16 December 2019

Top timber case studies 2019

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TRADA’s Case Studies are among its most popular resources, chock-full of beautiful timber buildings. Each Case Study is a celebration of the building it’s about and attempts to combine inspirational photos with detail drawings and designer commentary.


This year’s most popular Case Studies share a common theme, much in line with the rest of 2019 – during which we’ve seen the rise of environmental movements such as Architects Declare, Extinction Rebellion and Fridays for Future. Our most read Case Studies include award-winning projects all featuring incredible sustainable design, from a house built wholly from bio-renewable material, to a carbon neutral laboratory which has also been awarded BREEAM Outstanding and LEED Platinum.



GlaxoSmithKline Carbon Neutral Laboratory for Sustainable Chemistry



The GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Carbon Neutral Laboratory for Sustainable Chemistry was designed as an exemplar of sustainability in design, construction and choice of materials, and one which would be carbon neutral over its 25 year lifetime. It has achieved these aims since completion, gaining the highest levels of sustainable building certification – BREEAM Outstanding and LEED Platinum awards. To achieve such high sustainability credentials – a 70 per cent reduction in embodied carbon compared to conventional buildings – the architect, Fairhursts Design Group, has used timber throughout, for structure, walls, floors and cladding.


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Woodland Classrooms, Belvue School, Northolt



Belvue School is a secondary school for children with severe learning difficulties and a range of other needs. Its site, in Northolt, west London, lies next to a small patch of woodland over which the school has been given custody. With a few trees, shrubs and undergrowth, the woodland is small and scrubby, but for the students, many of whom come from nearby blocks of flats, it represents their only glimpse of nature.


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The Department Store, Brixton, London



In 2015, the architectural practice Squire and Partners purchased a dilapidated three storey department store in the centre of Brixton. Revived and restored, it is now the headquarters of the practice and houses more than 250 staff, as well as a series of creative and retail units at street level.


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Fallahogey Studio, Kilrea, Co. Londonderry



McGarry-Moon Architects has designed a new studio for the award-winning practice, set in the lower garden of Jessica McGarry and Steven Moon's own home, Fallahogey House, which they designed and completed in 2005 in the rolling countryside of Kilrea, Northern Ireland. The building houses a new studio for the expanding rural practice, together with a garage and a level access bedroom with shower room for relatives with mobility issues.


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Cork House, Eton, Berkshire



Cork House is unique; it is the built form of a radical new approach to construction and sustainable design. The architects, Matthew Barnett Howland, Dido Milne and Oliver Wilton, set out to re-think a building from first principles, considering each stage of its life, including whole-life carbon, material life-cycle and design for disassembly. They examined alternatives to the complex assemblies of composite materials which make up modern wall systems. Could a single solid material be used as an alternative? Their research led them to expanded cork, a bio-renewable material with a remarkably sustainable life cycle. In its solid form, it integrates structure, insulation, external and internal finish.


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View a complete list of TRADA Case Studies