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The advantages of timber-framed builds

We really like this interesting and topical guest post from contemporary garden studio designers in.it.studios

There is an on-going discussion within the construction industry between traditional brick + block houses and Timber-Frame Houses and which style is more advantageous.  Here I aim to summarise the key points in favour of timber-frame builds.

So, Why Timber-Frame?

Timber-Frame buildings have been around for years, and in certain parts of the world they have become the norm, with an estimated 70% of the world’s population from developed countries being housed in them.  In U.S.A and Canada it has been reported that timber-frame housing accounts for as high as 90% of the housing.[1]

In the UK these figures are lower than the worldwide averages (~24.4%) however it is currently the fastest growing method of construction in the UK[1].  Whether it is a garden building, commercial project, extension or home here we outline the main reasons behind this:

  •  Timber is one of the most sustainable and green building components.  It is the only truly renewable building resources, with our timber being sourced from accredited schemes such as PEFC and FSC.
  •  Timber-frame buildings have a higher suitability to colder climates, such as the UK’s.  They are more energy-efficient than other construction materials providing a comfortable temperature year-round and saving money on further insulation and heating costs.
  •  One of the main reasons for the vast difference between North American and British percentages above is the availability of the resources, and how this dictates the local architecture (vernacular architecture).  For instance North America has space for forestry, where as here in the UK the traditional building materials have been concrete and cement, do to the availability materials such as stone, granite, clay.  Nowadays, due to cheap international shipping and importing at a high the price of timber-frame builds actually prove a more cost-effective solution than their brick counterparts.  Another reason is the progress in constructional technology.  Various membranes, wood preservatives and treatments as well as a host of other advances have helped re-emerge timber-frame buildings back into the UK market.
  •  On average timber-frame builds take 20% less construction time[1], than their brick counterparts, saving on labouring costs and causing less disruption to the local area.
  •  A timber-frame build, like an in.it.studio can be weather-tight in as little as 4 days.
  •  Contrary to popular belief, Timber performs well in Fire tests and unlike other forms of construction i.e. steel, does not bend or flake at high temperatures.
  • Finally… They look great!

“The audience is always biggest when we have a timber building” says the presenter, Kevin McCloud (Grand Designs)

“Timber frame construction is contributing to the drive to provide people with good, modern homes of proven sustainability and efficient construction.  It also serves my Government’s aims of reducing CO2 emissions.” Rt Hon Nick Raynsford MP Minister

For information on contemporary sustainable timber-frame builds which can be used for a variety of purposes ranging from (guest) homes, extensions, garden rooms and commercial properties visit in.it.studios at www.initstudios.co.uk

[1] – Figures from UKTFA.

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