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Timber: Waingels College, Berkshire, by Sheppard Robson

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Sheppard Robson project architect Pia Degenhardt on specfiying timber for the £27million school

The school combines prefabricated solid timber cross-laminated panels and gluelaminated timber components. More than 6,500 tonnes of CO2 is encapsulated from the atmosphere by the school’s timber frame. A by-product of the timber processing is used in the compressed wood fibre insulation that forms part of the ventilated, timberclad envelope. The breathable product’s outer latex skin acts as a vapour barrier.

The structural timber wall panels have a sanded structural-grade quality; one of three finish categories that timber-frame contractor Eurban supplied for the crosslaminated panels (structural, standard and visual). The structural-grade finish is enhanced by sanding. The timber was treated to upgrade its surface spread of flame classification along the escape routes.

Each of the school’s six learning communities (or houses) has a formal rectilinear upper storey clad in heat-treated softwood, which was chosen instead of traditional timber boarding for cost reasons. It will require no further treatment.

Specified products

  • Structure and partitions Cross-laminated timber panels, Glulam glue-laminated structural components, timber ceiling cassettes, Eurban, www.eurban.co.uk
  • Cladding board ThermoWood, Finnforest, www.finnforest.co.uk
  • Cladding insulation Pavatherm Plus, Pavatex SA, www.pavatex.co.uk
  • Windows and doors Composite windows, Aluminium-clad timber, Velfac, www.velfac.co.uk
  • SSF wall treatment Intumescent systems, product 92, Envirograf, www.envirograf.com
  • Paints Clean Extreme Scrubbable Matt, Crown Paints, www.crowntrade.co.uk
  • Acoustic flooring Cradle and batten system C40, InstaCoustic, www.instacoustic.co.uk
  • Furniture Chairs, seating, VERCO Office Furniture, www.verco.co.uk
  • Linoleum flooring Marmoleum, Forbo Flooring, www.forbo-flooring.co.uk
  • Carpet Stratos, Desso, www.desso.com
  • Safety flooring Suprema, Altro, www.altro.com
  • Light fittings Classrooms, Closs Beta; dining hall, Terso; arts display, Notor (modified to include spots); Main hall Insula, Fagerhult Lighting, www.fagerhult.co.uk
  • Insulated render Mineral Fibre System +, Permarock K, www.permarock.com

Project Details

  • Main contractor Willmott Dixon Construction
  • Services engineer Ramboll and Eurban
  • Structural engineer Skelly & Couch
  • Landscape design EDCO Design London
  • Acoustic engineer SCacoustics
  • Timber frame sub-contractor Eurban
  • Gross internal floor area 12,925m²
  • Total project cost £27 million
  • Start on site April 2009
  • Total cost Not available
  • Completion October 2011
  • CAD package used MicroStation
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