Eighty per cent of the newly opened Velux Academy in Kettering – a regional sales office and training centre for the roof window manufacturer – is made of timber.

Architect White Design of Bristol has a strong background in environmental design and sustainable construction. Partner David Noble said; ‘Timber is a very, very good building product with all the right qualities.’

The 11,000m² building has a concrete core on which rests a glulam timber frame manufactured in Denmark by a com-pany specialising in longer lengths and odd shapes.

A series of timber glulam ribs rise from the upper level office area to carry the arched north roof which is clad in cedar shingles. The front edge of this arch is carried by a timber column rising from the front edge of the upper office area.

The lower edge of the south roof is carried by a series of glulam beams, while inside, the flooring is beech.

A Velux spokesperson said: ‘The centre is a potent illustration of the Velux commitment to environmental issues – a translation of our corporate beliefs into physical reality.’