A new teaching centre at Berkshire College of Agriculture has recently been built thanks to the use of Finnforest’s Glulam and Leno systems. Set in landscaped parkland and built around a Grade I listed mansion house, the new 1000m2 building has been designed and built to sympathetically blend in with the surrounding landscape. The engineered timber systems were selected because, due to the building’s location, materials needed to be used that would not impede upon the natural landscape of the college grounds.
Finnforest’s Glulam was used to form the main timber frame of the building, blending neatly with the natural surrounding vista whilst providing a strong and durable structure. In addition, Leno, Finnforest’s cross laminated timber panel system, was used to create the roof, delivering a robust and solid surface on to which the external insulation and sedum roof finish were laid.
As per the brief set out by the college, flexible horticultural and science teaching laboratories needed to be built that could also be used as general classrooms. As such, Archial Architects designed a teaching facility that met these criteria without imposing on the rural setting of the college.
Liam Boon from Archial Architects Ltd, commented, “Due to the location of the college, we were conscious of the need to use materials that would blend in with the existing buildings and landscape whilst meeting the environmental credentials at the heart of the college’s day to day operation. To meet building regulations and BREEAM specifications, Finnforest’s Glulam and Leno presented the ideal solution due to their natural and sustainable qualities. By using these products to form the main structure of the building, it has been possible to make a 20-30% improvement on U-values as per Part L standards.”
He continued, “From an aesthetic perspective, it was important to use materials that would not look out of place in the surrounding landscape. Due to Glulam’s natural timber appearance it was ideal as much of the frame is externally exposed. Similarly, the Leno panels used to construct the roof delivered a strong, level base on to which the sedum roof covering could be laid helping to achieve the organic finish desired.”
Kevin Riley, Vice President, Construction Industry, Finnforest UK commented, “Due to the structural demands of the project, Glulam and Leno were ideal for use due to their inherent strength capabilities. Both products are uniquely manufactured to be able to withstand high impact load bearing weights, as seen in the Berkshire College project and are able to meet the aesthetic expectations of such a material.”