Welcome to Timber Tales

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Timber Tales is a blog where we share insights about the exciting world of timber engineering, showcasing the latest innovations, beautiful structures and Ramboll’s timber engineering expertise.

We are looking forward to sharing stories about our: recent project wins, completed projects, technical insights, latest research collaborations and much, much more. This year Ramboll is celebrating a decade of design with cross-laminated timber (CLT) and so it is fitting that we whet your appetite for future blog posts by looking back at our largest and smallest timber projects from the last decade.


The smallest: Cavendish Avenue

Cavendish Avenue is our smallest timber project. Using 95mm thick cross-laminated panels of sustainably sourced fir, spruce and pine, the watertight frame was erected in six days.  The most striking structural feature of this Modernisst, box-like building is a first floor wall panel designed to support floor and roof loads above. We worked with our client to fit the roof with an architecturally-designed skylight that runs the length of the house. As well as maximising natural light, the skylight provides a visual centrepiece.

Cavendish Avenue Cross-laminated timber


The largest: William Perkin High School

William Perkin High School in Greenford, west London, is a four-storey complex and the largest cross-laminated timber building (CLT) in the UK, containing 3,800 cubic metres of timber. The project was initially planned as a concrete frame building but was changed to CLT by the principal contractor, Kier Construction, who preferred the shorter programme CLT construction offers. The school comprises a triangular-shaped building, containing a sunlit full-height central atrium, attached to a rectangular sports hall block. Internally, the CLT is an exposed feature of the triangular central atrium, including a CLT feature staircase.

1_William Perkin Cross-laminated timber


Head Teacher Keir Smith, is pleased with the completed building saying:

“I initially had reservations to change our proposed school from a concrete frame to a CLT frame which may affect our vision for the student experience. But all the comments we raised were fully discussed and dealt with in the most professional manner. All concerned are now thrilled with the decision we made to convert.”


Next time: The Rise of CLT