Timber Frame House Construction, in its present form, has been used throughout the Northern Hemisphere for over a century. It has been widely used in Scotland during the last 50 years and has proven to be both reliable and excellent value for money.
The components, which make up a timber frame building, are manufactured to a high quality and tolerance, in a controlled factory environment. All timbers are kiln dried and treated to protect them from insect attack and decay. Structural timbers are regularised (planed) for accuracy and ease of handling.
Most timber frame houses can be erected to a watertight shell within 48 hours of delivery. The speed of erection is achieved due to the components being substantially completed in the factory and requiring only final assembly on site. Site cutting and fitting is minimal. The building is rapidly made watertight eliminating the ingress of moisture thereby reducing the chance of 'drying out' movement and shrinkage so often seen in traditional buildings. By achieving a watertight and secure shell at an early stage in the construction programme the overall construction period is substantially reduced. All internal trades can progress while the external cladding and site work is completed. Effective site management can reduce a contract programme by up to 50% compared to traditional building methods. It is not uncommon for customers to have houses occupied 5 weeks after the structural frame delivery.
Timber frame buildings have a high thermal efficiency (U-value) which far exceeds that of traditional building materials, and offers up to 70% savings on energy costs. As the Building Regulations are continually revised to improve the thermal efficiency of buildings, the technology is uniquely suited to achieve and improve on the requirements of the regulations. Current Building Regulations require an external wall 'U' value of 0.35W/m2K, current indications say this will reduce even further in the not too distant future. This requirement will be difficult and expensive to achieve using traditional brick and block materials and will also increase the foot print size of the house. The 'U' values achieved by timber frame construction already exceed the requirements of the new Building Regulations at no extra cost and no increase in foot print size. Higher sound insulation is also achieved using timber construction which is of particular benefit in semi-detached and terraced housing. The improved sound insulation is achieved primarily by incorporating a complete structural break between the dwellings thereby removing the possibility of sound transmission through the structure.
Timber frame construction is also environmentally friendly. Raw materials are drawn from renewable resources and not virgin forest. Timber is a natural, non-toxic, organic, recyclable, renewable and biodegradable material. Energy consumption in buildings account for 50% of the UK's carbon dioxide emissions. Very little energy is consumed in the manufacture of a timber frame building.
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