the project.  The project incorporates many uses of engineered timber – from shear walls to perimeter walls and floor plates to roof panels. 

The low mass of timber has a significant impact on dynamics – this was particularly relevant given the aerobic and fitness uses of the building. The team used previous onsite testing and research in order to produce the design modelling and criteria to overcome any potential issues. After careful analysis of the data, it was evident that typical connection philosophies would not be suitable to ensure the correct dynamic performance could be reached.

From the outset the decision made by the designers was to implement clear and simple strategies for the structure integrating M&E – enabling clean and simple detailing. The design team identified common client concerns - dealing strategically with overall building costs, service installation, fire risks, construction speed, together with future adaptability.     

B & K Structures provided an optimised hybrid structural solution consisting of glulam columns and beams supporting cross laminated timber perimeter walls, floors and roof. As an all timber fitness centre, BSkyB Health and Fitness boasts an eye-catching exposed timber internal structure thanks to the use of visual grade CLT. When paired with the natural light achieved from the west facing glass façade and extensive views across the campus, the timber frame creates a warm and welcoming facility that seamlessly blends into the surrounding rural landscape. 

The BSkyB Health and Fitness Centre deploys innovative methods which allowed the production of an open frame solution, improving design coordination when compared to either standard platform cross laminated timber framing or other hybrid glulam and CLT forms with deep downstand beams - resulting in reduced storey heights.

The project, one of the very few all-timber fitness centres in the world, was completed on time and on budget in May 2015.  The timber structure took just 25 days to erect – an impressive achievement during the winter season.  The design strategically uses reinforcements to allow the glulam to be rotated 90 degrees more than commonly used.

MAIN CONTRACTOR - Mace
ARCHITECTS - dRMM
STRUCTURAL ENGINEER - Arup
STRUCTURAL FRAME PROVIDER - B & K Structures
PRODUCTS - Glulam, CLT and Timber Roof Cassettes.

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