Best Use of Timber - 2019
Cairngorm National Park Authority Headquarters:
The new Cairngorms National Park Authority Headquarters, located within the Grantown on Spey Conservation Area, provides office and meeting accommodation for around 30 staff along with a new entrance and reception area that presents a welcoming public face.
Occupying an area immediately to the rear and connecting through to the pre-existing Category B Listed CNPA building at 14 The Square, the new L-shaped building respects its predecessor in terms of its low profile to the street edge. However it also simultaneously enlivens and provides a strong presence to the south end of its Church Avenue location.
Use of Timber
The building structure is formed entirely from Cross Laminated Timber (CLT), machined according to the BIM model provided to the contractors by the architect. This use of mass timber allowed the construction programme to be considerably shortened.
Externally the walls are clad in slow-grown, untreated European Larch, with the roof formed in zinc. Over time both materials will develop a patina resulting in a similar muted tone, complementing the stonework of the original building and the reused stone of the low wall to Church Avenue.
In contrast to the rugged texture and natural grain of the timber and the muted patina of the zinc facings on the principle elevations, the extension also features large areas of glazing to the West as well as significant glazed elements to the otherwise ‘solid’ elevations to the North and South. The use of CLT was crucial in achieving contrasting ‘solid and void’ areas without relying too heavily on structural steelwork. Carefully planned incorporation of service runs within the depth of the timber also enabled the interior timber face of the panels to be left exposed.
A carbon assessment of the new CLT built CNPA HQ has shown a reduction in emissions versus a reinforced concrete frame, to the sum of 166 t CO2eq, which will offset the operational carbon emissions of the building for a period of 47 years.
Images: Simon Kennedy/Ben Addy