North Woods Construction Ltd
Clashnessie House

cross laminated timber panels

The combination of a beautiful sloping site on the west Sutherland coast and a sculptor client with an appreciation for the qualities of solid natural materials offered the opportunity for the design of an exceptional house. Specifically it offered a long-awaited opportunity to construct a house in cross laminated timber (CLT), the culmination of some five years involvement in promoting and researching “massive timber” systems in Scotland.

The site looks out to Handa Island, Foinaven and Arkle so that the entry “box” faces south with the most spectacular views on the north east corner. These views are optimized by a mezzanine section to the living space with a fully glazed corner that leads directly out onto a small balcony. The house is long and thin, just one room wide so that each room has two or three aspects.

timber interior

Internally the warm Norway spruce and silver fir CLT structure is almost completely visible. Only a couple of partitions have a plasterboard face to help run services. There is a large Douglas fir ridgebeam and a single post supporting it dropping through the two storey section of the building. The mezzanine is floored in solid homegrown sycamore whilst two glazed screens are crafted from homegrown Douglas fir. Most of the house is tiled with underfloor heating running off a wood pellet boiler. The combination of sheep’s wool insulation and the superb thermal retention of the CLT will lead to very low energy requirements.

& quality

The CLT panels were engineered and installed by Eurban Ltd (London & Inverness) with whom we have worked on several projects. The superstructure was crane erected in just over three days including a fully insulated roof and steel balcony. The CLT was manufactured by Schilliger Holz and was imported from Switzerland on one lorry direct to site.


Exterior works and landscaping continued over the winter including construction of a deck, entry patio, paths and a first wave of tree/shrub planting.