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Topping out ceremony marks milestone in transformation of old Neasden print works into affordable homes

Network Homes and Henry Construction held a topping out ceremony on 1 November to mark a construction milestone in the transformation of an old Neasden print works into new affordable homes. Printworks Apartments is Network Homes’ first development made from a cross-laminated timber (CLT) structure and it is being built off site and then craned into position.

CLT is a high strength and stable wood building system which is used as an alternative to concrete, masonry and steel in many buildings. It is a sustainable product with a low carbon footprint. The use of this combined with the off site construction minimises the environmental impact and disturbance to local residents while also reducing the build time and costs.

Replacing a former 1960s building no longer fit for purpose, the new development will greatly improve the surrounding public area, creating a more attractive and safer environment for local residents and pedestrians walking towards the nearby recreation grounds and Brent reservoir.

Printworks Apartments is due to be completed in Spring 2018 and will comprise 74 affordable homes with 27 for affordable rent and 47 for shared ownership.

The 74 homes will consist of one, two and three bedroom apartments and townhouses. Apartments will be distributed between four blocks separated by a generous communal landscaped garden for residents.

Vicky Savage, Executive Director for Development at Network Homes, said: “We are excited to mark this milestone at our first development using a cross laminated timber structure and using off site construction methods. Printworks Apartments will provide over 70 new affordable homes. The homes will transform the area and leave a long term legacy for local people.”

Gerry Eastwood, Director at Henry Construction, said: The project was initially tendered with very restrictive delivery milestones, so we had to think laterally about the delivery of the building, and seek a non-traditional method of construction. We chose the cross-laminate timber solution, which meant that we had to work very hard on the pre-construction side to ensure that the building was fully designed and co-ordinated, utilising 3D modelling prior to manufacture in the factory. It has been a pleasure and a privilege working with such an important client as Network Homes on this landmark project and look forward to the successful completion of the scheme.