Forestry Commission Scotland along with the Grampian Conservancy occupied a single storey 1970’s ‘L’ shaped cellular office building in need of expansion and significant enhancement. The building is set in a delightful predominately Scots pine forest and the nature of the work by the clients suggested strong visual links with the environment. Due to the form and appearance of the existing building the extension needed to be situated in such a way as to disguise the existing building as much as possible, which conveniently worked well with the spatial organisation.
The woodland setting informed the design; Scots pine and Douglas fir structure, and European larch cladding. Large amounts of glazing were incorporated to visually link the occupants with the surroundings. The existing building was extensively remodelled and an insulated render was applied to enhance sub-standard insulation values.
The practices ‘pragmatic sustainability’ approach continued with extensive use of home-grown timber and timber products, and significantly enhanced insulation levels reduce the heating costs for the biomass boiler. Passive stack ventilation, low energy lighting, rainwater recycling and solar panels complete the environmental statistics.
These design parameters and the willingness by the clients to pursue good quality design have led to a very pleasant working environment for the occupants.