Project Description

Kingston University Town House


A six storey offsite engineered HybriDfMA structure with approximately 10,000m² total floor area incorporating over 2,150 offsite manufactured structural components with high quality architectural finishes.


Minimum disturbance to the public and students working close to the site was successfully achieved with PCE’s Design & Construction Programme.


With extensive areas of the building’s internal and external concrete finishes and jointing between components being visible, component manufacture and construction procedures were controlled to the highest quality.


Construction completed in just 40 weeks by PCE’s highly trained multi skilled workforce.

A six storey fully HybriDfMA offsite engineered structure

Construction of the stunning six storey Kingston University Town House was completed using PCE Ltd’s HybriDfMA bespoke system, which enabled the project to become an environmentally friendly mixed-use teaching building, taking the form of a series of interlocking open-plan volumes enveloped by a facade of colonnades with extensive exposed internal and external concrete finishes.

PCE was appointed by Main Contractor Wilmott Dixon as Specialist Structural Frame Contractor responsible for the detailed design, manufacture and construction of the circa £8million structural package working with world renowned project architects Grafton Architects, Project Manager and Quantity Surveyors Turner & Townsend and AKT II, Consultant Engineers.

A fully coordinated Building Information Management, (BIM), approach to BIM Level II protocols was adopted by PCE and the other parties with special emphasis being placed on pursuing a Design for Manufacture and Assembly approach to enable certainty of the Hybrid structural component construction.

The internal structure of the building provides a three-dimensional matrix, one singular complex space, which links the various required uses to one another, while at the same time giving each its own identity and privacy. Externally the highly imaginative façade is made up of an open undercroft colonnade at ground floor to invite public use and activity, above which three cascading terraces form hanging gardens giving a sense of landscape connecting from ground level to the top of the building.

The benefits of HybriDfMA

PCE’s HybriDfMA expertise using a mix of structural and architectural precast and insitu concrete, together with structural steelwork, enabled the long-span requirements for such an ‘open’ building, some in excess of 15m, to be easily accommodated, as well as high quality finishes without the requirement for extensive following trades, and incorporation into the structure of an embedded pipework system to provide thermal control of the internal environment using concrete’s thermal storage abilities.

The project site was constrained in area by adjacent University buildings, the busy Penrhyn Road and an adjacent street; thus by PCE using their HybriDfMA process knowledge together with the company’s holistic Digital approach, total delivery vehicle movements were minimised as well as the number of personnel required to construct the building leading to a reduction in disturbance and noise nuisance for the University and its students, a lower construction CO² footprint, reduced construction waste and very importantly significant reduced Health and Safety risks.

Sustainability calculations following project completion show that for offsite manufactured precast concrete units, which accounted for over 85% of structural components delivered, the CO² footprint was less than 180Kg of CO2/m² for the total building floor area.

The project is rated as BREEAM Excellent, offers a vibrant new face to the University and is outstanding in every aspect and once again proves that the PCE HybriDfMA system gives project certainty and quality regardless of complexity.

Kingston upon Thames, UK

Kingston University

Grafton Architects

Main Contractor:
Wilmott Dixon

Project Manager and Quantity Surveyors:
Turner & Townsend

Consultant Engineers:

“World-class architecture isn’t just the preserve of the Russell Group!

I’m delighted that with Town House, everyone who visits, studies in, and works at Kingston University now has access to a beautiful and inviting space in which to learn, socialise and just be.”

Professor Steven Spier, Vice Chancellor of Kingston University.

The Kingston University Town House story