Eltham College
Civil and Structural Engineer

Eltham College, London

Civic Engineers provided civil and structural engineering design for new £10 million academic and 6th form building at the Eltham College campus in South London. The Turberville Building is a new teaching space for Mathematics and Modern Languages. Right at the centre of the building is a triple-height, glazed atrium, creating a stunning link between the quad and the playing fields to the east as well as giving direct access to the new David Robins Sixth Form Centre. New landscaped areas provide seating for students as well as a calm focus at the heart of the school, with the iconic statues of Speed and Power re-positioned in a raised bed, and the much-loved statue of Mendelssohn moved to watch over musicians as they enter the Music School.

Working alongside Levitt Bernstein architects, we designed a precast concrete structure for the innovative new Tuberville Building at the college. The ground to second floor structure was formed predominantly from precast concrete, much of which is exposed, acting as a visual feature and contributing to the energy efficiency of the building through exposed thermal mass. To achieve a high-quality finish for the internal exposed concrete we have maintained close collaboration with the precast suppliers from their appointment through to installation.

Using a panelised concrete system has made the construction period shorter, quieter and safer, a clear winner as Eltham College site is located in the heart of a residential area. The structural frame, formed from a mixture of precast hollowcore and lattice girder slabs spanning onto twin-wall panels and steel framing elements, was erected significantly quicker than an equivalent in-situ reinforced concrete frame.

We provided the underground drainage and pavement design for the entire project. This required careful coordination with the landscape architect and a good understanding of the existing drainage arrangement. To avoid unnecessary load on the drainage system, permeable pavement build-ups have been included in the design which also removed the need for drainage channels in the quad. Three attenuation tanks were also designed to provide surface water storage and to achieve greenfield run-off rates for the development. Considerable thought was put into understanding a complex existing drainage arrangement with shallow existing manholes and multiple outputs.

Works commenced on site in July 2017 and practical completion was reached in January 2019.

Key info
Eltham College, London