Balancing nature with wooden building at Center Parcs Elveden Forest

The choice of building materials for the construction of three new Waterside Lodges at Center Parcs Elveden Forest was a key consideration.

The only material that could meet all the requirements of the structure was Metsä Wood’s light, yet extremely strong Kerto® LVL (laminated veneer lumber).

Innovative design

Particularly unique to this project is a two storey ‘leaning’ arch overhanging the lake edge, which is also curved three times to suit the sectional profile of the main roof.

Paul Kent, Development and Construction Director at Center Parcs said: “The versatility of Metsä Wood’s Kerto LVL product has helped to create a unique design feature, complementing the nautical theme and lakeside setting of the new accommodation.”

Strong yet lightweight building material

KertoLVL offers incredible strength and dimensional stability, while its high strength to weight ratio allows for smaller spacing in mechanical connections. It is also a versatile and lightweight material, which is easy to work with.

Luke Hunter of Jackson Design Architects said: “Kerto LVL was the perfect choice to help us achieve the leaning arch and thin roof / facia profile. This flexible material helped to overcome the challenge of cutting the leaning, curved roof edge on an angle. A number of systems were investigated to achieve this, however, Kerto LVL was the only material that fully achieved the concept’s vision.“

Working together to solve the structural engineering

Divisional Operations Manager at Cocksedge Building Contractors, Tom Courtney, said: “The use of engineered wood allowed us to overcome a number of challenges that simply wouldn’t have been solved using other materials, while at the same time maintaining a look and feel to match the surrounding natural environment.”

“The use of such a versatile and lightweight material as Kerto LVL, made the entire build process much more straightforward and faster.”

Efficiency with off-site construction

The whole system was designed to allow quick and sequential installation to speed up the process and avoid disturbance at Center Parcs.

All elements were prepared, finished and pre-drilled for connections.

The use of Kerto LVL elements throughout the construction project offered a solution that was at least 20 per cent cheaper than other timber materials.

Sustainable building

The use of KertoLVL meant that less energy was used during the installation. Timber also has excellent insulation values, which has reduced the whole project’s carbon footprint.

The end result is breath taking and a great reflection of the hard work and ingenuity of the project design team, engineering know-how, and the vision of both the client and architect.

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