SpaceRafters deliver savings and space at new student housing

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Hybrid construction, Shrubhill

OCHIL Timber Products recently completed delivery of high-performance SpaceRafters and  SpaceJoists to the value of £35,500 for the roof of a six-storey, steel-framed student housing development at Shrubhill on Leith Walk.

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Andrew McAree, Managing Director of Ochil Timber, explained, “By specifying SpaceRafter and SpaceJoist the client made significant savings in terms of time and labour as well as on the cost of metalwork. SpaceRafter eliminated the need for joist hangers, the “packing out” of steel and ensured “room-in-the-roof” space was available by using a top-hung detail.

“I’m absolutely confident this product could prove similarly useful across a range of buildings, particularly those where wide spans are needed, such as schools and commercial premises.”

Called Shrubhill, the completed building, for clients Ziggurat Student Living, will provide retail space on the ground floor and 260 student beds in a mix of studio flats and three, four, five and six bedroom “cluster” flats.

The design for the development was executed by CAG Architects, Leith. As it was in a conservation area, the building needed to present a traditional exterior to achieve planning consent and CAG’s successful design includes a traditional slated roof to the front, stone rainscreen cladding, and a street-facing elevation which presents as a series of tenements, stepping down Leith Walk.

In order to be ready for the new University intake in September 2015, a tight, 10-month build programme was put in place. In terms of the roof structure, traditional mono-pitch rafters were initially specified, but in order to deliver the speed of construction needed, plus the long spans required, and to conserve the big roof voids, Ochil Timber’s SpaceRafters and SpaceJoists were selected.

Project Architect Gregor Small added, “Building this development in 10 months means speed is of the essence and Ochil were very pro-active and helpful in delivering both the detailed design and the manufactured components quickly. SpaceRafter also meant the large roof voids were retained, something the client can use for future additional bedspaces.”

The design-build contractors on Shrubhill are Stirling-based Ogilvie Construction and this is the latest of several projects on which Ochil has worked successfully with Ogilvie.

Project Engineer Iain Paton, of Glasgow-based T Lawrie and Partners, added, “I liked SpaceRafter and would certainly use them again where appropriate, particularly where there are long spans and where you need to use the metal web space to get services through easily.”

The SpaceRafters and SpaceJoists for Shrubhill were designed and fabricated offsite in Ochil’s Denny factory, using sustainably sourced timber.

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