The Environment - and timber frame building.
Timber Frame dwellings being highly energy efficient not only save on the amount of energy required to heat them, but also use less energy resources during their building. Timber from 'The Stewardship Council' managed forests in Scandinavia is used in their construction and
every mature tree that is harvested is replaced with younger specimens to sustain a natural cycle. More trees are planted than are felled so an increase in the overall volume of trees is created.
Our structural framework uses stress graded softwood timber from sustainably managed forests in Scandinavia. The replanting programme in these forests ensures that there are 3 trees planted for every 2 trees cut down, leaving a net growth in the volume of trees every year, with no cost to the environment! Timber is recognised as the only renewable construction material with the softwoods used in fabrication coming from environmentally sustainable forests.
The embodied energy in timber is low, even when taking into account transport and treatment requirements, the processing of timber to the finished state uses over 25% less energy than that required for other construction materials.
Added to this, timber itself has thermal properties and the design of the structural panels means that spaces between studs can be packed with of high levels of insulation material, giving the whole structure a low "U" value. Unlike traditional construction the insulation in a timber frame home is contained inside the inner leaf ensuring that not only little heat is lost but also because of the clear cavity, driving rain cannot pass through to the inner leaf of the structure. With the use of breathable foil or additional insulation, timber frame buildings easily meet and exceed current U values including the new part L regulations introduced in April 2006. Timber frame homes are easy to heat and can deliver savings in heating costs of up to 40%.
Timber frame components are manufactured under strict factory conditions, this improves quality and results in less waste.
The timber frame structural shell can be delivered, erected and roofed with felt and tiling battens within a matter of days which allows internal and external trades to get on with their work simultaneously saving considerable time in the build process.
Glazed external windows and doors can be fitted immediately to protect the building. All this means that a house can be completed and ready for occupation in weeks rather than months.
The reasons for the increase in the use of timber frame construction in the UK are many, but the key factor is that timber frame offers a winning solution for all.