Latest News

fsb awards: we’ re finalists for business & product innovation

13 February 2018

Once again, the FSB Awards are celebrating small business, and Peter Dann is proud to be recognised for its sizeable achievements on an international scale.

This year, we’re up for Business & Product Innovation in the London Area, representing modular innovation abroad.

While modular design and construction is increasingly common in the U.K, our innovations respond to buildings around the world and their environmental challenges: climates, seismic zones, hard-to-reach/sensitive locations.

Last year, we made the FSB finals for the Green Impact Award, attending the Emirates Stadium for a glamorous black-tie night, and again look forward to meeting fellow finalists.

offsite awards shortlist: engineer of the year

31 January 2018

We are excited to announce that Peter Dann is a finalist in the Offsite Awards 2018 for Engineer of the Year. Thanks to all who worked on the Alt Hotel St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada – an innovative modular build that’s the first of its kind in the area!

We were also the structural engineers for the Courtyard by Marriott Edinburgh West, working on both the modular and tradition design in partnership with architects Studio Anyo, who have been been shortlisted with this project for Best Use of Volumetric Technology; and we’re pleased to be working with Rollalong on the ‘Larkhill Single Living Accommodation’ , which has been shortlisted twice for Volumetric Technology and Housing Project of the Year.

Congratulations to all shortlistees and we look forward to mingling at the ExCeL in London on 06-03-18.

The future is open: innovative £45m Science Centre at Anglia Ruskin University

22 January 2018

We are pleased to report that ARU’s innovative Science Centre has opened. This major new facility brings teaching, postgraduate and staff facilities together within the Faculty of Science and Technology.

The £45 million investment offers staff state-of-the-art facilities in forensics, bio-medics, psychology and biology, with an atrium-focused design giving scope to all facilities available upon entrance.

Additionally, there is a 304 seat lecture theatre and a 202 place “super-laboratory”. This latter facility represents a new way of teaching science where several classes from different disciplines can be taught at the same time in the one space.

The fenestration on the southern and western elevations is extensively louvred to control solar gain with separating brick ventilation ‘chimneys’ that extend from eaves to the ground floor. The roof incorporates a series of photo voltaic panels along the southern elevation. A total of 500m² of the roof space is dedicated to the delivery of renewable energy for the building.

bell of the hall at Worshipful Company of Founders

17 January 2018

The Worshipful Company of Founders, one of the oldest livery companies in the City of London, needed to hang a much larger, heavier replacement bell within their premises on Cloth Fair. The new bell, one of the last ever forged at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry weighs 92kg, nearly double the weight of its 1868 predecessor, which bore the scuffed hallmarks of age. Scaffolding was recently removed to reveal the new Whitechapel bell, AD 2000 – an exquisite example of bellfounding, which is sounded for meetings, dinners and special occasions.

Peter Dann are proud to have assisted in the refurbishment works.

Second Business Incubator for award-winning Alconbury

10 January 2018

A second ‘Incubator building’ is underway for Alconbury’s Enterprise Campus, expanding the business community at this Government-backed Enterprise Zone.

The main structural steel frame and floor decks are now in place for this new two-storey building, which will provide flexible office space alongside the original award-winning Incubator and Alconbury Club, which offers a café, gym and ‘break-out balconies’ to complement meeting and event spaces.

With its flexible floorplan for accelerated growth and start-ups, companies are already interested in joining this mixed-use community on the Alconbury Weald campus.

Peter Dann are structural engineers on the project, and are pleased to be have been involved with a number of developments at Alconbury Weald for Urban and Civic, including the Alconbury Club and the Ermine Street Church Academy, an  impressive new primary school on the site.

The Incubator Building was also one of the winning schemes at the 2015 RIBA East Regional Awards.

Doing it: Abroad – Peter Dann are finalists in the BIM Awards 2018

8 January 2018

We’re very happy to be announced as finalists of the BIM Show Live Awards, category ‘Doing it: Abroad’. Congratulations to fellow finalists AFL Architects and Woods Bagot.

It’s always good to be recognised, especially for our significant efforts committment to BIM, as demonstrated in our recently completed Alt Hotel, St. Johns, Canada, which was entered for this award. Needless to say, we’re looking forward to Feb 28th, meeting finalists from other BIM categories.

If you would like to know more about our approach to BIM, click here for our BIM Capability Statement or click here for our BIM Facts.

it’s official: citzenM Bowery is Nation’s largest modular hotel

22 December 2017

New York City and State officials joined members of the Rinaldi Group on Tuesday, Dec. 19th, to celebrate completion of the new CitizenM Bowery – the nation’s largest modular-construction hotel project ever. Peter Dann designed the modular super-structure, which project manager Anthony Rinaldi describes as “an extraordinary process. Sealed units containing fully-finished hotel rooms were factory-made and stacked together. The rooms were shipped in 210 pieces to New York.”

The high-rise 300-room hotel is “state-of-the-art and will be the forerunner of similar types of structures in the future.” he commented further.

All parties are excited to have worked on this project with citiznM Hotels, whose portfolio includes the award-winning ‘Tower of London’ hotel on Trinity Sq.

citizenM’s Bowery: crews build and assemble largest modular hotel in NYC

22 December 2017

123 Buckingham palace Road revamp in Evening Standard

20 December 2017

‘A “GLOOMY” Eighties shopping arcade opposite Victoria coach station is set for a £100 million transformation.

Westminster city council is considering a planning application to overhaul Colonnade Walk and offices above. A further two storeys would be added to the building, which houses Google, to create a 64,100sqm workspace. […] The project will redesign elements of the public space between Victoria train station, including the covered walkway that runs alongside Buckingham Palace Road.

The roof of the colonnade Walk walkway will be removed along with some columns. Existing retail units lining the walkway will be replaced with seven larger ones. New facilities for the coach station will be built, including ticket and information desks and waiting areas.

The development is designed to be at the heart of a broader transformation of the Victoria area, according to the architecture firm behind the project, Morrow and Lorraine. Director Jean Jacques Lorraine said: “What we’re trying to do is create an iconic space that facilitates collaboration.”‘

Pullover Power at Peter Dann for Christmas Jumper Day

19 December 2017

Staff at both Cambridge and London offices wore silly winter wools in aid of Save the Children, raising money on Christmas Jumper Day for children in need. Money raised helps to provide relief, support and care for children in developing countries, as well as promoting their rights.

Did you know…? The Save the Children Fund was founded in 1919 by sisters Eglantyne Jebb and Dorothy Buxton. They wanted to alleviate starvation of children during the WWI Allied blockade of Germany and Austria-Hungary.

Peter Dann Wins CFCI Lego Competition ‘Spanning the Ages’

18 December 2017

Peter Dann entered a team into the CFCI Lego Competition held at Jesus College in Cambridge, where we partnered with architects Luis Veiga Pumar & Javier Vicioso from MCW. This year’s theme was ‘Spanning the Ages’ where Tommy Hodgson, Alex Lingham, Alan Lloyd, Ian Sargent & Paul Sandford linked up with MCW to create the winning construction/s.

Nominated team members were sent to the Lego pit to collect the blocks required for the build; the pit became a fractious environment with several scuffles as people fought over prized bricks.

We constructed four bridges depicting structural evolution, from a log (complete with dinosaurs) before moving onto the stone arch bridge, the 15th century Rialto bridge and finally a modern-day icon of the Golden Gate.

There was serious competition, so we’re delighted to have triumphed. The judges liked our interpretation of the brief and the accuracy of builds. Director Ian Sargent commented on his team “They built like warrior poets, they built like Engineers, and won their prize” (a glorious Lego trophy).


8 storeys in 8 weeks

13 December 2017

Site installation of the Peter Dann-designed modules is complete for the Alt Hotel in Calgary. It took just eight weeks to install all eight floors of modules, on time, before Christmas.

The modules are stacked above a two-storey concrete podium, with three storeys of basement below. The 155 room hotel will overlook the Bow River in Calgary’s East Village.

citizenM Tower of London Hotel wins ‘urban hotel – new build’ award by AHEAD

8 December 2017

As structural engineers on citizenM hotels Tower of London, we’re thrilled to learn of its first award: Urban Hotel – New Build award by AHEAD (Awards of Hospitality Experience & Design). We worked closely with citizenM to design the modular superstructure; steel cages were used to create the bedrooms which were fabricated and fitted-out off-site.

“Offsite construction was integral to the project. A modular steel solution ensured the nine storeys hotel could be built over the existing station where only five storeys had been possible before. The lightweight design also allowed the use of Portland stone cladding to create a contemporary yet sympathetic exterior to the hotel” states Ramboll, who were structural engineers on below-podium works.

The hotel sits in a complicated and sensitive location: above the Tower of London Underground Station and adjacent to its namesake, the Tower of London itself, with neighbouring remains of the Roman wall.

what lies beneath: extension for church uncovers charnel chamber

6 December 2017

The extension to Holy Trinity Church in Cambridge, on which we worked with heritage specialist Purcell, included some interesting challenges: multiple burial vaults and a charnel chamber with articulated remains.

Archeologists discovered the ‘chamber’ through a trial pit; it is probably Victorian, when the graveyard was cleared for new burials. The remains have been reinterred within the church’s existing vaults.

The church, which required more space for its congregation, additional offices, meeting rooms, a commercial kitchen and modern-day comforts such as underfloor heating, posed above-ground challenges too: limited surrounding space and a passageway which could not be closed to the public during construction.

With stonework dating from 1189, and multiple extensions since, the church required a ‘bespoke solution’ and an ‘innovative, contemporary approach’, which, as Purcell further explains, uses ‘traditional stone […] and copper cladding to set it apart.’

With all considerations, Peter Dann designed and engineered the three storey extension within the footprint of an existing office and vestry, while  forming door openings through the middle-age fabric of the church and rearranging some internal spaces.

The project is featured in the current Autumn/Winter Cambridge Architectural Gazette.

fitzwilliam college – liquid solution waterproofs iconic ‘scalloped’ roof

22 November 2017

‘Fire fights fire’ but can liquid fight water? Apparently so, thanks to Sika Sarnafil: a speciality company on the vanguard of roofing solutions. Sika’s pioneering approach combines a ‘single ply membrane with large areas of its Sikalastic 621 – a liquid applied product typically used for areas with complex detailing.’

The roof of the 60s building, designed by Denys Lasdun, was aesthetically impractical for the use of sheet membrane; architects Cullinan Studio also wanted a sympathetic, lightweight approach that avoided asphalt. Their collaborative relationship with RCC’s fitter and Sika’s technical expert ensured success ‘using the most effective detailing’.

Peter Dann have been involved with the college’s ongoing repair and refurbishment works for many years. Phase 2 of this project required the use of special scaffolding spanning 35m clear over the roof as we could not prop from the lower roofs and the college could not accept through propping within the lower storeys.




Our Greenest project yet: the 3mw anaerobic digestion plant for amur

17 November 2017

Peter Dann has completed its first major energy-from-waste project. The 3MW anaerobic digestion plant for Amur will treat 60,000T of biodegradable green waste and produce biogas that can be used as recovered energy and a liquid digestate. The organic waste will be used in a strategically important manner to place non-imported fossil methane gas into the local gas network for maximum carbon efficiency.

Anaerobic digestion is a natural process in which micro-organisms break down organic matter, in the absence of oxygen, into biogas (a mixture of carbon dioxide and methane) and digestate (a nitrogen-rich fertiliser). The process uses everyday food, green and kitchen waste. The biogas can be used directly in engines for Combined Heat and Power (CHP), burned to produce heat, or can be cleaned and used in the same way as natural gas or as a vehicle fuel. The digestate can be used as a renewable fertiliser or soil conditioner.

Peter Dann undertook a broad ranging commission, initially acting as planning agent and coordinator to secure consent for the development. Subsequently, we prepared the civil and structural engineering design and acted contract administrator and cost consultants for the civil engineering contract.

ALT Hotel’s Cranes are on course for Christmas in Calgary

15 November 2017

Site installation of the Peter Dann-designed modules is underway for the ALT Hotel as winter approaches in Calgary, Canada. Currently a few floors up, all eight storeys are expected to be completed before Christmas this year.

Calgary has had some previous exposure to modular construction […] but its application at this level is new to the city” reports online publication Skyrise Cities, whose detailed site report with photos is featured here.


officially open: ALT hotel St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada

14 November 2017

From ‘finishing touches’ to finished: the ALT Hotel, St John’s, Canada is open for business.

This new waterfront hotel features five storeys of hotel space and two storeys of underground parking. The hotel portion of the building is modular: the rooms were constructed as individual pods and lifted into place. 


Brooklyn base for latest POD hotel

8 November 2017

The latest POD, a space-savvy budget hotel, has opened in New York’s Williamsburg. The original POD hotel near Times Sq and POD 39 in Midtown have both proved popular with tourists. POD BK consists of 158 modules and more than 200 rooms.

The mixed-use development has a restaurant, roof terrace/garden and retail space, providing a hub for tourists and visitors to this “most vibrant and trendy neighbourhoods.”

The use of a modular system of prefabricated components in hotel construction is trending for its reduced on-site construction time, economic benefits and increased quality control.

POD is the first modular project designed by Peter Dann to be constructed in the USA, with another hotel under construction in Bowery, New York.

international lunch day

6 November 2017

Peter Dann celebrated diversity last Friday with food. Team members mused on their mother tongues, producing dishes that ranged from Argentinian churros to British roast reef (with cake-sized Yorkshire pud). Highlights included Slovenian Slivovi Cmoki (plum dumplings), Portuguese Pastéis de Nata (custard tarts) and a bottle of Ouzo.