Kerto Q and Plywood installed at Wimbledon School of Arts

Schooling in Timber

Published: 31/10/2014 00:00

Metsä Wood's Kerto Q (LVL) beams and Spruce plywood have been specified to form the structural carcassing elements of 500m2 new studio space at the Wimbledon College of Arts: designed to achieve a BREEAM 'outstanding' rating.

Timber is a first choice for projects when low environmental impact is of concern. Metsä Wood is an attractive supplier because of its re-grow policy where every tree felled is replaced by a further three saplings ensuring a sustainable and well managed forest.

Pia Berg, Senior Architect on the project from Penoyre & Prasad explained: "We wanted to design a zero carbon eco building of sorts. Wimbledon College of Arts, of University of the Arts London (UAL), is one of London's leading specialist art colleges and it wanted to set the sustainability bar high for future developments at the college and the rest of the university."

"Metsä Wood Kerto Q beams and Spruce plywood form the walls and elements of the roof of the building and it has been decided that the wood structures would remain visible to give a raw workshop feeling to the studios." 

"The Kerto Q beams form the tension and compression chords of the braced roof structure and are subject to relatively high forces. Kerto was chosen for this application due its strength which is typically higher than other engineered timber products.  The standard section size of 500x75 also enabled these members to sit flush in the roof plane with the precast concrete roof planks of the same depth, which were installed to provide thermal mass to regulate the studio temperature, to give a flush exposed soffit."

Rob Nield, Structural Engineer at Webb Yates specified Metsä Wood's because of its "strength" and because it is "the only company that manufacturers this type of timber product in 500X75m measurements".

Wimbledon School of Arts - Aerial Roofs.jpg 

Kerto-Q, also known as Laminated Veneer Lumber, is cross-bonded meaning that one fifth of the veneers are glued crosswise. This structure improves the lateral bending strength and stiffness of the beam.

R. Durtnell and Sons Limited, the project contractor, was working to a very tight programme and so a lot of the building needed to be pre-fabricated. Opting for timber over masonry meant that Crendon, the timber frame sub – contractor was able to assemble the frame off site and then fit and install it within a couple of days.

As the timber structures are constructed in a factory environment they are built to the highest accuracy. Building in this way also allows for less waste materials on site, fewer disturbances to the surrounding buildings and means the construction is independent of bad weather.

The new studio space is due to complete in September this year and will provide students with a modern environment to practice art from producing physical pieces of art to digital. It will also have storage capacity and external covered working space.

Should you require any further information about Kerto Q (LVL) and Plywood, please contact us via our website.