In pictures | Five innovative uses of timber on construction projects

30 January 2019

CM takes a look at how timber is being used to deliver unusual designs, accelerate programmes and boost sustainability credentials on construction projects around the UK.

Woven willow panels on offsite-manufactured office

The new south-east office of Homes England in Northstowe, Cambridgeshire, will feature a canopy of locally manufactured woven willow hurdles set within steel frames. Architect Proctor and Matthews’ design references the coppicing and weaving heritage of the Fenland area.

The building also features an “open weave” of vertical timber battens that wraps the ground and first floor office space. The 620 sq m office is being built offsite by modular specialist McAvoy, which is main contractor.

London’s newest – and longest – pier

Housebuilder Ballymore has begun construction of a new timber pier at West Silvertown in London’s Docklands. The 162m-long structure, designed by architect Nex, extends out into the Thames in a dog-leg shape and will include a covered waiting area for Thames Clipper ferry passengers.

The pier, which will be the longest in the capital, has integrated seating and is finished with marine grade timber.

The UK’s largest Passivhaus secondary school

Willmott Dixon is building the largest Passivhaus-certified secondary school in the UK, which includes a CLT frame. The Harris Academy in Sutton, south London, was keen to create a “healthy” learning environment using natural materials.

The CLT was supplied by KLH and the four-storey scheme also features timber cladding, provided by joinery firm NHE. Designed by Architype, the project is targeting a BREEAM Excellent rating.

225 timber-frame homes erected in 29 weeks

The last of 225 timber frame kits has been installed by Taylor Lane, working for housebuilder Lovell on the Salisbury Plain Service Family Accommodation (SFA) site in Bulford, Wiltshire.

The manufacturer is supplying its 140mm timber frame system, with pre-insulated panels, for detached and semi-detached houses and bungalows to accommodate personnel returning from Germany. Taylor Lane handed over 13 plots a week on average, completing in 29 weeks.

Glulam portal frames form community hall

Storey’s Field Centre and Eddington Nursery in Eddington, Cambridgeshire, includes a 15m-high main hall, which uses an exposed, articulated timber structure. The glulam portal frames rise from the oak-panelled base, with a backdrop of ash veneered panelling.

The ceiling’s layered ash joists, battens and veneered plywood conceal air extract routes. The development was designed by McInnes Usher McKnight Architects. Farrans was main contractor, while CW Fields carried out the joinery.

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