Scalpel Tower, London

Address: 52 Lime Street, London
Developer: WRBC Development UK Ltd
Main Contractor: Skanska UK Ltd
Architect: KPF
Structural Engineer: Arup
MEP (Mechanical, Electrical & Public Health) Consultants: Arup MEP
Contractor: Skanska

Building Information and Statistics

  • Mixed use commercial office tower with 41 levels
  • 190m tall (10m taller than neighbouring “The Gherkin” building)
  • Over 500,000 sq.ft. of commercial space and over 12,000 sq.ft. of retail and restaurant/cafe space
  • 35 levels of office space
  • 3 basement levels of plant, cycle & motor cycle storage, shower/change facilities, building management, restaurant and office storage
  • 3 levels of roof plant space, levels 36 & 37 being enclosed and 38+ within the roof attic
  • Ground floor lobby area, retail units and loading bay
  • 3 lifting accommodation zones; low zone L01— L12, mid zone L13 — L24 and high zone L25 — L35
  • Steel framed structure with reinforced concrete core

Building Services General Description

  • To reduce the space taken by air risers, the building services design has adopted a hybrid approach with centralised wet and power plant, and localised on-floor air handling plant at each floor
  • The centralised plant is divided between 3 areas; basement levels, roof levels and Billiter street Annex
  • The basement levels contain all domestic water, sprinkler, wet riser and diesel storage, and also electrical sub-stations and switchrooms
  • The roof areas contain all boilers, chillers and cooling towers
  • Billiter St. Annex contains the standby diesel generators for life safety and business continuity
  • Office areas are conditioned by a wet fan coil unit system with a fresh air supply from on-floor air handling units with connections to louvres integrated into the facade. The extract system works as both general extract and smoke extract (should it be required)

BIM (Building Information Modelling) Objectives

  • Increase quality of co-ordinated design information, eliminating design conflicts prior to construction
  • Increase collaboration between design disciplines, where data produced will be retained throughout the life cycle of the building

BIM Scope

  • All information to be produced to BIM level 2 LOD 400
  • 3D virtual model all MEP services
  • 3D virtual model all certified / procured plant and equipment
  • 3D virtual model all prefabricated skids and modules including; pump skids, plate heat exchanger skids, riser modules and corridor modules
  • 3D virtual model and position all MEP services bracketry for the use of Trimble robotic total solution to transfer data captured in the model to site
  • 3D virtual model all anchor and expansion devices
  • 3D virtual model all access zones to demonstrate access to all maintainable plant, equipment and access points, such as rodding eyes
  • Co-ordinate and clash detect all MEP services with structure, architecture and all other trade contractors
  • Asset tag all maintainable plant and equipment within the model for the use of exporting for facilities management
  • Produce 2D installation quality drawings for all MEP services, fully notated and dimensioned in x, y & z planes
  • Manage the EDMS (Electronic Data Management System) for the uploading and downloading of models, drawings, technical submittals and RFI’s (request for information)
  • Producing progress reports and attending / chairing bi-weekly BIM review meetings


The BIM process for the shell and core began in April 2015 and is very close to being complete with only the roof plant levels to be issued for construction. The BIM process for the CAT A and CAT B offices areas is programmed to commence in September 2016 and be complete by March 2017. Overall the project has run very smoothly and this has been greatly down to the close working relationship with Skanska, the design team and all trade contractors. There has been the odd bump along the way, but by having the collaborative expertise all issues have quickly and painlessly been resolved during the BIM process.