A Proven System
Far from being a novel way of building, in most parts of the developed world Timber Frame is the norm, an engineered and proven system.
Over 70% of the population of the developed world live in Timber Frame housing. In the USA and Canada it accounts for 90% of low-rise buildings, while in Scotland 55% of new houses are built this way.
One of the reasons for choosing timber frame is that it’s not just suitable for low-rise buildings; there is considerable growth in the construction of medium-rise buildings of up to at least six storeys for apartments and social housing, while it is also being used for schools and offices, hotels and student accommodation, sports and leisure centres and healthcare facilities.
Wood is renewable; European softwood plantations are currently in surplus production, with standing stocks of timber increasing annually by 252 million m3 – almost 30 times the UK’s annual consumption of wood.
Wood is close to carbon-neutral (even allowing for transport): growing trees absorb carbon and produce oxygen; the carbon is stored for the life of the tree and the building; at the end of its usable life the wood can be burned for energy as a substitute for fossil fuel
Wood has low embodied energy: strength for strength, concrete needs 5 times, and steel 6 times, more energy to be produced than wood. This low embodied energy, plus excellent insulation properties, helps reduce CO2 emissions throughout the life of a building.
Other Reasons for choosing timber frame for the home builder:
- High energy efficiency and low environmental impact
- Construction times are reduced using Timber Frame techniques by as much as one third.
- Impact of British weather is reduced as construction need not stop in periods of rain, frost, snow etc.
- Programme of following trades is easier.
- Timber Frame offers a lighter form of construction which can be of benefit to foundations especially where poor ground conditions exist.
- Improved sound insulation compared with alternative construction methods, particularly at separating walls.
- Higher thermal insulation compared with alternative construction methods at an economic price.
- Greater accuracy and a better standard of finish after handover.
- Timber Frame is a dry form of construction, there is no drying out period. You do not get the drying out crack prevalent in wet construction.