Lyons O'Neill

Sustainability in our Sector

Commitment to sustainability is in the manifesto of every construction firm, but what does it look like in practice?

Lyons O’Neill recently facilitated a site visit to Sutton Secondary School: the UK’s largest school constructed from Cross Laminated Timber and to Passivhaus standard, the international standard for low energy design. The live site visit took place earlier this week and was organised by Croydon Constructing Excellence Club in conjunction with KLH UK.

Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) has hit the headlines recently, with the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre developing the ‘UK’s first’ hardwood variety which will be used to build Waugh Thistleton’s pavilion at the V&A. However, despite being a well-established building material within UK construction and valued for its strength (weight for weight, stronger than steel or concrete), benefits of CLT is still relatively unknown to many in the industry.

So, what is CLT?

CLT is an engineered timber used for walls and floors and roofs and is strong in both directions due to its layered construction. Its light weight brings with it a range of benefits and its simple, fast onsite construction means construction programme may be reduced by as much as 30%.

Why is it important?

Being made from timber means CLT is a renewable source and a carbon store. CLT’s ability to cut construction times means it’s also responsible for reducing a project’s energy consumption and the disruption it causes. Timber construction is always a popular choice for reaching sustainable construction goals and can play a key role in achieving Passivhaus or Carbon Neutral standards and BREEAM.

As sustainability becomes an increasing concern in the construction industry and the wider world, it is collaboration, innovation and education which will raise our whole sector to a higher standard. Lyons O’Neill recognises its practical commitment to sustainability and helping the industry move forward.

We have used CLT to great effect on a number of projects, including The Lodge at Tottenham Hotspur Training Facility and the Chipstead Valley Primary School. See more about our approach to structural timber here.