Timber Building for Manchester School – Case Study

HomeCase Studies – MPL BuildingsTimber Building for Manchester School – Case Study

Timber School Building for Manchester Grammar

  • Sustainable Timber Build
  • 600 square metre classroom block
  • Green Apple Built Environment – Award Winner
  • Shortlisted for RICS (NW) Design and Innovation award 2008
  • Large post and beam style walk way connecting buildings
  • Rapid Construction
  • Low Maintenance
  • Sustainable School Building

Award Winning School Building

Bexwyke Lodge, Manchester Grammar Building

Probably the largest timber building of this construction type in the UK at 600 m², Bexwyke Lodge was completed by Cabinco in the summer of 2008 and, at the time of print had been shortlisted for an RICS (NW) Design and Innovation award. It is also International Green Apple – Build Environment Award Winner.

The building was linked to the main school by a 45m “post and beam” covered walkway, and “surrounded” by a further 600 m² of anti-slip decking produced from the same larch as the external cladding.

Bexwyke Lodge Building Site

Led by the school, We worked with a project team to finalise a design and specification for a building which was to form MGS’ new Junior Section: a “feeder” for the Senior School. Clients wanted the building to be an innovative and inspiring unit which was to include five classrooms, fully equipped with the latest multimedia and IT equipment, a staff room, music rooms and a reception area. The new building needed to be close to the main school and connected to it: as much to be seen as an integral part of MGS as for any practical reasons.

Built on a grid of concrete piers, and supported by a glulam ring beam, the building is based on an MPL 88 glue-laminated interlocking log structure, fully insulated to comply with and exceed all current building regulations requirements, and clad with larch for durability and low maintenance. The latter was pressure impregnated with fire retardant due to proximity to the existing school buildings.

The design comprises three fire compartments, and incorporates a comprehensive SSF and fire retardant specification: some applied off site (see above), some applied in-situ. Bexwyke Lodge is the first MPL system building in the UK to include acoustic attenuation to fully comply with Building Bulletin 93: “Acoustic Design of Schools”. To achieve this acoustic attenuation products were designed which are exclusive to Cabinco Ltd. The innovative new products developed were used to isolate floor from walls, and walls from roof to achieve the high acoustic performance required.

The school building features roof lights and sun tubes to bring in natural light and save energy; together with high specification windows and doors for thermal efficiency and security. The overall design encourages natural ventilation; creating a comfortable, airy learning environment.

The lodge was also required to pass a pressure test, which it did with flying colours: comfortably exceeding design stage performance model forecasts.

Timber Building – Speed of Constuction

We went onto site in early May 2008 and just 4 months later the school building was complete: ready in time for the new school year in September. Stuart Leeming, Deputy High Master at Manchester Grammar School, made the decision to bring in Cabinco to design and manufacture the building in partnership with the school. Commenting on the project, Stuart said,

“It is a fabulous building; Bexwyke Lodge has drawn nothing but praise from all who have visited, impressing with its light, airy interiors, its distinctive exterior and superb quality of finish.”

He continued:

“Equipped to the highest technical standards, the building is an impressive addition to our estate and one that was delivered on time and within a very tight construction schedule.”

Stuart Leeming

Deputy High Master Manchester Grammar School

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