The Willmott Dixon Re-Thinking School was constructed in 2007, mainly from wood using the Eurban System laminated solid timber building components
Solid timber construction absorbs heat in summer, keeping the inside of the building cooler and reducing the need for mechanical cooling and ventilation.
Solid timber structures offer robust performances for acoustics in buildings. Simply detailed junctions of the monolithic panel elements allow for enhanced acoustic detailing. By using timber sourced from well-managed forests, it is possible to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of new buildings by locking carbon away in the structure. In the case of the school building, 925kgCO2/m3 is embodied in the solid timber whilst 353kgCO2/m3 was emitted during production and transportation, giving a net saving of 572kgCO2/m3.
The wood fibre insulation was comprises of a compressed board made from 100% recycled materials lined with latex (a natural material) and gives insulation levels that exceed Building Regulations requirements. The sweet chestnut cladding to three sides of the building was all UK sourced, whilst the rear elevation shows a number of alternatives including recycled plastic, brickwork, re-used timber pallets and natural lime render.
Since Insite07 Willmott Dixon Construction has now used this construction system in three settings, including the £6.2 million new St Agnes School in Manchester. The timber structure was clad in brick and rendered blockwork to match the local surroundings at the request of the Planning Authority.