Spectacular timber roof construction for The Macallan

A rendering of the spectacular timber roof construction fot The Macallan. Photo by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

Austrian-based engineered timber specialist, WIEHAG, has commenced plans to to build a spectacular Glulam timber roof structure for the prestigious Macallan Distillery in Scotland. The sustainable green roof is stretched over five domes, mounted on an engineered timber roof sub-structure and consist of five domes with a projecting canopy.

For the first time, this project sees UK WIEHAG’s innovative roof decks being used in conjunction with the Glulam beams.

“The complex geometry certainly leads to logistics and design challenges, but with our parametric design, CNC machinery and advanced barcode based production system we fully manage the process from start to finish to ensure we meet program timescales as well as our exacting standards of quality & service,” says Johannes Rebhahn, Managing Director of the new Wiehag UK Ltd.

He also adds, “The new Wiehag office in Goswell Road, London is the logical result of the numerous projects we have successfully completed in the UK and clearly demonstrates our commitment & ambition to the UK market”. 

Photo by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

Details about the construction

The building dimensions are 63x207m, which makes it the largest and most complex timber roof ever constructed in Scotland.

Under the hills, there is a raised octagon-shaped CHS steel structure supporting the glulam structure, with steel and concrete supporting the roof at its perimeter.

Whilst the green Sedum roof mirrors the local topography and helps blend in sympathetically with the surrounding landscape, the structure must fulfill the Architects intention that it’s read as a manmade construction rather than a natural occurring. And so its geometry must not have perfect curved surfaces, but instead is formed with a facetted 3x3m waffle grid structure.

Wiehag will also produce curved Glulam beams, which will be machined to form the unusual facetted kinked shape.

The 200mm wide Glulam beams have a 160mm wide Glulam core with 2x20mm structural LVL (laminated veneer lumber) cheeks on either side. The LVL cheeks form a channel at each bottom face of the beams, and the bottom face of the Glulam core is beveled to mirror the organic hilly geometry, as well as forming an exceptional neat detail when four beams meet at a junction.

Wiehag’s prefab roof deck is built up with a LVL ceiling, timber joists and OSB panel on top, which serves as the base for the 12,300m2 green roof.

Limited access due to some of the already installed process equipment has resulted in Wiehag inventing temporary propping towers made of very slim block glued Glulam in lieu of traditional bulky scaffold towers. These innovative towers are designed to take 30 tonnes of vertical loadings.

Details about the project

Client:                                            Edrington

Architect: Rogers                             Stirk Harbour + Partners

Main contractor:                              Robertson Construction Group

Engineer:                                        Arup 
Design, supply and install

of the timber roof:                           WIEHAG GmbH

Total building costs:                         £100,000,000

Construction schedule:                     WIEHAG April to December 2016

General Construction Schedule:         April 2015 to May 2017 (planned opening)

Source: Timbe Construction