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Doubletree Hotel. London. UK

Client
Mint Hotel
Sector
Buildings
Services
Building Construction Modular Manufacturing
Duration
2008-2010
Project partners
Bennetts Associates, Buro Happold, AECOM

Doubletree Hotel. London. UK

Doubletree Hotel. London. UK

Doubletree Hotel. London. UK

Doubletree Hotel. London. UK

Full project details

Modern, vibrant and luxurious accommodation… filled with striking design features.

Laing O'Rourke led this design and build project as principal contractor, using modern methods of construction to maximise programme efficiencies. We developed a solution that not only upheld Mint Hotel’s ambition to be an innovator in the hotel industry, but fulfilled our ambition to reach above and beyond client expectation. 

Rising above inner city constraints

This project gave us an opportunity to add to the humming, energetic atmosphere in the heart of London. While the building architecture had to sit comfortably within its surroundings, the roof offered significant design freedom. We let our expertise flow to create the Skylounge (a rooftop box at a slightly different angle) to capture views of the Thames and Tower Bridge.

Striking innovation

We have created the largest 'living' wall in Europe, adding to the hotel's visible and sustainable appeal. We used 185,000 plants during its installation, creating a green blanket that spreads vertically within the atrium and two upper floors externally. The installation comprised individual modules, each featuring 45 planting cells with a water irrigation system. It not only reduces heat loss and internal cooling, but also improves air quality and carbon fixing, reduces noise and provides a habitat for wildlife. 

Reaping the benefits of forward thinking

We kept energy consumption at the forefront of all planning, and used this passion to develop a substructure design initiative that enabled the new proposed electrical substation to be installed within the basement and energised nine months ahead of programme. This resulted in the site generator being switched off in the early stages of construction, allowing us to connect to the power grid at a much earlier stage than the scheme originally anticipated. Not only did this save an abundant amount of energy, but with one swift move we were able to offer the client considerable cost savings. 

Designing in sustainable solutions from the outset

We installed photovoltaic (solar) panels, ground source heat pumps, passive and active low energy systems, and a combined heat and power unit to ensure 10% of the hotel's energy is renewable. In addition to the positive impact of the 'living' wall, these combined measures reduced carbon emissions by over 30% and surpassed the BREEAM Excellent standard by 40% for overall energy consumption per bedroom. This positive outcome adds testament to our ability to 'find a better way' using value engineering – ultimately exceeding planning requirements, and pleasantly surprising the client.

A valuable Alternative Solution

Laing O'Rourke managed and oversaw the entire construction process, using innovative techniques such as Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA), where sections of the hotel were built off site in our in-house manufacturing facility and delivered to site systematically. This approach gave us the opportunity to apply innovative solutions to complex challenges throughout the design, manufacturing and construction phases. 

At the beginning of the project, three key areas were identified as suitable for DfMA: the concrete frame, the external envelope and the guest bathrooms. Although originally designed as an in situ concrete construction, we proposed an alternative solution using twin wall / lattice floor slabs with structural topping. We also developed a bespoke solution for the twin wall to overcome spatial constraints. Once manufactured, the precast concrete sections were delivered to site and hoisted into place. Deliveries were carefully scheduled so that they arrived only when required - this 'just in time' delivery solution ensured efficiency and reduced congestion. 

When compared to conventional in situ techniques, our approach benefited health & safety the environment and shortened the construction programme by ten weeks.

Awards

  • Future Design Award for Sustainability, European Hotel Design Awards
  • Shortlisted for Best New Build Hotel, European Hotel Design Awards
  • Finalist for Construction Manager of the Year: Alan Blewett MCIOB
  • British Association of Landscape Industries Principal Award Winner

Project facts

11 storeys and 583 bedrooms delivered in a constricted central city location

Overall energy consumption is 40% better per bedroom than the BREEAM Excellent standard for a hotel of this category

Reduced carbon emissions by over 30%, significantly exceeding planning requirements

The quality on site has been outstanding. Laing O’Rourke not only understands the issues involved in constructing a hotel, it also realises what we need to build our business.

David OlsonHead of Buildings, Mint Hotel

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