In contrast to traditional masonry Timber Construction for a house is light in weight which allows the building envelope to heat up very quickly. In a house, where heating is intermittent, this fast response can result in increased comfort and energy saving.
Timber is a natural material and requires minimal energy to process it into construction materials. During its growth, timber absorbs carbon dioxide and stores the carbon in its cellular fibres. When it is burnt or rots away, the wood releases a quantity of carbon equal to the carbon it has already absorbed through its lifetime, thus making it carbon neutral.
Prefabricated timber houses are manufactured as panels under factory conditions then transported to the site where the building is assembled. The panels are constructed with timber studding and composite wood board materials, known as sheathing, which are nailed onto the exterior of the timber frame to form the rigid panel.
Benefits to get from timber wood houses:
- As well as its low thermal capacity, timber frame construction has several other advantages over masonry cavity walls. Because the insulation is incorporated within the thickness of the frame, a greater thickness of insulation can be provided. An external wall cavity is not necessary in timber-framed house construction, as long as an appropriate vapour control layer is incorporated on the warm side (in winter) of the insulation.
- Timber-framed house construction can achieve U-values significantly better than the minimums required by current building standards. A typical timber studding wall consists of a waterproof breather membrane, sheathing board, structural timber framing, vapour barrier and inner lining of plasterboard. Insulation is fitted between the uprights of the timber frame, usually filling the full thickness of the external wall. Where higher than normal standards of insulation is required, a thicker external wall can be constructed.
- External walls can be faced with load-bearing brickwork or cement rendered blockwork to give the appearance of conventional houses. A number of lightweight cladding materials are also available including tiling, slating, timber boarding, cedar shingles, cement to render on lathing, as well as proprietary rain-screen cladding solutions.
- The control of air infiltration is an essential factor in prefabricated houses, as this improves the thermal performance and lowers running costs. The Timber Construction can be done much more rapidly than masonry cavity wall construction, as the timbers are cut under quality controlled factory conditions. The absence of wet trades internally results in reduced drying out time. Shorter time on site means a shorter total build programme.