The winners and highly commended entries of the Structural Timber Awards 2016 were revealed on Wednesday 19 October at a gala dinner held at the Birmingham National Conference Centre (formerly known as the National Motorcycle Museum) during Timber Expo and UK Construction Week.
Sponsored by PEFC UK, the Best Education Project category saw Mellor Primary School, near Stockport, designed by Sarah Wigglesworth Architects announced as the overall winner from 12 shortlisted projects.
The Best Education Project category showcases schemes that have used timber technology to create exceptional buildings and vibrant learning spaces for both students and staff. The school was also chosen as the Judges Choice overall winning scheme.
The extension for Mellor Primary School provides a series of ‘exciting and stimulating new spaces’ based on the school’s Forest School ethos. The extension is in effect a ‘tree house’ – a cluster of pitched roof shapes set on a deck extending out into the landscape.
Tree-like glulam frames support not only the deck but also the roofs internally and canopies externally. Timber was specified as a robust and sustainable material, offering clear benefits in terms of sustainability, structural performance, durability and long-term maintenance. The judges praised Mellor Primary School for being: “An excellent scheme with an honest simple structure but importantly uses the structure as a learning resource.”
Presenting the Award, Ben Gunneberg, PEFC CEO and secretary general, said: “It is always fantastic to see the ways in which timber is used throughout the construction industry to produce such magnificent, sustainable and environmentally sound buildings. The role of PEFC-certified forests and the timber that leaves them is vitally important and this is being reflected across Europe with the levels of engineered wood used in particular on some landmark schemes.”