Oct 18, 2012

Plymouth University set for BREEAM excellent status

BAM Construction is currently delivering a £7m bespoke medical student residential accommodation project in Truro for Plymouth University on the Royal Cornwall Hospital campus.

The UK’s leading provider of timber system building solutions, Stewart Milne Timber Systems, has been appointed to supply and erect the timber frames for the project, which will accommodate doctors, student doctors and medical staff.

Stewart Milne Timber Systems is providing a semi-closed panel build system for the development, which is contributing to the properties achieving an Excellent environmental performance from the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM). Following the demolition of the four existing accommodation blocks from the 1960s, the new build development comprises seven blocks of four storey units, arranged as a series of self contained four and five bedroom flats.

The design of the development was driven by the desire to avoid an institutional feel or appearance, so the blocks have been arranged informally around a central landscaped area. Materials such as timber frame with Siberian Larch rain screen cladding and a low pitched standing seam zinc roof have been selected to complement the woodland surroundings and to offer an identity distinct from that of the hospital. The 232 bedrooms will benefit from modern facilities while retaining a ‘domestic’ feel in keeping with the surroundings.

With speed of build and performance levels key aspects of the project, Stewart Milne Timber Systems is utilising offsite construction in order to achieve the necessary requirements. A semi closed pre-insulated panel has been specified to provide the required U- Value for the walls, and a pre-fabricated cassette floor is helping to meet the tight build programme. Stewart Milne Timber Systems is also fitting the acoustic floor system and the stairs, which has streamlined the supply chain process and helped to further speed up the process for the client.

“As timber frame projects were relatively new to this division of BAM, partnership was crucial and we worked closely with the team from a very early stage. We engaged with the design team from the outset and were in continuous dialogue with BAM between December 2011 and April 2012 to ensure a design freeze – the last stage at which a design can be altered - in line with the overall programme timetable. We believe that such close working and attention to detail at the front end of the project is time well spent and ensures that the project runs smoothly thereafter.”

Paul McCluskey, Design Co-ordinator for BAM Construction, said: “One of the key factors in Stewart Milne Timber Systems being selected to provide the timber system solution was that they had experience of working on large scale projects to meet the BREEAM Excellent rating. Along with the company’s excellent reputation in the industry and the cost benefits they could provide through their ‘one stop shop’ approach, Stewart Milne Timber Systems was the ideal choice for this project. We are very happy with how the development is progressing so far.”

Timber frame was ideal for this project due to its environmental credentials and energy-efficient precision build. Plus, due to the level of offsite construction involved with timber frame, it is one of the best materials for delivering large scale projects fast and effectively, as it dramatically reduces build times compared to other materials.

Homes For Scotland Home Builders Federation National House-Building Council Royal Institute of British Architects Structural Timber Association Constructionline British Board of Agrement Wood Campus Build Off Site Building Research Establishment WOOD FOR GOOD

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