The suite is an exemplar for future larger projects, in both design and environmental potential, this small-scale project utilises the benefits of engineered timber to set a sustainability benchmark for the other BREEAM Outstanding properties which are to follow.
NOMA is the acronymic title for a far reaching and forward-looking phased development in Northern Manchester, conceived by developers Federated Hermes MEPC to create an £800 million mixed use new quarter amidst the North West’s most vibrant city. Very early on in the design process, the project team determined that the MONA Marketing Suite or Pavilion should prioritise the use of engineered timber as the primary form of construction to make full use of technical advantages offered by offsite technology. These include much greater certainty over delivery dates, costs, build time, and accuracy as well as the demountability benefits and characteristic appearance of timber.
Designed by Simpson Haugh and delivered on behalf of G&T and Bowmer and Kirkland, specialist timber subcontractor B&K Structures were awarded the contract to design, supply, and install the single storey structure which, by employing innovative sherpa brackets, can be quickly and easily disassembled and re-erected on other sites, as the development evolves.
The Pavilion includes workspaces, a meeting room, and a lounge area with exhibition space and servery. Full heigh glazing across the Pavilion’s Angel Square frontage will offer optimum daylight to the 250m2 interior layout, and along with a quantity of glulam beams, the CLT facilitated a very rapid build schedule which saw structural completion achieved in just seven working days once the ground floor slab was cured.
While many contemporary buildings purport to have been designed with recyclability or demountability in mind, the NOMA Pavilion was purpose built to be a portable marketing suite, which would be relocated a number of times, but still feel substantial, while offering outstanding performance in high quality surroundings.
The construction process of NOMA incorporates simplicity and the use of sherpa brackets, ensuring effortless deconstruction at the end of its lifespan. This approach maximises the likelihood of high-quality material reuse in a practical and realistic manner.
Unlike other engineered timber structures that may pose difficulties, or incur significant costs during deconstruction, thus impeding efficient reuse, NOMA takes these factors into account. The design of NOMA prioritises an affordable and straightforward deconstruction process that preserves the integrity of the elements and materials, ultimately yielding retained components of exceptional quality and high reusability. NOMA has been constructed so that you could deconstruct it and reuse all of the beams, CLT slabs, and columns elsewhere. To do so, you would simply unscrew the CLT slabs, lift them out, lift out the beams, remove dowels from the column bases, and remove the columns. Additionally, the process of removing full elements is not only possible but simple and inexpensive – making demountability a more realistic end of life outcome.
Overall, NOMA Marketing Suite is not just theoretically circular, but will provide high quality contributions to the circular economy. While the pavilion is a small-scale building, compared to other engineered timber structures, the fact that it has been purpose-built to showcase both the demountability and sustainable benefits of structural timber make it a trailblazer for other future large-scale projects.
Additionally, NOMA uses only PEFC certified timber from responsibly managed forests, which ensures a continuous supply of timber (as trees can be replanted and harvested in a cyclical manner) which aligns with the circular economy’s aim of using resources in a regenerative and environmentally friendly way. Timber’s inherent carbon sequestration qualities support the circular economy’s goal of minimising environmental impact, and the longevity and durability of the engineered and prefabricated CLT and glulam elements reduces the need for frequent replacements or demolitions, promoting resource efficiency and extending the lifespan of buildings: contributing to the circular economy’s focus on reducing waste and maximising the value of resources.
Off-site manufacturing of timber components allows for precise and efficient production, minimising material waste and optimising resource use. Modular construction further enables easy assembly, disassembly, and reconfiguration of building elements, supporting adaptability and the circular economy’s principles of reuse and flexibility. Finally, CLT and Glulam possess excellent insulating properties, which can contribute to energy-efficient buildings. The use of timber in construction can help reduce the energy required for heating and cooling, leading to lower energy consumption, and decreased environmental impact. Energy efficiency aligns with the circular economy’s goal of optimising resource use and minimising energy waste.