Metsawood Hybrid City Challenge - Alexandra Road Estate Reimagined


The Alexandra Road Estate an iconic example of mid-twentieth century brutalist architecture. The form and composition of the scheme make it a vital and appropriate example of mass housing, that could be reimagined as a low carbon building for the 21st century. In this proposal, we have explored the use of Kerto LVL in mass housing as an alternative to concrete. The structural performance of Kerto LVL allows us to be ambitious with the design of mass housing. The embodied carbon for the proposed structure is approximately 50% of the existing building, without taking in to account the carbon sequestered in the timber. By proposing pre-fabrication and the ability to disassemble joints between walls and slabs we can support reuse and the circular economy. Exposed timber promotes wellness and encourages the use of timber in buildings.

Key benefit

Embodied carbon, Reuse & circular economy, Ambitious architecture & wellness

Material list

Kerto LVL
Kerto-S Board
Kerto-Q Board

Ecological values

Create a low embodied carbon building. Reviewing the existing structure, an assessment of the embodied carbon is made. It is significantly greater than targets set out by LETI (London Energy Transformation Initiative). Even assuming the carbon within the timber structure is eventually released, it is assessed that the embodied carbon for the proposed structure is approximately 50% of the existing building. Comparison to LETI target LETI (London Energy Transformation Initiative) The Kerto proposal reaches overall 2030 EC targets for Embodied Carbon values. 2020 O/A - 335 kgCO2e/m2 2030 O/A - 201 kgCO2e/m2



  • Economical span (mm)
  • Thickness (mm)
  • Airbourne sound reduction factor (dB)
  • Impact sound transmission (dB)
  • Resistance to fire class
  • Thermal properties



  • This Hybrid City competition entry uses an approximately 50 year old residential apartment design in London, where special emphasis is currently on fire safety in buildings. The apartment block uses Kerto-LVL as a replacement for most of the concrete in the structure, comparing the existing performance in embodied carbon and room space with a Kerto solution. It keeps the existing material (concrete) with the ground floor and basement construction, but replaces the entire structure above ground in timber. The geometry requires a careful look at the overturning moments of the cantilevering upper floors, which is solved in a similar way to the existing structure.
  • Great re-invention, considering LVL properties in a clever way (floor, walls) with a global and consistent structural approach.


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