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To the right is the Stuart House

Observation room at the Osprey Centre

Eco loo Abriachan

Pioneer Centre

Shore House Inn Restaurant, Argyll

Dining Hall, Pioneer Centre

Entrance hall, Lee Valley Youth Hostel

Stairwell, Badaguish

Sylvan Stuart Limited is the continuation of the long-established business of A G Stuart. The firm has always worked with wood, although unlike many country carpenters and joiners, never made coffins! We have endeavoured to use local timber wherever it was practicable, and have always championed timber construction rather than steel or concrete.

The firm started life serving the rural community of Aberdeenshire from its base near the small market town of Insch. Much of the demand was from the agricultural sector, starting with hen and poultry housing to provide post-war protein, then housing for farm-workers and retirees, followed by demand for increasingly large, supremely functional, low cost buildings for mainly mechanised use.

Ok, they were big sheds! But agricultural construction was a good school for learning how to meet the customers' requirements, quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively. Functionality reigned supreme, admittedly occasionally at some visual cost, although well-designed structures do have their own integrity.

Anyway, one of the architect's jobs is to make buildings acceptable to the planners. What we are essentially offering is a willing and knowledgeable input into any planned timber construction project. We have our own retained engineers, and do have a design service, but are keen to work with others.


We built the acclaimed Stuart House at FutureWorld in 1994. A high-tech all-timber house incorporating breathing wall technology, solar gain with thermal mass, and underfloor heating...All in a cool, naturally ventilated structure tucked cosily into the landscape. We continue to incorporate many of these features in efficient, usually compact homes, suited to the challenges of the 21st Century.

Our Model-D house, featured elsewhere on this site, incorporates many of the strands of current thinking to create a design of integrity, and perhaps, some vision. The basic principles embodied in it are probably widely applicable. We are well placed to produce innovative, one-off houses, but are also competitive on basic timberframe kits or multiple, single design, runs where production savings are passed on to the customer.

We have been supplying all-timber interlocking log homes for thirty years, and have developed this construction into a highly versatile system which can meet client's needs neatly and cost-effectively. Our log home sales literature explains the development and specification of the construction fairly comprehensively, and we will gladly discuss the application and detailing of the concept for your project.

Intermediate and Non-domestic

Building a waste water treatment plant? Then why not use a log cabin rather than an expensive plastic kiosk? Carbon proofing will, eventually, be the mantra for all specifiers. One of the advantages of timber is that it can be visually unobtrusive, and complementary to the surroundings, apart from being environmentally friendly in all respects. "Softening" hard infrastructure must be a growing trend.

We have supplied all sorts of huts, cabins, kiosks, loos and suchlike paraphernalia over the years. Why not do it in wood? Larger buildings can provide knock-out structures that make a clear statement without costing the earth. And, as always with timber, help to create the sense of a nature-friendly resource that people like and can cherish. Solid timber walls are remarkably user-friendly, durable, and distinctive in character.

For cafes, chalets, class-rooms or corporate entertaining, indeed just about any commercial or recreational application, we can help provide something quickly and cost-effectively. It can be as high-tech as is desired, and we frequently use craftily engineered solutions to produce elegant structures, or simply exemplify robust rural charm! We are always interested in looking at new applications for timber technology.

Large structures

The wider spans and heavier live loads in commercial and public access buildings can cause a problem with the deflection limits of natural timber. Reconstituted material is frequently the best solution in the form of I-beams, orientated strand products or glulam. To minimise beam downstands at points of concentrated load we often sling in a chunk of steel, and we do appreciate the merits of its rigidity and load carrying capacity.

Timberframe technology is now well-proven in residential multiple storey applications, and given their cellular nature, particularly appropriate to residential uses. The loads can be dissipated throughout the structure to produce very effective low-cost solutions which facilitate rapid fabrication, erection and commissioning. Communal areas can feature simple but effective exposed timber structures and perhaps wood lining which adds to the attractiveness of what is essentially a very basic structural form.

If large clear-span structures are envisaged then we will gladly quote for a package which produces the desired effect as efficiently as possible. Large timber structural solutions are currently much less common in the UK than steel ones, but this is likely to change. Timber is almost unbeatable when it comes to embodied energy, and there need be no doubts regarding integrity and fire-resistance or durability if properly specified. Our watchwords are cost-effectiveness, structural efficiency and environmental friendliness.