Benefits Of Timber Frame
Timber frame requires 20 per cent fewer on-site labour days compared to a brick and block construction method and ensures a significantly faster construction period overall, therefore offering a faster return on investment, reduced disruption to local communities, and tidier, safer sites.
Buildings are delivered to site in kit form, with components clearly and logically labelled for each building. This enables materials to be unloaded and stored in the correct order for erection, optimising use of site plant and minimising additional handling (an inefficient use of time), money and increases site damage. Off site manufacture allows for fewer delays due to bad weather and requires no drying time therefore providing a more predictable build programme.
Timber frame is a lightweight form of construction therefore suitable for sites with poor soil conditions, and for adding additional levels to existing structures. Structures are designed and manufactured with the access limitations of the site in mind therefore ensuring timber frame is suitable for sites with restricted access.
Timber is an organic, non-toxic and naturally renewable building material. Wood is effectively a carbon- neutral material (even allowing for transport), and 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 tonne of CO2 is saved from the atmosphere. Every timber frame home saves about 4 tonnes of CO2.
At Sussex Timber Frame all timber we use is FSC/ PEFC Certified and we retain full chain of custody details for all material used within each project. The insulation we offer is also CFC free therefore causes no damage to the environment throughout its life span.
Timber frame is an engineered product, manufactured in a quality controlled environment. Computer aided design ensures each unit/ panel is an engineered solution and depends less on site skills, which provides finished homes with fewer defects and much improved consistency across the site. All structural and dimensional issues are confirmed prior to production ensuring the structure delivered to site requires no amendment.
The allowable tolerances for timber frame and its components are far more stringent then block and brick construction tolerances, therefore ensuring a far more precise structure for follow on trades to work with.
At Sussex Timber Frame all our materials are subject to a 11 point quality control procedure prior to their use within the production process, with a further 14 checks to the completed panel to ensure they reach the high standards we require.
Timber which remains dry (i.e. at moisture content of 20% or lower) is not at risk from decay, the timber used within our production at Sussex Timber Frame is organically treated to protect from insects and fungi for the lifetime of the structure (Class one & two environments).
Over 3000 Timber Frame structures still exist in England that were built between 400 and 1100 A.D. Many timber frame buildings have lasted centuries, and ones built today are expected to exceed 300 years or so. Timber frame is the traditional building method.
Timber burns slowly and resists heat penetration by the formation of a self insulating char. When large timber members are subjected to fire, the uncharred inner portion maintains its strength, giving the structure a higher survival factor in comparison to steel and concrete.
Unlike brick & block construction which will generally require demolition following a fire timber frame structures affected components can be removed and replaced with ease.
In the unlikely event of a fire starting within the construction, firestops and cavity barriers prevent fire spread through concealed areas. Timber has a high and predictable performance in fire because timber chars at a slow and known rate: 40mm per hour for European white wood. More importantly, it retains its structural integrity. Full scale fire tests undertaken on a six storey ‘Timber Frame 2000’ demonstration building showed compartmentation and building integrity maintained throughout the test. TRADA and BRE fire safety research concluded that “Timber frame performs as well as other construction in fire”
Tests on timber frame party walls comprising two separate stud walls shows that sound insulation performance exceeds the levels required in current Building Regulations.
Sound resistance requirements in timber party floors are met by separating the floor deck from the walking surface by floating layers, incorporating insulation and having sufficient mass in the deck and ceiling. Higher levels of sound insulation can be achieved by de-coupling the ceiling from the joists by the use of resilient bars to support the ceiling or by installing separate ceiling joists.
Timber frame party walls are better at providing acoustic reduction than masonry walls which purely rely upon mass to reduce sound transfer.
Timber is a natural insulator, combining this with the ease to insulate a timber frame structure with thermal efficient insulations and the addition of reflective external membranes allows timber frame to meet and exceed current building regulations requirements.