Castle Drogo, visitor centre

Client: National Trust
Architect: Harrison Sutton Partnership
Type of works: Dupply and installation of Finnjoists and Kerto® engineered timber.

Metsä Wood has recently supplied its engineered timber Finnjoists and Kerto® for use in the construction of a new modern visitor centre at the National Trust’s Castle Drogo site. Environmental credentials were key specification requirements.

As part of The National Trust’s aim to renovate more than five thousand buildings over the next five years, the new visitor centre, which incorporates the extension of the existing building, was updated to help create a larger space, whilst at the same time delivering higher environmental standards.

Used in the construction of the roof, the Finnjoists were installed for two key reasons: their ability to provide a structurally stable roofing solution, and the capacity to create large insulated panels using Warmcel recycled newspaper insulation.

To complement the use of Finnjoists, Kerto® posts were erected internally, helping to strengthen the overall structure,

Emily Hawker, Project Architect of Harrison Sutton Partnership, worked closely with the National Trust to ensure an environmental building solution was put in place, “Due to the nature of the project, we were keen to use as many sustainable building products as possible, which we achieved by using Metsä Wood’s Kerto® and Finnjoists. In addition to their structural rigidity and strength, the width of the Finnjoists allowed us to use a recycled newspaper form of insulation, further adding to the environmental aspect of the project.”

Similarly, Rick Keyte, Senior Designer of Allwood Timber Engineering, was impressed by the strength of the two products, commenting, “Considering the size of the building and the overall costs of the renovation project, it was necessary to use materials that would be able to stand the test of time. The engineered nature of the Finnjoists and the unique Kerto® beams represents the inherent strength of these engineered timber products, ensuring the building is fit for use for many years to come.”

Gifted to The National Trust in 1974, Castle Drogo was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and completed in 1930. It is often billed as ‘the last castle to be built in England’. Built above the Teign Gorge in Dartmoor National Park, the castle grounds boast The National Trust’s highest gardens at 900 feet and receive an impressive 135,000 visitors a year.

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