More and more design briefs for new purpose-built buildings put sustainability as a priority as communities and organisations continue to recognise the importance of the environment and its need for protection.

As specialists in the manufacture and installation of bespoke timber framed buildings, we have created school buildings, sports pavilions and community centres that are not only aesthetically pleasing but are highly practical with sustainability at the forefront of the design.

One great example is the Sapphire Jubilee Centre in Havering, where the main focus of the brief was sustainability and for the building to be as self-sufficient as possible. Appearance was also important, both externally and internally.

From conception to completion, this innovative building, which is a hybrid timber superstructure with traditional timber panels and a glulam sway frame, took just five months to complete. When finished, we handed over a super-insulated building, with U-Values that exceeded recommended rates. Timber also absorbs CO2 which adds to the low carbon footprint.

A major feature of the building, which has an EPC Rating A, is the Ground Source Heat Pump, served by two 286m boreholes in the ground, which provides all the hot and cold water, as well as the hot water for the underfloor heating.

Harvested rainwater is also stored in an 8,000-litre capacity tank, located underneath an outside paved area which provides water to flush all the toilets and service an outside tap for watering plants and maintenance.

Timber louvres provide solar shading to reduce solar gain during the summer months whilst also providing a partial canopy covering the access footpath to the play area.

An array of 18 solar panels on the roof provides electricity to run the internal and external lighting and other electrical equipment.

For this project, we also had full control of the build programme and could call on material as and when it was required. It meant we could deliver in one trip, rather than drawing on several suppliers, which in turn helps to reduce the overall carbon footprint of the build and keeps on-site waste to a minimum.

With such design capabilities, we can provide beautiful timber framed buildings that are both stunning and sustainable.