Did you ever think your school could be improved with a tree house? Well, for the students of Mellor Primary School this is now a reality; and the outcome is stunning.

Designed by Sarah Wigglesworth Architects, Mellor Primary School won thePEFC UK sponsored Best Education Project award at theStructural Timber Awards 2016. This category showcases schemes that have used timber technology to create exceptional buildings and vibrant learning spaces for both students and staff.

 Not only picked as the winning project out of the 12 shortlisted, Mellor Primary School went on to be chosen as the Judges Choice overall winning scheme.

A winning tree house extension

The extension for Mellor Primary School provides a series of ‘exciting and stimulating new spaces’ based on the school’s Forest School ethos.

The extension is in effect a ‘tree house’ – a cluster of pitched roof buildings set on a deck extending out into the landscape. Tree-like glulam frames support not only the deck but also the roofs internally and canopies externally.


Timber was specified as a robust and sustainable material, offering clear benefits in terms of sustainability, structural performance, durability and long-term maintenance.

The judges praised Mellor Primary School for being: “An excellent scheme with an honest simple structure but importantly uses the structure as a learning resource.”

The construction industry needs wood

 “It is always fantastic to see the ways in which timber is used throughout the construction industry to produce such magnificent, sustainable and environmentally sound buildings,” said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International, as he presented the award.

“The role of PEFC-certified forests and the timber that leaves them is vitally important and this is being reflected across Europe with the levels of engineered wood used in particular on some landmark schemes.”

PEFC leads the way

The Structural Timber Awards reward outstanding projects and innovative products that are promoting excellence in structural timber across the UK. Across all the 15 award categories, there were many examples of PEFC-certified timber being specified, with cross laminated timber (CLT) and glulam increasingly being adopted as a sustainable alternative to steel and concrete.

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An award winning tree house extension for Mellor Primary School

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