Finnforest delivers engineering for school building

Maddiston Primary School, Falkirk

Published: 29/04/2009 00:00

Finnforest’s engineered timber based solutions have recently helped timber frame building specialist OFP, create a new two-storey primary school in Maddiston near Falkirk. The engineered timber components were specified for their wide spanning properties, environmental credentials and ease of installation.



Designed in to walls and the roof structure of the school, Finnjoists provided a strong and stable core for the modular cassette system across the entire build.

Finnjoists, the UK’s only fully engineered timber I-joists, are manufactured using a Kerto flange and OSB web. This combination delivers improved strength and rigidity over standard timber joists, delivering a structurally more stable and reliable product than many other alternatives.

In addition, Finnforest’s Kerto was specified to form the connecting load bearing beams in the structure of the roof and between upper and lower levels of the building. Kerto was again selected for its long-spanning capabilities creating open and flexible spaces, key considerations in delivering today’s schools.

Kerto is produced from 3mm thick, rotary peeled softwood veneers, glued together using an EN-636 glue to form a continuous 2.4 metre wide billet, with thickness ranging from 27mm to 90mm and maximum length of 26 metres. The billet is then hot pressed and cut to size to make beams, planks, posts or panels. This process greatly improves performance over standard timber products that can suffer from issues such as twisting, splitting, checking and warping.

Alastair Narraway, MD of OFP, commented, “OFP’s company ethos is built around the responsible sourcing of materials for all elements of a project. As such, we wanted to use as many sustainably certified products as possible to help reduce the environmental impact of the build. To support this, we set up a satellite factory near to the project, helping to decrease its carbon footprint by minimising the travelling distance between the site and factory.”

“Finnjoists enabled us to fit more insulation into the wall and roof cavities than standard solid timber panels, reducing the finished building’s energy output needed for heating and in turn decreasing unnecessary carbon emissions as a result.”

He continued, “Due to the scale of the project, we also required timber building materials that could span long distances and withstand heavy loads. Kerto was chosen for this reason. It was used in the construction of the main hall, providing structural and aesthetic advantages, compared to alternative timber building solutions.”