BSkyB Believe in Better Building

Designed and constructed in less than one year, BskyB’s Believe in Better Buildings (BiBB) for creating flexible workspace whilst delivering on key principles of the WELL standard – quality day-lighting, air quality, natural material selection, and great design.

About this project

Based at Osterley campus, West London, the new educational facility for graduates, apprentices and staff training, was designed with sustainability at heart. This meant flexibility of spaces was key to accommodate for varied and changing needs of its users, now and in the future. A sweeping, open staircase connects the three floors and creates the social and interactive focus of building. Break-out spaces on all levels complement the open space allowing for flexible uses.

The client’s specific sustainability targets included a 15% reduction in embodied carbon of construction, 27% of recycled content, responsible sourcing of materials through PEFC or FSC timber and 80% of key materials by mass manufacture within a given radius, depending on density.

The call for a low energy structure within a short time period made the hybrid timber structure the optimum solution. Specifying low VOC materials, natural wood and internal and external greening contribute to user wellbeing and enable human-nature interactions within the building.

An exemplar of a close partnership of designer, client, contractor and trades, the 3-storey 3,800m2 development was delivered in half the normal time. It is the first in a series of three buildings in the BskyB Believe in Better Building project at the site.

Use of Timber

Using an optimised hybrid structure the build comprised a glulam frame with PEFC certified cross laminated timber (CLT) floor, roof and stability walls, together with perimeter wall cassettes.

An engineered timber industrial system was specified for rapid assembly and excellent airtightness through insulated panel facades. The solid timber frame meets the natural look and feel that BskyB were looking for and timber cassettes offer the low thermal resistance and high airtightness required to meet the design brief.

Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology and CNC machines were used to ensure the structures were manufactured to exacting tolerances to guarantee the details of the connections were precise. Architects and engineers worked together in a shared office – allowing them to make real time decisions.

Further informationB&K StructuresArup Associates

Learn more about PEFCFSC and sustainable timber procurement here.


Structural Timber Awards, Winner Architect of the Year; Best Education Project; Best Commercial Project; Low Energy Building of the Year; Winner of Winners 

IStructE, Commendation, Commercial or Retail Structures 

Institution of Civil Engineers Award, Winner 

WAN Wood in Architecture Awards, Winner 

Wood Awards, Winner of the Judges’ Special Award 

Key contacts




Arup Associates 



Structural Engineer

Arup Associates

Timber Frame Supplier

B&K Structures 

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