Cheshire Tree Consultancy wins National Greenbuild Award
The award recognised the company’s innovative approach to sourcing sustainable, locally produced materials for its own headquarters in Ashley, Altrincham.
FTS’s new headquarters was built using 25 separate varieties of local timber, as well as reclaimed Cheshire brick and Welsh slate.
Completed last year, it was designed to highlight the beauty of wood from local and rare tree species and re-uses timber which would otherwise have been classed as industrial waste.
It is now being well used as the company’s main office, with staff, clients and co-consultants all able to enjoy the results day-to-day.
Making the award, Greenbuild said: “An innovative approach to sustainable sourcing of materials for its own HQ made FTS a clear winner, illustrating the benefits of a local approach.”
The award-winning building is an annexe to a residential house which is now used as the headquarters of FTS’s company.
The use of reclaimed Cheshire brick and Welsh slate means that the design fits well within the local rural architecture, however the difference with this project is the timber and its origins.
The entire wood content of the structure, as well as most of the internal furniture, has been restored from amenity trees i.e trees which were neither grown nor felled for the timber- and every single one is local to Ashley.
FTS Director Chris Frankland said: “It’s great that this award has recognised the use of local resources – both local timber and local labour - for the local marketplace. We were really proud to use 25 varieties of tree and, in particular, to put the protected Manchester poplar to good use in our wall panelling.
“The Manchester poplar is an important local variety which is declining fast – mainly as a result of disease – but if treated correctly it’s a beautiful wood which can produce stunning effects.”
The building has external oak doors, larch gutters, cypress facia boards and cedar window frames. Timbers inside the building range from oak trusses used very traditionally, to hawthorn (used as a toilet seat) and desks made from local elms, hollies and laburnum trees.
Fifteen varieties of timber were used in the building’s structure itself, and a further 10 varieties were used in the furniture.
The building is warmed by a traditional wood-burner which uses local logs. These logs are air-dried for two years in lean-to stores attached to the side and rear of the building.
The philosophy of the company is care for both the environment and the local community - and the company tries hard to ensure that wood felled from every project is made into something either useful or artistic – or both. Where this can’t be achieved there’s a commitment that the beauty of the timber will be respected and its potential maximised, with waste minimised on every project.
For the last 25 years FTS has striven to develop innovative uses for the diverse species and forms of timber that it comes across in day-to-day tree contracting. This award recognises that philosophy and proves that it has commercial viability.
The company’s services include:
• timber processing
• production of timber products
• environmental education in schools and colleges.
FTS works with individuals, schools, property managers and estates to manage trees with an holistic approach, maximising the tree and timber assets - whether living or felled.
The tree consultancy also won two Business awards in 2010 for 'Environmental Contribution' and 'Business of the year'.