The element that most defines a timber framer is the quality, integrity and strength of the joints that hold the beams together. A properly made joint will stay tight for generations. Joints play a major role in the structural behaviour of timber frame houses. All of our joints undergo in-house engineering to confirm their strength and integrity.
Modern timber frame is a massive, wooden structure of beams of classic half-timbered architectural style, made of glued laminated timber of coniferous species. Use of laminated wood allows to address several issues in construction and operation of half-timbered houses:
– rigidity of a design
– stability of geometric parameters
Bearing elements are made from carefully dried glued wood, which features high performance and aesthetic values. Structural elements are produced using modern high-precision woodworking equipment. At the construction site they are covered with protective compounds.
Huge variety of designs from traditional to ultra-contemporary are available. Timber frame lends itself well to spacious open plan design. Timber frame beams usually left exposed for special features and traditional character, as required. There are no load bearing walls in timber frame structures, allowing changes to the floor plan with no structural consequences Considering the relationship between using the material and the environment is very important when building a home. Using timber as the main building material is the right choice with its endless design possibilities, as well as unrivalled physical and technical properties for a timber frame home.
Timber frame structures can typically achieve a better thermal performance than masonry structures with a thinner construction.
Their low thermal mass allows spaces enclosed by timber frames to heat up more quickly than masonry construction, however they will also tend to cool more quickly. Heavy-timber framing is more appropriate than stick framing for infilling with natural building techniques. With infilling, it is not critical that exact spacing be left between vertical studs or posts; masonry and cob can fit any space, and straw bales can be made to fit almost any width of space.
People have been building with timber for thousands of years. Timber is ecological and sustainable and a truly renewable building material.
As trees ‘lock in’ carbon dioxide, they can be seen as means of combating global warming.
Timber is classified as a renewable material, as the principle holds that if a tree is felled another is planted in its place. As long as this balance is maintained, the supply will be sustainable. The increased use of timber as a building material can encourage the growth of forests to provide the supply.
This is compared to other materials such as bricks and concrete which rely on the extraction of finite raw materials.
In addition, timber construction requires less CO2 to process and produce it than, for example, steel.
Usually less wood is used in timber frames than in a stud-wall structure.
The speed of the build is quicker with timber frame. A timber frame is partly pre-cut, modulated, and built to precision making build time much quicker than for a brick build or stick build. Timber-framed buildings are far quicker to erect than brick or stone buildings. This enables interior trades such as plastering and electrical wiring to begin work earlier in the build programme, as the interior will be exposed to weather for less time. Building with timber is also a less specialized and expensive skill. A quicker build time clearly saves time and money for property owners.
Timber is a highly durable material. Some well-made wooden structures last for centuries. It is also easy and cheap to maintain compared to other materials, especially if you don’t mind it changing colour over time.
Although masonry and steel frame structures can fail if subject to sustained high temperatures, there is the perception that timber frame structures are more at risk. However, when timber burns, the outer parts char and become charcoal which insulates against heat and does not burn. This means that the centre of the timber is protected from damage.
Additional fire protection can be given to the frame by the boarding used to clad it and fire stops installed to prevent spread through the cavity.
A well-built timber frame home will last for centuries. In fact, you only have to look at some of our country’s historic buildings to see just how resilient a material it is. Wood is incredibly tough and robust, and its comparative lightness next to brick or concrete means it’s an ideal choice to build in more remote areas or where the ground conditions wouldn’t be suitable for heavier structures.