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Timber Frame – a sustainable future

In the last five years the construction community has become answerable to the Zero Carbon challenge. No longer can we build homes and commercial buildings that consume vast about amounts of carbon in their construction but equally we can no longer afford to build poorly constructed homes and buildings that do not optimise the Fabric First message.

For these reasons alone timber frame is the fastest growing method of construction in the UK, widely adopted in social and private housing and accounts for about 75% of the self build market.

In a recent survey, commissioned by the UKTFA, conducted amongst the UK’s leading contractors, developers, architects and RSLs – 74% said they would specify more timber frame in the future. And why? It is singularly the most sustainable form of construction available to us in the UK and without question delivers the most thermally efficient, cost effective and safe method of construction.

Today, the challenge is simple. Forget about sourcing fancy renewable energy systems to bolt onto leaky, poorly built buildings with high embodied carbon – the emphasis should now be on putting the Fabric First.

It is no surprise that the first homes reaching Code levels 5 and 6 were timber frame buildings. Timber frame is a perfect fit with the low carbon agenda and more and more architects appreciate its benefits; finding it much easier to achieve very high insulation levels, fewer defects and increased air tightness, all with extremely low embodied energy.

Timber frame has the lowest embodied CO2 of any commercially available building material, while delivering up to a 33% reduction in energy consumption for large detached houses and up to 20% for apartments. By selecting timber frame, a faster construction time is guaranteed, whilst the costs of achieving higher code levels dramatically reduced. Think Fabric First.

Download out latest publication:  and , commissioned by Zero Carbon Hub in partnership with Richard Partington Architects.

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