Benefits of timber frame construction

Timber frame is the world's most widely used construction method, accounting for 70% of low rise construction in the developed world. Here are reasons why it is such a good building material ;

- Timber has a thermal value ( u -value) which far exceeds that of masonry. You will make considerable savings on heating bills ( particulary with 184mm outer walls ) 

- Our house shells are engineered to the highest levels of accuracy and quality.

- It does not involve 'wet trades ' ( at least in terms of the actual superstructure ) A masonry house is subject to shrinkage of the mortars, as they dry out soon after the house is built, thereby creating cracks in the masonry. As the building settles over time on its footings, this can also create masonry cracking, and possible structural problems. As there is no mortar involved with the actual timber superstructure, this problem is eliminated. Timber frame construction is more resistent to seismic movement than masonry, and for the same reason it can flex as the building settles on its foundation after construction.  

- According to the NHBC there are far fewer problems with timber frame build than masonry construction.

- It is environmentaly friendly - it has the lowest co2 cost of any building material.Our timber comes from Scandinavian forests which replace two saplings for every tree cut down.

- It is much faster to construct than masonry build, especially in France where masonry builders can be extremely slow !

It should be pointed out that France is tightening regulations in order to become more environmentally friendly, and is offering financial incentives to build wooden framed houses as opposed to the traditional materials of concrete and brick. The French government had in place a charter in order to achieve an increase in the use of wood in the construction of houses by the end of 2010. France has a long history of using wood as a building material, as you only have to go to the mountainous regions to see this. If you look in the latest Tout Faire ( a large chain of builders merchants in France ) online magazine,you will find large sections of the catalogue devoted to environmentally friendly construction, starting off of course with the merits of building in timber frame. 

RT 2012 is the new regulation which came into force in France in January 2013. This makes it mandatory to submit a thermal report on submission of a permis de construire,outlining the U and R values of the walls, the intended heating system, the choice of insulation and windows etc.Building in timber frame is the best way to get a head start in terms of meeting these more stringent, environmentally friendly regulations. 

By incorporating some of the principles of pasivhaus ( which RT 2012 is clearly pushing towards ) such as good airtightness, reduction of thermal bridging, the use of heat recovery ventilation etc you will not only meet the requirements of 2012, but will also enjoy all the benefits of a thermally efficient and environmentally friendly home. These kind of features will also add to the value of your finished new build house. 

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