Sports and Leisure
Ramboll provided civil and structural engineering for NIAB’s carbon neutral building of CLT and timber, anticipated to be BREEAM ‘Outstanding’.
A new visitor centre is the central venue for the National Institute of Agricultural Botany’s Innovation Farm near Cambridge. The Sophi Taylor Building has been designed to be carbon neutral in operation and is one of the few UK construction projects on target to win an ‘Outstanding’ BREEAM designation.
Our experienced team of structural timber engineers has modelled the single-storey building in 3D, using MicroStation, to ensure the buildable design accords with the architect’s concept. It is constructed of thermally efficient and environmentally sustainable cross-laminated timber (CLT), with a faceted roof supported on the walls and two tree-form timber columns with splayed three-branch tops.
The interior features timber strip flooring and exposed CLT walls, with an acoustic ceiling. Exterior cladding is of cedar, and the roof surface is covered by zinc sheeting and sedum planting. Part of the roof also carries an array of 32 250W photovoltaic panels, which provides 8kW of green electricity. Rainwater is harvested from 145 square metres of roof for recycling in lavatory cisterns, saving over 40% of the building’s water consumption.
CLT, made from renewable timber, is an effective carbon store because growing trees take in CO2, with the result that each cubic metre of CLT panels embodies approximately 800kg of CO2. The figure is about half that of an equivalent steel and concrete frame, which would also require a greater quantity of energy to produce.
The Sophi Taylor Building has meeting and office spaces, catering facilities and a show garden. Its other initiatives include triple glazing, automatic low-energy ventilation and a biomass boiler for heating the building and the neighbouring glasshouses.
low energy building
Rainwater is harvested
automatic low-energy ventilation
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National Institute of Agricultural Botany