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Steel trees support LSE campus expansion

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Two steel tree-like structures have been installed as integral elements of the London School of Economics (LSE) new Marshall Building.

The trees, which are to be encased in concrete, help to create open-plan areas and evenly transfer substantial loads to the foundations in the otherwise concrete-framed building.

Both trees have four steel raking branches, are similar in size and provide similar solutions. One of the trees is supported by a column, stemming from the first floor through a second-floor void, and supports the third floor. The other tree supports the slab at level four and is founded on a steel column that is sat on top of a transfer beam at level one.

“Steel was used for the trees as the four branches collectively support approximately 3,500t, which was not feasible in concrete given the structural zones available,” explains AKT II Associate Wai Pang.

Offering approximately 18,100m² of space, the Marshall Building is the latest project in the London School of Economics (LSE) campus-wide redevelopment programme.

Overlooking Lincolns Inn Fields, the flagship building will have ten upper floors and two basement levels, and will contain The Marshall Institute for Philanthropy and Social Entrepreneurship, founded by Sir Thomas Hughes-Hallett and Sir Paul Marshall to improve the impact, effectiveness and appeal of private contributions to the public good.

Working on behalf of main contractor Mace, Bourne Steel is erecting 126t of steelwork for the project.

Other steel elements on the project include steel nodes that have been installed within the main core, to help transfer loads.

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