Building at the pace of digital

Two Fifty One
London, UK
At a glance

With a site footprint of just half an acre and busy roads on all sides, this city centre tower showcased the very best of our technological and logistical prowess.

During the Two Fifty One build in London’s Southwark area, technology and logistics, including offsite manufacturing, came together to enable an entirely new pace and quality of delivery. On a tight footprint surrounded by busy roads, a 41-storey residential tower and eight-storey commercial building had to be delivered with minimal disruption.

And delivered they were, quite literally. Over 70% of the residential tower was constructed off site and trucked in. Our integrated, just-in-time approach reduced onsite hours by 50% and meant that ground to level 41 was completed in just 70 weeks.

Laing O’Rourke’s optimised in-house manufacturing capabilities delivered powerful certainty and measurable savings.

How it happened

At Laing O’Rourke our designers took all they had learnt over the past decade about offsite production – particularly via our in-house companies Crown House Technologies, Explore Manufacturing, Expanded Group and Select Plant – to make this build flow smoothly.

As one of Europe’s tallest precast buildings Two Fifty One’s offsite manufacturing included 1,000 concrete panels for the facade, high-quality bathroom ‘pods’ and MEP systems. This helped reduce programme time by 33%, as did our innovative digital engineering techniques and project initiatives, such as advanced data exchange and component tracking. These streamlined the linkages between design, manufacture and build sequence, promoting efficiency.

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We are delighted with the speed of progress on site which is a testament to the innovative offsite construction process, as well as contributing to the exciting regeneration of the Elephant & Castle area.

Olivier Brahin, Client group representative speaking at the project’s Topping Out ceremony

construction jobs for local residents


of the residential tower constructed off site


highest point of the 41-storey tower

The result

Laing O’Rourke was given a lot more control over Two Fifty One’s development than is often the case. By engaging early in the project with a familiar client, and by creating a tight brief, an effective plan for logistics was achieved.

Ultimately, the project set a blistering pace almost unheard of in the construction realm, with greater consistency and quality and a safer working environment.