Schöck and Thorp team up for HOOLA precast balconies

A new twin tower glass-clad landmark building – the ‘HOOLA’ – now dominates Tidal Basin Road in East London, gateway to the Royal Victoria Docks area.

The £80m development has transformed a brownfield site into two rippling 23 and 24 storey glass towers; offering 360 apartments with a mix of studios, one, two and three-bedroom units.   The buildings are super-insulated, with the concrete frame acting as a heat sink – absorbing heat on warm days and releasing it back into apartments when it cools. Unsurprisingly, a critical design requirement was the avoidance of any risk of thermal bridging at the many concrete-to-concrete balcony connectivity points. Highly efficient structural thermal breaks were required throughout and the preferred solution was the Schöck Isokorb type K for cantilever balconies.   With its innovative HTE pressure-bearing module, the unit provides extremely high thermal resistance and transfers bending moment, stress and shear forces.

Complex balcony detailing for Thorp Precast

The balconies on the HOOLA are all precast in a reconstituted Portland Stone Concrete and thermal break suppliers Schöck had to work closely with specialists Thorp Precast of Newcastle-under-Lyme.

“The balcony detailing was complex. We had to design, manufacture and deliver 1410 precast concrete balcony sections, which than had to be cast integrally with the in-situ concrete structure. The design and detailing coordination was taken from the 2D consultant’s information, which we converted into 3D Tekla modelling” said Luke Smerdon-White, Technical Director at Thorp.

In addition to concrete-to-concrete capability, the Schöck Isokorb range provides totally verifiable solutions for concrete-to-steel, steel-to-steel – and even a maintenance free alternative to wrapped parapets. All solutions meet full compliance with the relevant UK building regulations and offer BBA Certification and LABC Registration. The requirement that the temperature factor used to indicate condensation risk (the fRsi value), in residential buildings, must be equal to or greater than 0.75 is comfortably met by incorporating the Isokorb.   It also complies with the Government Standard Assessment Procedure, SAP 2012, concerning CO2 emissions from buildings and respectively heat losses through non-repeating thermal bridges.

For a free copy of the Schöck Thermal Bridging Guide and / or the Thermal Bridging Solutions brochure – contact the company on 01865 290 890 or visit