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Case Study 25 – Tesco Banchory

Name of building
Tesco Banchory
Date Completed
Building type
Retail superstore
Hill of Banchory, Banchory, Aberdeenshire
Manson Architects
Tesco Stores Ltd
Main contractor

Barr Construction


Timber technologies

Most large supermarkets use a steel skeleton for their internal structure. lnstead, in this case a glue-laminated (Glulam) structural frame was used, made up of massive spruce timber beams and joists to support the walls and roof. These were prefabricated and cut to size offsite, and then joined together as an assembly kit using steel bracket connectors.

The building has a timber canopy in a raked and fluted shape which makes the store look inviting. The external walls are pre-fabricated timber cassette panels, finished externally with profiled Siberian larch cladding. Timber-bladed larch ‘brise soleil’ (permanent exterior bladed sunscreens) also add functional decoration to the exterior of the building.

Special timber-related features

By using timber, the carbon footprint of the building frame is approximately 13% of a normally constructed steel framed store, meeting all requirements more economically, ecologically and efficiently.

The timber construction also enabled a very short installation time of only a few weeks. Due to the low weight of timber it was also possible to carry out much of the pre-assembly works on the ground, then lift them into place.

Other ‘eco-initiatives’ were used, such as, skylights to maximise natural illumination of the store, and rainwater harvesting for use within the building.

All timber used in the Glulam is Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes (PEFC) certified, and purchased from sustainable managed forests.

Background to building

This 4,500 sqm bespoke superstore on the eastern edge of Banchory was designed to reflect the wooded setting of the area using timber and a range of green materials for its main construction.

Due to the rural location of the building, sustainability was a key factor in its design, and natural materials from sustainable sources were used as much as possible to minimise its impact on Banchory’s natural surrounding. Energy-efficient measures were also used to reduce the building’s carbon footprint both during and after construction.

European Larch is a hard strong timber with an attractive warm reddish brown or terracotta colour with gold streaks, which fades to silver after prolonged

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