Location: Loch Lomond, Scotland
Building: Post and Beam
Timber: Douglas fir and Glulam beams
Architect: Page/Park Architects
Loch Lomond National Park Headquarters
The Loch Lomond and Trossach’s National Park Headquarters is the largest green timber frame building in the UK. In addition some of the members are the biggest green timbers ever used in a timber frame construction measuring in at a massive 600mm x 650mm x 6.5m solid green Douglas fir.
While superficially a beautifully simple structure, the cleanliness of its lines belies the technology beneath. The primary structural frame of green oak, Douglas fir and glulam beams combines post and beam construction with a cutting edge pre-fabricated floor and roof panels and a site built skin. Because of the large open plan spaces this highly engineered hybrid structure needed to take loadings way beyond the norm. Post and beam structures readily withstand dead loading but they require bracing to resist imposed loading such as the force of wind. However the architect was keen to avoid the use of diagonal bracing found in most post and beam buildings.The frame comprises 160 cubic metres of timber weighing in at 80 tonnes. All the timber was sourced from Scotland and the borders. It took 3000 man hours to fabricate in our Angus yard and 3300 to erect on site.
- Initially consultant engineers tried to use a conventional studded wall system but this proved impractical because of the high forces. Carpenter Oak & Woodland in collaboration with a number of specialist companies, developed a solution, unique in the UK, using pre-fabricated wall panels with a central vertical ply sheet with top and bottom flanges (essentially a very tall I beam) with vertical ribs at regular intervals to provide rigidity.
- A final diaphragm skin was applied on site. These panels were used intermittently down the length of the building and across it to provide ‘buttressing’.
- Further bracing was achieved with the unique floor beams which comprised of two vertical panels with top and bottom flanges creating an I box section rather than the conventional I beam.