Tuesday, February 9, 2016
By Steve Hunt
Braefordie was an isolated and derelict farmstead located in the hills behind Comerie in Highland Perthshire. The aim of the project was to bring it back into use as a shooting lodge. Breathing new life into the building would enhance the experience of those staying on the estate who will use it for accommodation or as a break in a day's shoot. Since there are numerous derelict dwellings and farmsteads throughout the Highlands, it was also important to restore Braefordie as part of the Fordie Estate's landscape management and to enhance the experience of hill walkers and other visitors to the mountains.Get articles like this in your inbox!
Since the estate has a diverse woodland resource that is being actively managed and harvested, the overall aim was to utilise onsite resources. The design was also guided through discussions with the owner and the need to build using traditional methods.
All the timber was sourced from within the estate. The larch used was from windblown trees which had been blown over the previous winter (2013). Much of the timber was extracted using horses pulling single trees and sleds to ensure minimum impact on the ground and to promote the use of traditional methods of working using local contractors.
The sawmill was moved from site to site within the estate and the timber cut in on location to the specifications designed for the building. Materials were subsequently transported two miles into the hills along old estate roads. The build is in the traditional style with the timber being allowed to air dry (once cut) within the building. Larch (windblown) was used for roofing posts and internal walls and flooring; Douglas fir was used for the flooring, oak for the beams, and beech for the window sills.
The sawmill increased the overall viability of the project by:
a) Significantly reducing the costs of the build by sourcing timber on site.
b) Enabling us to quickly and easily use our own timber from estate woodlands.
c) Allowing us to get near the source of timber, thereby minimizing extraction and transportation costs.
d) Allowing us to cut timber to the exact dimensions we felt suited the project.
e) Enabling flexibility and fine-tuning as the project developed since any new timber needs could be sourced immediately. Likewise any leftover timber could be used for other projects or sold by the estate
The sawmill has proven to be an excellent investment. Using our own timber and creating new markets for revenue. For this project, we estimate the savings in the region of £18,000.
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