The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 93 (2015) > Issue 12 > A timber roof for a new swimming pool at Alfriston School, Buckinghamshire
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A timber roof for a new swimming pool at Alfriston School, Buckinghamshire

Alfriston School is a secondary day and boarding school for girls in Buckinghamshire, UK. The project involved the construction of a new 750m2 swimming pool and sports department. The building has a floating timber roof, which houses a four-lane swimming pool and changing areas.

The structural challenges included realising the complex geometries in the roof while maintaining an open soffit. A system of panels was developed using cross-laminated timber boarding fixed to glued laminated beams. The roof panels act as the structural elements spanning the swimming pool and provide stability.

Small-diameter steel columns were designed to act as cantilevers from the reinforced-concrete retaining walls, transferring the vertical and horizontal loads from the roof structure. This method eliminates any cross-bracing and minimises the visual structure, giving the appearance of a floating roof.

Author(s): A. Downey (Elliott Wood) & M. Renshaw (Elliott Wood)