Loch Lomond National Park Headquarters
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Loch Lomond National Park Headquarters

The new Loch Lomond and Trossach’s National Park Headquarters is the largest green timber frame building in the UK. In addition some of the members are the biggest green timbers ever used in a timber frame construction measuring in at a massive 600mm x 650mm x 6.5m solid green Douglas fir.


Project profile

Our Timber Engineering Division specialises in hybrid structures, often combining the use of green (freshly felled) timber, engineered panel systems, glue laminated members and steel connections. Green timber has a lower embodied energy than glue laminated beams so where appropriate we promote its use. The Douglas fir frame at Loch Lomond is a cutting edge timber structure combining post and beam construction with pre-fabricated floor and roof panels and a site built skin. Because of the large open plan spaces this highly engineered hybrid structure needed to take loadings way beyond the norm.


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The external view demonstrates the elegant S shaped profile of the building
The external view demonstrates the elegant S shaped profile of the building
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Douglas fir frame along the central aisle between the two pitched roofs
Douglas fir frame along the central aisle between the two pitched roofs

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The double height timber framed canteen
The double height timber framed canteen
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The timber frame under construction
The timber frame under construction

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The timber frame approaching completion on site
The timber frame approaching completion on site

Post and beam structures readily withstand dead loading (i.e. the weight of the structure itself) but they require bracing to resist imposed loading such as the force of wind. However the architect was keen to avoid the use of diagonal bracing found in most post and beam buildings. Initially consultant engineers tried to use a conventional studded wall system but this proved impractical because of the high forces.

Carpenter Oak & Woodland in collaboration with a number of specialist companies, developed a solution, unique in the UK, using pre-fabricated wall panels with a central vertical ply sheet with top and bottom flanges (essentially a very tall I beam) with vertical ribs at regular intervals to provide rigidity. A final diaphragm skin was applied on site. These panels were used intermittently down the length of the building and across it to provide ‘buttressing’.

Further bracing was achieved with the unique floor beams which comprised of two vertical panels with top and bottom flanges creating an I box section rather than the conventional I beam.

The HQ is the largest ‘green’ timber building in the UK. It uses the largest sections of green timber in the UK with the biggest posts measuring a massive 650mm x 600mm x 6.2m long. Timber is the only sustainable material available for use as a structural space frame for a building

The frame comprises 160 cubic metres of timber weighing in at 80 tonnes. All the timber was sourced from Scotland and the borders. It took 3000 man hours to fabricate in our Angus yard and 3300 to erect on site.


Specialists in bespoke, handcrafted oak frames

Carpenter Oak & Woodland is one of the most experienced, long-established oak-framers in the UK. We specialise in building new oak-framed homes (including extensions, swimming pools and garden rooms), commercial and public buildings (including schools, colleges, visitor centres, gridshells and bridges) – and in converting oak-framed buildings of the past. From two locations in Wiltshire, England, and Angus, Scotland, we work right across the UK.