Dalston Works

Currently the largest Cross Laminated Timber project globally. Weighing just one fifth of a comparable concrete structure, it accommodates 10 storeys above a planned Crossrail route.

About this project

The ten-storey development is made entirely of CLT, from the external, party and core walls, through to the floors and stairs, weighing a fifth of a concrete building of this size, and reducing the number of deliveries during construction by 80 per cent.

Standing at 33.8 metres at the highest point - at the time of completion, Dalston Works is the largest load bearing timber structure in the world.

Ranging from five to ten storeys the development incorporates 121 residential units of contemporary style one to three-bedroom apartments spread across nine floors and totalling a gross external area of 11,591m2. Each building is orientated to maximise daylight to the apartments’ balconies and communal open spaces. 

The building’s intricate brickwork references both the surrounding Victorian and Edwardian housing and the craftsmanship-like detailing of the local warehouses.

The groundbreaking use of timber technology has significantly reduced the carbon footprint of the building in terms of both material production and on-site time and energy consumption.

Due to its vastly reduced weight, the building is taller than was ever thought feasible on the neglected brownfield site.

Reduced weight, more units

Proximity to HS1 and Crossrail tunnelling meant the weight of the build would be affected by the loading restrictions. Supported by a raft foundation, the robust, yet lighter cross laminated timber structure was a major benefit. It permitted 35% more homes to be built  offering the developer a better return on investment. 

The project timber usage is calculated at 4,649m3, with only seven tonnes of steel beams. The minimal reliance on materials like steel is a feat of engineering in itself.

Less noise, more speed

Using offsite construction shortened the construction programme allowing the frame to be completed in 374 days; while 80% fewer site deliveries reduced disruption, lowering the impact of the development on local residents and the environment.

Why is it a Low-Carbon Case Study?

The build achieved 3,576 tons of sequestered carbon and 976 tons of embodied CO2. Delivering a net carbon footprint of -2,600 tons CO2, CLT represents a vast improvement on the net carbon footprint of an equivalent block with a concrete frame, with an estimated +2,000 tons.

To put this in perspective, the carbon embodied in the building, is equivalent to the emissions produced by 1,703 cars over a year.


AJ Sustainability 2017 (Highly commended)

Structural Timber Award 2017 - Solid Wood/Housing/Overall Winner

NLA 2017 Housing (Commended)

NLA Ashden 2017 (Highly commended)

Offsite 2017 (Highly commended)

RICS Awards 2018 (Shortlisted)

Construction News 2018 (Shortlisted)

Evening Standard Eco Living Award 

Further Information

Images: Daniel Shearing; Waugh Thistleton

Timber Design Pioneers, chapter 1

Dalston Works - the residence

The architect's perspective and timelapse video

Architects Journal


Key contacts


Regal Homes


Waugh Thistleton

Structural Engineer


Timber contractor

B&K Structures

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