Flowing seamlessly from traditional to modern, the £5million extension to Meldrum House uses products with a feel for nature. Its spacious new ballroom for up to 200 people and 28 additional bedrooms are architecturally, physically and sensitively linked to the original Scottish Baronial Manor house. With a history dating back to 1236 and the Knights Templar, this new building represents a significant next chapter for this local landmark.
Even the resident ghost of Meldrum House, Lady Isabella Douglas who is locally known as the “Green Lady”, would be impressed by its environmental credentials!
The building is the first commercial application of the Scotframe Val-U-Therm Plus solution, the most advanced timber frame building system in the UK and potentially the world. This is the latest development of the Val-U-Therm timber building system which was launched in 2011 and since has been used in the construction of over 7,500 homes. This offsite manufactured system, made just five miles away from the development, delivers outstanding speed of build, world-class thermal insulation performance and exemplary environmental credentials.
The design uses Full Chain of Custody Certified timber, locally made timber products, using local skills and trades. The project has been thermally engineered for biomass to supply 100% of the space heating and hot water requirements of both old and new buildings.
The project has delivered a unique wedding venue that extends a warm Scottish welcome in an idyllic retreat in Aberdeenshire. For weddings, the wedding party can be pampered in warm, spacious, luxury interiors and partake in a game of golf on the beautiful 6,400 yard parkland Championship golf course with USGA-standard greens.
Whilst the fundamentals of the building make the best use of structural timber, the attention to detail in every facet is breath-taking. With tall ceiling heights and floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows, the design and superb finish brings the outside inside – the magnificent Aberdeenshire countryside can be enjoyed all year round.
The Val-U-Therm approach allows panel lengths up to 8.2m and not only includes all the usual benefits of off-site timber frame construction, its remarkable strength allows these to be further improved by more advanced techniques like factory fitting of windows and doors.
With a UK Patent Pending, Val-U-Therm Plus is the result of three years of collaborative British research & development. The Scotframe timber frame factory at Inverurie is the first in the world to employ this technology. The key advantage of Val-U-Therm Plus is that both its world-class thermal insulation performance and class-leading environmental credentials are further enhanced.
The opportunity was taken to use Val-U-Therm Plus in the buildings construction to maximise thermal performance and air tightness and minimise thermal bridging. However, this is a large commercial building and there was a structural requirement to use heavy gauge steel frame on the lower ground floor. Hence Val-U-Therm Plus was used for the infill in the steel frame on the lower ground floor, and as the main structure on the upper ground and first floors including the large long corridor from the original main house. To maximise the thermal advantage 184mm Val-U-Therm Plus with a U-value of 0.14W/m2K was used. A total of 800m2 of Val-U-Therm Plus was used with the largest panel height being 4.9m.
The combination of Val-U-Therm Plus with 100% biomass space heating and hot water supply, ensures that the environmental and sustainability levels of the project are not only excellent initially but also for the whole life of the building.
The key success of using the Scotframe Val-U-Therm Plus building solution was speed and certainty of construction time. The project had a real deadline. A true team effort by all the involved suppliers and trades achieved the required timing and the function on the date promised was enjoyed by all.
Offsite construction takes much of the work into a well-managed, quality controlled factory environment, thus reducing many on-site health and safety risks. The no-scaffold J-SAFE Temporary Edge Protection System was successfully used to provide a continuous guardrail system for progressive storey lifts, greatly reducing the risk of the installers falling from height.
This project is an exemplar in health and safety and the local main contractors, Andrew Cowie Construction are to be congratulated for achieving zero time losing accidents. This is also a testament to the excellent project planning by the local William Lippe architects in conjunction with Scotframe Timber Engineering.