Arising out of an architectural competition, the first of the buildings at the Woodland Enterprise Centre demonstrates the use of local wood in contemporary timber design.
The winning team, led by Feilden Clegg Bradley, used atelier one engineers and InWood Developments Ltd, to research the use of small-section timbers, rather than heavy beams, to support the structure.
Build from both softwood and hardwood timber harvested in the South East, including a structural gridshell from locally-grown chestnut coppice, this building demonstrates how timber can be used to create elegant and low-impact developments, which contribute to the local economy, and maintains our environment by stimulating new markets for traditional woodlands.
The Woodland Enterprise Centre is a showcase of sustainable construction, featuring the use of low embodied energy materials, in particular engineered wood products from local sources. The use of locally-sourced timber species, such as Sweet Chestnut, Scots Pine and European Larch has enables the development to be very low impact, placed within woodland in the High Weald of Sussex.
The building features Warmcell insulation, an automated wood-fired heating system, and has been designed to be low-energy consuming, and recyclable at the end of its life.
Sustainable construction using local timber puts value back into the neglected coppices and plantations of South East England, and provides a commercial incentive for more sustainable forest management.
Further timber developments are planned for this site, and partners are sought for developing this timber "cluster" at Flimwell.