Macallan Distillery

Country: Scotland

Category: Special buildings and structures

Type of construction: Bearing System + roof panels

Macallan Distillery


  • Winner - Structural Timber Awards 2018: Engineer of the Year Award (ARUP) & Installer of the Year Award (L&S Baucon GmbH)
  • Winner - Structural Timber Awards 2018: Winner of Winners Award (Arup, L&S Baucon GmbH, Robertson, Wiehag GmbH & Rogers Stirk Harbours + Partners)
  • Winner - Scottish Design Awards 2018: Culture and Leisure Award
  • Winner - UK Roofing Awards 2017: Green Roof Award 
  • Finalist (yet to be announced) World Travel Awards 2018: World's Leading Distillery Tour
  • Finalist (yet to be announced) Wood Awards 2018: Buildings, Commercial and Leisure Category




WIEHAG has built the eye catching roof structure for the prestigious Macallan Distillery in Scotland. Construction of the roof commenced in April 2016, and the green roof structure will take the form of five juxtaposed domes spanning a total length of over 200 metres.

A leader in the design, manufacture & installation of industrial and commercial structures, both locally and abroad, WIEHAG has a proven track record in the construction of high profile engineered timber structures, and The Macallan project makes an eye catching addition to their portfolio. Following the successful completion of the timber roof structure over Crossrail Place at London’s Canary Wharf, WIEHAG will expand its impressive reference list of international projects with the construction of an innovative eco-friendly roof structure over the new distillery and visitor experience  for  The Macallan in the Highlands of Scotland. The sustainable roof is stretched over five domes, mounted on an engineered timber roof sub-structure and consisting of five domes with a projecting canopy.

This project see’s for the first time in the UK Wiehags innovative roof decks being used in conjunction with our glulam beams, and we see this product being used more and more as clients see the benefits of WIEHAG’s precision made components.

The complex geometry certainly leads to logistics and design challenges, but with our parametric design, CNC machinery and advanced barcode based production system we fully manage the process from start to finish to ensure we meet program timescales as well as our exacting standards of quality & service.

Johannes Rebhahn, Managing Director of the new Wiehag UK Ltd.

He also adds  “That the new Wiehag office in Goswell Road, London is the logical result of the numerous projects we have successfully completed in the UK and clearly demonstrates our commitment & ambition to the UK market”. This is further highlighted by Wiehag’s dedication to sustainability in the UK, as in addition to holding PEFC certification for several years, Wiehag is now also fully certified with the FSC chain of custody scheme.


Construction Details

The building dimensions are 63m x 207m which makes it the largest and most complex timber roof ever constructed in Scotland.

Under the hills there is a raised octagon shaped CHS steel structure supporting the glulam structure, with steel and concrete supporting the roof at its perimeter.

Whilst its green Sedum roof mirrors the local topography & helps it blend in sympathetically with the surrounding landscape, the structure must fulfill the Architects intention that it’s read as a manmade construction rather than naturally occurring. This is carried through the design to the extent that its geometry mustn’t have perfect curved surfaces, but is formed instead with a facetted 3x3m waffle grid structure, and Wiehags Engineers have risen to the challenge by coming up with some exceptionally neat details which push the boundaries of what’s possible with innovative materials like glulam.

Glulam beams are normally straight or curved as this is the logical shape when bending the single lamellas, so for this project Wiehag produced curved beams which have then been machined to form the unusual facetted kinked shape.

The 200mm wide glulam beams have a 160mm wide glulam core with 2x20mm structural LVL (laminated veneer lumber) cheeks either side.  The LVL cheeks form a channel at each bottom face of the beams, and the bottom face of the glulam core is beveled to mirror the organic hilly geometry, as well as forming an exceptional neat detail when four beams meet at a junction.

Wiehag’s prefab roof deck is built up with a LVL ceiling, timber joists and OSB panel on top, which serves as the base for the 12,300m2 of green roof build up.

Limited access due to some of the already installed process equipment has resulted in Wiehag inventing temporary propping towers made of very slim block glued glulam in lieu of traditional bulky scaffold towers. These innovative towers are designed to take ca 30 tonnes of vertical loadings, and further demonstrate Wiehags ability to think outside the box (or in this case, inside the hill!).

“Another challenge in the beautiful but windy Speyside region is installing 1,800 glulam beams and 2,700 prefab roof deck elements over a 26 week period, meaning that with two cranes working simultaneously throughout the period, we have only 30 minutes per lift”, explains Wiehag’s John Spittle.


„On behalf of all our management and construction team at Robertson, we wish to thank you and your team at WIEHAG for the very vital part you played in the Macallan project. As you know, the project was the largest to be awarded to Robertson at the time and one which required not only cooperation and collaboration but an abundace of innovation and expertise, all of which appeared of second nature to your company. We will consider ourselves very fortunate to have worked with WIEHAG and hopefully repeat the exercise on another successful project in the future.

Bill Robertson (Eigentümer Generalunternehmer Robertson Group)


Project Info


Edrington Group

Main contractor:

Robertson Construction Group



Design, supply and install of the timber roof:



Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

Steel construction:

SHS Stahlverarbeitung GmbH

Total building costs:

£ 100.000.000

Construction schedule:

April to December 2016

General Construction Schedule:

April 2015 to May 2018 (planned opening)