Why Timber Frame?
Timber being a natural building material has several advantages over other materials. First and foremost, it’s safe to handle and touch, it doesn’t emit any toxins and isn’t harmful to work with. Timber is a renewable building material, whose stock is being replenished faster than it is currently being used. Production of timber takes very little energy, meaning that the embodied energy of timber is low.
Reasons as to why timber frame construction is better:
- Timber is an efficient material to work with. Incorporating careful design and construction, it allows for a resourceful use of materials with less waste as its by-products can be reused in other ways.
- Timber is much quicker to work with. It can be manufactured off site and constructed within days on site. Building off site can reduce production wastage on site and allows for a shorter time period for construction and erection of timber frame on site.
- Timber is a natural insulator and holds insulation excellently. This can reduce energy usage. A well-built timber frame home can hold more insulation than a standard blockwork house and can reduce energy bills by a significant amount. Timber framed dwellings are recognized as the easiest dwellings regulate temperature in; heat in the winter and cool in the summer. Due to its layering a timber frame building is much easier achieve airtightness, minimising drafts and thermal bridging between the walls.
- Timber frame is a lighter construction type meaning it suits many different building types, but still holds good structural qualities. It’s also easy to transport and therefore can be transported anywhere, including remote areas.
- Timber frames do not need very deep foundations and can suit sites with poor ground conditions.
- Timber frame dwellings are strong and have a long-life span. A well designed, well-built timber frame structure can last hundreds of years.
- Timber being a renewable material which has a lower C02 value than any other building material. It has been concluded that timber framed houses hold a less carbon footprint than those of concrete and steel.
Benefits of Timber Frame
The use of timber frame construction in dwellings and commercial buildings is more beneficial to the client as it allows for a shorter construction timeline. The prefabrication of the timber frame is commenced off site within a factory meaning it can begin regardless of the weather. It is then erected on site, in most cases, in a matter of days.
Insulation and Energy Efficiency:
The stand out quality of a Timber Frame Structure is ability to achieve the highest of specifications when it comes to insulation. Timber frame houses can allow for extra insulation to be used without changing the sizes of the wall cavity, rather the size of the timber frame. Because of the natural thermal properties of timber, the timber frame walls will retain heat better than commonly used wall materials such as blockwork/brickwork.
A bonus of using the timber frame process is that the whole wall doesn’t have to be insulated, as with traditional building methods and because timber framed walls are much better sealed during construction, a high level of airtightness is achieved which leads to minimal heat loss.
Because of the timber’s natural density, it allows for improved sound cancelling. Masonry walls are much denser and are naturally superior at cancelling sound; however this can also be achieved with timber frame by using two separate wall frames with a break in between. In addition, a sound absorbent layer can be used within the two wall frames.
Timber frame walls are treated and made from modernised materials; it’s very hard for the materials to decay if in contact with condensation. Because the timber frame wall is wrapped with a polythene sheet, this eliminates any vapour that has passed through the outer part of the wall.