Top marks for Ochil Timber


THE challenges facing Perth and Kinross Council (PKC) Architects’ Property Department weren’t hard to find when Kinnoull Primary School needed a new gym and additional classroom space. Project architect Jana Boult explained, “The school is situated in a disused quarry so is surrounded on three sides by high stone cliffs and there’s only one tight point of access, making craning impossible.
“The site for the gym and classrooms was occupied by a large pre-1948 timber building and one smaller modular building used as classrooms, all of which had to be demolished first. And the whole school is C listed, so what we could do in terms of design was very restricted.”
Against these constraints PKC managed to design a new gym building and one two-storey classroom, more or less on the footprint of the demolished buildings, using an innovative timber system. The new building is clad in untreated Scottish larch and is linked to the existing school by a corridor. The whole construction is at different levels.”
PKC were also committed to providing the school with a modern building which met the highest environmental and energy performance standards, 10% over the Scottish Regulation requirements. Jana added, “We wanted to wrap the building in a cosy blanket and insulate it so there were no cold bridges.”
Enter Ochil Timber Ltd, the project’s chosen supplier. Ochil is a Stirlingshire-based company, established 30 years ago, which manufactures, supplies and erects SpaceStud, SpaceRafter and SpaceJoist, an innovative timber construction system, which comfortably delivered the environmental and energy performance specified.
Ochil designed and supplied all the components for Kinnoul Primary in home-grown timber – floors, walls and roofs – and used timber fibreboard insulation to give the energy efficient and environmentally friendly performance PKC’s brief demanded. The company supplied 52 SpaceJoists, 40 SpaceRafters, and 210 individual SpaceStuds.
Key challenges were the need to manufacture the OSB-lined structural studs to 5m and 6m heights to meet the specification for the gym; and the difficulties of delivering these, and the other components, to the extremely tight site.
Managing director Andrew McAree said, “We individually cut all the studs and components to size offsite and delivered them as “Ikea-type” flat packs, complete with full design drawings, so they could be easily erected, like a huge jigsaw puzzle.”
Neil Smyth, Construction Manager with Morrison Construction, the main contractors added, “The “buildability” of Ochil’s SpaceStud, SpaceRafter and SpaceJoist system was very helpful on what was a particularly tight site at Kinnoull and it certainly was effective in meeting the brief.”
The success of Ochil’s supply of their Space Stud System can be measured by the fact wthey have since supplied and erected the system for a complete school at Invergowrie.