When Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park were planning to build a new permant headquarters with a strong eco agenda they turned to Carpenter Oak & Woodland at an early stage
Work on the unique timber frame for the new Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park headquarters is underway at the Kirriemuir yard of Carpenter Oak & Woodland.
Made from Douglas fir (sourced from Scotland and the Borders), the frame will take 7000 man hours to produce and erect to a design created by Page & Park architects of Glasgow and project engineers Buro Happold.
Carpenter Oak & Woodland’s expertise with steel flitch plates and green timber have made it possible to build the frame in solid, rather than the usual laminated, timber beams, thus providing a much more sustainable solution.
The 23 cross frames are laid out in a sweeping S plan using unusually large green Douglas fir. Typically the 6.5m long principal rafters are 300 x 350mm in section whilst some of the posts are a massive 300 x 600mm in section and 6.5m long. The entire frame comprises some 165 cubic metres of timber.
“This structure draws on our unique expertise in working with green timber.” says Mike Newstead, Carpenter Oak & Woodland’s Scottish yard manager. “During the design process we have to consider the shrinkage and detail the frame accordingly and we can’t assume that it is perfectly straight and square from face to face and end to end. If this isn’t accounted for in the fabrication process the frame will never go together on site.”
The design of the frame calls for wide open spans with minimal visible cross frame bracing, so it is being jointed using galvanized steel flitch plates. Carpenter Oak & Woodland is also supplying and fitting a specially designed floor panel system and load bearing walls to carry parts of the floor, as well as several specially designed and fabricated wall panels to provide lateral stability. This is achieved by transferring loads through these few walls and through the floor panels.
The new National Parks building is a unique two-storey timber frame structure. It will provide both workspace and public meeting rooms and facilities. The volume of the interior is exploited to store energy and reduce consumption. A biomass boiler completes the focus on the use of natural and local products.
“This timber frame will form the heart of the National Parks building, and will be left exposed in many areas to allow the natural beauty of the wood to show,” explained Mike Newstead.
This will be the second landmark sustainable structure Carpenter Oak & Woodland has been involved in recently, the other being ECOSpace, for Lauder College in Dunfermline, which was completed in September 2006. Both buildings achieved an ‘excellent’ BREEAM rating, the highest industry measure of sustainability, at pre-contract stage.
“The National Parks headquarters and Lauder College are two very different structures for different purposes, but share the same sustainability aims. To be asked to work on these leading projects is very exciting for us,” Mike commented.
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E-mail: Laura Martin