Bermonds Locke Aparthotel, London

In a technically challenging project, Hydrock is delivering multi-disciplinary services for SACO to convert an existing building shell into a 142-unit aparthotel within walking distance of London’s iconic Tower Bridge.


Acting for Gardiner & Theobald, on behalf of SACO, the Serviced Apartments Company, Hydrock design teams are collaborating with multiple stakeholders to convert a partially completed mixture of apartments and commercial space into one cohesive development – all while retaining the existing structural frame.

Hydrock was appointed to the project in summer 2018, and is providing structural engineering design, MEP engineering design, acoustic and fire engineering services.

Set to open in 2020, Bermonds Locke Aparthotel will house 142 units, made up of 99 studios and 43 one-bedrooms units, as well as all-day dining with outdoor seating, a coffee shop, cocktail bar, co-working facilities, two meeting rooms and a gym, all in the bustling heart of central London.

Building services solutions

Our teams have risen to the challenge of co-ordinating mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, along with a fire strategy and acoustic requirements, within the limitations of a pre-existing structural frame.

This project has presented particular M&E challenges in the form of low slab-to-slab heights. This structural form means there is a minimal service void zone within which to provide the apartments with the high standard of thermal and environmental comfort that SACO pride themselves on delivering to their customers, such as high-efficiency heating, cooling and ventilation with acoustic strategies to ensure a quiet stay in Central London.

Our London-based mechanical and electrical team is working with C+W O’Brien Architects to produce a full 3D BIM model which has allowed them to combine the existing structure with proposed elements to deliver the crucial services needed. The full advantages to using the latest in engineering technology have shown themselves during this process and demonstrated multiple benefits for the collaborative working effort of the full project team that the project has required.

We are also providing a Hybrid Variable Refrigerant (HVRF) system, which uses water rather than refrigerant gas to condition air in the occupied spaces. It is a more sustainable system overall, and is simpler and cheaper for the end-user, as well as future proofing the heating and cooling system against future tightening of F-Gas Regulations.

Structural engineering solutions

Our structural engineering team were appointed in a technical advisory capacity to advise on the feasibility of structural alterations and review surveys, designs, repair proposals and site work delivered by others as part of the shell and core development.

The structural alterations required precision engineering to install two new lift shafts through a complex basement transfer structure and 8 storey building above. We reviewed existing record drawings, calculations and surveys to inform the design team of the structural constraints and advise on the most structurally feasible, cost effective solutions.

We also made recommendations for any further structural investigations and below ground drainage surveys that were considered necessary to validate the long term civil and structural integrity of the building.

For over 20 years Hydrock has delivered award-winning engineering projects across a wide variety of sectors. Contact us today to find out how we can help your business.