Timber frame construction has increased with in the UK. Developers now recognising the advantages of joining the 70% of the developed world’s population, who already enjoy living in timberframed homes. This is now being reflected in buildings used for the workplace, health, education and leisure activities.
As one of the most technologically advanced and sustainable forms of construction available, timber frame offers flexibility and versatility, which can offer substantial savings in both the build phase, and lifetime costs. Using timber frame construction is the easiest way to achieve compliance with the Code for Sustainable Homes and demonstrate a real commitment to environmental best practice.
Timber frame provides a lighter form of construction, which can make foundation techniques, and costs, more viable in areas with poor ground conditions. The construction programme for using timber frame, has the potential to be reduced by as much as one third. Timber frame enables the use of numerous materials to provide improved sound insulation; especially important for multiple properties, with separating walls. Apart from the speed of timber frame erection, there is minimal ‘down time’, due to bad weather. Following trades can commence their first fixing weeks ahead of a traditional build, in a covered water tight environment.
From the end users point of view, costs can be greatly reduced. Higher thermal insulation values, can offer major savings on heating bills. Maintenance costs can be reduced, as there is minimal cracking, as timber frame is a dry form of construction.
One major significance, is the minimal impact on the environment that the use of timber frame can demonstrate, compared to other building materials. Timber is organic, non-toxic and, naturally renewable. The timber used is structurally graded softwood, from the UK and European forests, where more trees are planted, than are harvested. As the younger the tree is, the more CO2 it absorbs, the industry is having a positive effect on reducing CO2, through harvesting more mature trees and replacing them, through the employment of FSC® and PEFC procedures.