Project Profile

Location: Castle Douglas

Timber: Douglas fir with steel flitch plates and tie rods

Architect: Neil Sutherland Architects

douglas fir framed office

Natural Power Offices – a douglas fir framed office

The building of new offices in Scotland for Natural Power Consultants was always going to have a high eco agenda and using a timber frame made from locally sourced Douglas fir and built by Scottish timber framers was an obvious choice.


The new douglas fir framed office for the Natural Power Company was, unsurprisingly, sustainable in construction – the office is powered by their own hydro power, has a grass roof and the timber used for construction was all locally sourced. All of these elements provide an identifiable company image for a business that sells renewable energy.

The main frame was created using douglas fir, however throughout the build a mixture of timber has been used, including oak for the external balcony, Scottish sycamore, larch and Norway spruce – which although isn’t the most durable of timbers is perfect for floor joists.

The douglas fir framed office in Castle Douglas was largely traditionally built using pegged joints, the lateral bracing has been achieved with steel flitch plates and tie rods. This gives a much lighter feel to the roof structure in the main office and the view down it is unimpeded by large timber tie beams. The douglas fir framed office is also heavily glazed to the south side which also adds to the light feel. Externally the office has been clad and has a sedum roof making the building sit extremely comfortably into its moorland location. 

The total build cost of the douglas fir framed office, including the frame provided by Carpenter Oak & Woodland, was £320,000; this total cost is considerably less than the cost of building a standard office.