Lighthouse, BRE, Watford

Lighthouse, BRE, Watford

Client: Kingspan
Architect: Sheppard Robson
Type of works: supply of Vincent Timber's PEFC-certified Sweet Chesnut timber.

Lighthouse by Kingspan is the pinnacle of eco-conscious architecture and the UK’s first net-zero carbon home – setting a standard every new home will have to meet by 2016. With Vincent Timber’s sustainable PEFC certified European Sweet Chestnut used to clad its external sweeping curves and interior floors, it’s as green inside as it is out.

It is the first home to achieve level six – the highest possible – in the Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH), a standard that all homes must be constructed to by 2016. Incredibly insulated and airtight, the revolutionary build has already received a number of awards including one at the International Architecture Awards 2008.

Designed by architect Sheppard Robinson, the Kingspan Lighthouse has set a new level in environmental construction, with no compromise on quality. To complement the simple, curved barn-like form, its natural aesthetics and the project’s green credentials, an attractive and significantly sustainable timber was required. It was essential this could stand the test of time, ensuring the structure’s strength and appearance remained at a high standard for years to come.

To achieve its goal, architect Sheppard Robinson specified Sweet Chestnut from Vincent Timber – certified by PEFC. Highly durable and 20% lighter in weight than Oak, it will maintain the project’s standards throughout the years.

In total, 5,000m of European Sweet Chestnut cladding was supplied and installed to all elevations, decking and internal flooring. For the external cladding, the solid European Sweet Chestnut was supplied in 25 x 50mm and 25 x 100mm nominal PAR rainscreen. Additionally, the timber is available in finger jointed or end matched depending on requirements.

Coinciding with the project’s eco-friendly goal, European Sweet Chestnut is fully PEFC Certified. Sweet Chestnut is far more consistent in colour, with less tannings and far more stable than Oak. Specified also for its longevity and low maintenance, Sweet Chestnut will age more evenly than Oak to a distinctive silvery patina. These benefits make Sweet Chestnut the perfect choice for natural timber cladding as specified for Kingspan’s Lighthouse by Sheppard Robson.

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