Finnforest thermowood puts a new face on a Victorian School

Steam Mills School, Gloucestershire

Published: 26/01/2009 00:00

A new extension at a Victorian primary school in Gloucestershire will look good for years to come thanks to long-lasting, low maintenance Finnforest Thermowood cladding.



The extension to Steam Mills Primary School in Cinderford, designed by Apex Architecture, uses an area that was previously a courtyard to create a new library and classrooms.

The design of the 200m2 portal frame building is sympathetic to the original Victorian school structure, but with a modern touch. The natural stone plinth walls match the original building and are complemented by PMV profile Finnforest Thermowood D timber boarding and extensive glazing.

Finnforest Thermowood D is produced from sustainably sourced Finnish redwood Pine that is treated at over 200oC in steam-heated kilns. This changes the chemical and physical structure of the wood, removing moisture and resin. The result is a material that will not shrink, warp, distort or leak resin and that will last considerably longer than conventional softwood timber cladding. As well as being dimensionally stable its reduced moisture content deters insect attack and fungal decay without the need for a chemical preservative. 

Jon White of Apex Architecture explains why Finnforest Thermowood D was specified on this project:

“I knew about Thermowood from a previous role in a timber engineering company and was able to introduce Apex Architecture to its advantages. On this project the primary reasons for specifying the Finnforest product were its longevity and its low maintenance requirements. The fact that it is a fully sustainable material was an additional advantage.”