Finnforest provides college with a new entrance

Mid Kent College, Kent

Published: 12/05/2009 00:00

Finnforest Merk has helped provide the new Medway Campus of Mid Kent College with an entrance pavilion to complement its principal meeting place. Chosen primarily for its aesthetic qualities, Kerto also provides structural integrity to the design of the roof structure


Used to form the pavilion’s roof and canopies, Finnforest’s Kerto provides a natural and striking contrast between the roof, steel deck and aluminium curtain walling surround.

Christian Lawrence, Director of Nightingale Associates Architects, worked with the main contractors to help design a building worthy of a Very Good BREEAM rating, “One of the main criteria in reaching a Very Good BREEAM rating is to use responsibly sourced materials, making Finnforest’s Kerto a natural choice in helping to achieve this. We wanted to create a striking entrance pavilion that would provide students and visitors with an inviting space to meet in. With this in mind, we decided to use Kerto, due to its outstanding strength and aesthetic qualities.”

Kerto is an engineered wood product, ideal for highly technical applications where precision is required. It is produced exclusively by Finnforest, following a ten-step process, involving the transformation of a spruce log into a completed section or beam of Kerto.

Kerto is produced by Finnforest from 3mm thick, rotary peeled softwood veneers, glued together using an EN 636-3 glue to form a continuous 2.4 metre wide billet, with thicknesses ranging from 27 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, which are then used as such or processed into a variety of products.

This process greatly reduces problems that naturally occur as solid sawn lumber dries, such as twisting, splitting, checking and warping. Kerto also possesses excellent bending resistance, tension and compression properties, and has more load-carrying capacity than most traditional wooden materials, making it the ideal choice for applications such as this entrance pavilion, where aesthetic qualities need to be married with performance.