Skip to main content
BCL Wins Project: Oxford University Life & Mind Building

 Following the successful installation of our timber cladding panels to the substation at Oxford University Life & Mind Building for Wates, BCL have now been awarded the internal package, involving a series of wooden slatted walls and timber ceilings to various internal spaces around the building. This includes creating to two lecture theatres, partitions in two cafés, and a series of wooden slatted ceilings to the communal areas and meeting rooms, totalling over 1,000 m2. It will all be completed in FSC certified US Ash wooden panels in varying slat profiles, to create not only a distinctive aesthetic, but also high-performance Class A acoustic absorption, reducing ambient reverberation and helping to create beautiful, functional spaces, that enhance the building user experience for its students and teachers.

 lamb lecture theatre

The Life and Mind Building in Oxford will deliver state-of-the-art research, teaching and innovation space across circa 268,000 square feet. It will house researchers, students, and support staff across multiple departments of Biology and Experimental Psychology. Set across multiple wings, featuring laboratory and office accommodation, with a central atrium and teaching centre. Designed by NBBJ Architects with sustainability as a core concept, one of the key elements is to reducing embodied carbon by using materials such as timber. Timber is a carbon negative material, so incorporating BCL’s wood slat panels into the design has offset the carbon emissions of other materials used in the building. By employing BCL’s bespoke wooden slatted panels, which are sized to fit agreed & pre-designed layouts, they have also avoided any panel cutting or modification on site, drastically reducing any on-site waste and thus reducing installation time & costs. The alternative would be an off the shelf standardised system then cut to size on-site, resulting in lots of offcuts and signficantly greater on-site waste. 

Oxford LaMB 1

To find out more about BCL’s slatted timber ceilings or wooden wall panels and how our panel systems maximise the efficiency benefits of prefabrication, please contact us directly on 01189 344 155 or alternatively email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 Keep your eyes on our news page, twitter and instagram for more updates!

BCL Commended by Kier Construction with Supply Chain Award

We are delighted to have received an award for our excellent work and commitment to achieving high safety and quality standards from Kier in their Gloucester & Oxford region.

Contracts Director, Gary Barthram was recently presented with the Quarterly SHE Award by Kier for BCL’s work at Graven Hill Primary School in Bicester, where Sam Barthram and his team have completed installation of the timber panels that wrap the building in PEFC Thermowood.

SHE Award in front of BCL wooden panels

BCL also renewed our Acclaim SSiP (Safety Schemes in Procurement) and Constructionline Gold membership this month, further evidence of our commitment to H&S compliance and excellence.

We are currently working for Kier at another place of education; Winchester College. Where we are busy installing acoustic timber panels in steamed beech to create wooden slatted walls and sweet chestnut acoustic timber ceilings to the swimming pool, sports hall and dojo.

Work is underway at Edenbridge Memorial Health Centre

 The award-winning BCL team are now onsite at the new Edenbridge Medical Centre in Kent, installing 1,000m2 of external timber cladding panels in a full external envelope solution, including all membranes, insulation and fire barriers, for main contractor, Galliford Try.

BCL wood cladding panels at Edenbridge Memorial Health Centre

Areas of the building will shortly be clad in PEFC Thermowood (European Redwood or Scandinavian Pine which has been heat-treated to increase durability to ‘Class 2’ in accordance with BS EN 350-2:1994). The wood cladding panels have been designed and pre-fabricated at our factory in Berkshire, UK and are now being installed using secret-rear fixings to all timber slatted panels, removing face fixings allowing the timber to age better and any refurb coatings, last longer.

 Keep your eyes on our news page, twitter and instagram for more updates!

A Look Back at York St John University


Last week York St. John University Creative Centre won RIBA Yorkshire Building of the Year Award 2023! To celebrate we thought we would take a look back at our work on the project:

The secret-fixing timber slatted panel system, designed, manufactured and installed by BCL Timber Projects at York St John University's Creative Centre is the standout feature of the building's design. The building is distinguished by its facades, which are decorated with various timber finishes to create a “supertexture”. The work comprises curved timber panels and timber soffits, wrapping the entire exterior of the building, internal wooden slat walls and timber ceilings in the vast entrance lobby and class A acoustic timber panels in the auditorium.

BCL Timber Cladding at York St John

The external timber panels, acoustic wood ceiling and timber slat walls are made in FSC certified Siberian larch, using a combination of black stain coating (to mimic a charred appearance) and natural wood finish to give the building a warm organic feel, in keeping with the centre's artistic focus – all delivered in BCL’s secretly rear-fixed slatted panel system, avoiding any surface weaknesses from fixings or penetrations to timber, allowing coatings to last longer and timber to age better.

The wood cladding panels have been carefully chosen to provide both visual interest and texture to the building's façade, creating a sense of depth and richness. The concave and convex curves of the protruding elements are unusual and eye-catching, intended by the project Architects Tate+Co to reflect vertical niches on the nearby York Minster Cathedral.

The use of timber also promotes sustainability, aligning with the university's values and commitment to reducing its environmental impact. It is a genuinely sustainable building, both in operational and embodied carbon terms. The project has subsequently achieved a BREEAM Excellent rating of environmental sustainability.

One of the additional efficiency benefits that BCL’s wooden slatted panels bought to the project was the reduction of on-site waste. Unlike alternative 'off-the-shelf' panels that require cutting and on-site modification, resulting in a large amount of waste during installation - the use of BCL’s flexible system, sized to fit the specific dimensions & layouts of the project, ensures little to no cutting on site. This results in much less waste and a more sustainable and more efficient construction process.