Deciding on a build method for your Passivhaus or other energy-efficient property is one of your most important considerations, whether you’re a self-builder embarking on your home for life, or an architect or contractor.
The build method we offer is to construct airtight and insulated frames from a series of sealed timber panels, made in our workshop in Cumbria. We erect the frame on your site to give you a weatherproof shell ready for exterior cladding, complete with a felted roof structure ready for tile battening or other finishes.
An airtight timber frame is just one of the ways to construct an energy-efficient building, but it’s a common approach because it has a lot of advantages – not least the speed of on-site construction.
It’s not the best option for every build, though, and we can help you establish whether it’s right for you.
Below, we’ve outlined some of the factors we take into consideration when advising you. These are just a guide however, so please do contact us to discuss your project properly.
New build vs retrofit
Our panels are mainly used on new-build projects or where you’re adding an extension onto an existing building.
If you’re retrofitting an older house or converting a barn, it may still be possible to use the timber-panel method. This mainly depends on whether it’s feasible for us to build a timber-frame shell inside the structure. As our panels are crane-lifted into the building, our method is only possible if you’re removing the roof from your building.
In some cases, you might not want to create a timber-panel shell inside your building – for example, because you’ll lose floor space or where you want to retain more of the building’s original character.
Your build schedule and deadlines will be an important factor in considering whether we can meet your needs.
This will depend on our current project commitments at any given time.
Style of building
You can use timber panels for a wide range of buildings. We’ve built properties of very different styles, from houses to a residential centre.
Our timber frames give you a blank canvas, both inside and out, so you’ll have the freedom to create the style of building you want. On the outside, for example, you can clad the timber frame with block, stone or timber. Our past projects have ranged from sandstone cottages to modern architect-designed homes. On the inside, you’ll fit plasterboards and plaster in the normal way to achieve your chosen interior design.
Our frames have even been used in curved designs, so it really is a versatile way to build.
We will give you a quotation for the production and crane erection of our timber-panel frame, based on your architectural plans.
The specification of materials for your panels and the structural requirements of your building can affect your final costings.
In a typical build, our panels are delivered to your site by lorry and we use a crane to erect them, so it’s ideal if your site has good road access for large vehicles.
If it’s not possible to bring large vehicles onto your site, we may be able to construct your frame using smaller panels.
Size of building
Timber frame is used in buildings up to five stories, so it’s an option whether you’re building a health centre, hotel or a large house.
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