The benefits of timber frame construction are now being reflected in the new homes market in the UK and Ireland. Unsurprising since all around Northern Europe, with our similar cold, wet climate, it is becoming increasing popular within the industry.
Although the exterior may not look different from a masonry building, in reality it is easier to insulate than a traditional building as the engineered timber framework provides a more flexible carrier which enables higher levels of insulation to be fitted effectively thereby taking advantage of the benefits of timber frame inside the building without compromising on the external finish outside.
The Benefits of Timber Frame
Why should I choose Timber Frame?
When you consider that the majority of newly built homes are timber frame, it is obvious that there are marked benefits from this type of construction. Countries with wet and harsh climates, like Canada, Scotland and Scandanavia are increasingly choosing timber frame as the preferred method of building and, in doing so, are reaping the rewards.
Unlike masonry construction the insulation in a timber frame home is contained inside the inner leaf ensuring that no heat is lost in the blockwork. Timber frame homes are easy to heat, cosy to live in and can result in savings in heating costs of up to 50%. Timber Frame Homes are recognized as the most thermally efficient form of building.
As all timber frame components are manufactured under factory controlled conditions prior to delivery on site, the timber frame structural shell can be erected and roofed with felt and tiling battens within days. This allows internal and external trade’s full access to proceed with their work regardless of the weather. The speed of erection reduces the amount of capital tied up in the work, reduces the interest charges and increases profitability. A house can be fully furnished and ready for occupation in weeks rather than months.
With timber Frame, right angles are true and edges are straight, resulting in greater ease in wallpapering, tiling, painting and carpet laying.
A thriving timber frame industry means the need for well run, sustainable managed forests, full of trees that soak up carbon dioxide within their core and keep it locked inside.
A timber frame building uses structural CLS timber to provide an engineered framework of internal and external walls to provide a long lasting, durable building with a life expectancy matching a masonry building. The structural framework uses quality stress graded softwood timber from managed forests in Scandinavia and Canada. The replanting programmers in these forests ensure that there are many more trees to replace those cut down, leaving a net growth in the volume of trees every year, with no cost to the environment. Timber uses at least 20% less energy than other construction materials to bring it to the finished state.
- Timber is an organic, non-toxic and naturally renewable building material.
- Over 90% of all wood consumed in Europe is sourced from European managed forests.
- The more wood we use, the more our forests grow, because in Europe we are committed to planting more trees than we harvest.
- Forests act as huge carbon sinks. The total carbon sequestered in Europe’s forests is over 9.5 million tonnes.
- Mature trees, however, absorb far less carbon dioxide and produce less oxygen than those at earlier stages of growth. So the harvesting of older trees for construction purposes, and their replacement with saplings – two planted for every one harvested in Scandinavian forests – ensures a constant cycle of CO2 absorption and oxygen production.
- Wood is effectively a carbon-neutral material (even allowing for transport).
- Timber frame has the lowest CO2 cost of any commercially available building material.
- For every cubic metre of wood used instead of other building materials, 0.8 tonnes of CO2 is saved from the atmosphere.
- Strength for strength, concrete uses 5 times (and steel uses 6 times) more energy to produce than timber.