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Pasquill supply glulam for Lincoln Castle heritage centre

Pasquill, the UK’s largest trussed rafters specialist, has supplied and installed Glulam columns, roof beams and bar bracing at the first new building to be constructed within the grounds of historic Lincoln Castle for over 100 years.

The ‘Heritage Skills Centre’ is a fascinating project, which will train new recruits to learn traditional crafts such as stone masonry, stained glass and joinery work. Featuring four workshops viewable by the public, the Skills Centre is expected to become a strong visitor attraction. In addition, craftsmen will make use of the building as part of ongoing restoration and repair works to Lincoln Cathedral, which is a scheduled national monument.

For Pasquill, a big challenge with this project has been the logistics of having to access the site without interfering with the fabric of the castle’s existing structure. The Glulam columns and roof beams had to be offloaded from a large delivery wagon onto tractors and trailers, before being carefully guided through the site’s narrow entrance in order to follow a pre-arranged route, passing the castle’s historic prison on the way. Throughout the delivery process noise levels had to be minimised in order to accommodate the requirements of Lincoln’s nearby Law Courts.

The rectangular, stepped frame of the new Heritage Skills Centre is formed from a series of curved beams with inserted steel ‘flitch’ plates. The Glulam supplied and installed by Pasquill is a PEFC certified European Whitewood with one coat of preservative, and all metalwork is galvanised mild steel. Some of the Glulam is being left visible, and makes a striking contribution to the overall design of the structure, which features a grass covered roof.

Glulam is a sustainable structural solution, manufactured from selected high grade timbers using small cross-sectioned boards, finger-jointed and laid with the grain parallel to form large cross sections and lengths. This produces an exceptional strength to weight ratio, making it suitable for long span load bearing structures, combined with the aesthetic appeal of timber.

Commenting on the structure of the new building, Dirk van Rensburg of the project’s architects, Arrol and Snell, said: “The structural design has been developed to be as sustainable as possible in terms of materials used and to create a framed construction that is as adaptable and as flexible as possible. The use of Glulam beams and columns, rather than steel, is highly sustainable and the structure internally creates a pleasing visual effect. The Glulam frame construction supports the considerable weight of a turf roof allowing the remainder of the external envelope to be non-load bearing with extremely high degrees of thermal insulation. This frame construction and non-load bearing envelope allows for ease of alteration, if needed at a future date.”

The Heritage Skills Centre, measuring approximately 450 sq. metres, is being constructed to a BREEAM ‘very good’ rating.

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