Tailor Made Designs - Timber Frame HousesTailor Made Designs - Timber Frame Houses


Timber Frame is a popular method of construction throughout the world

In many parts of the world, timber frame houses are the norm – an engineered and proven system.

Over 70% of people in the developed world live in timber frame houses. In the USA and Canada it accounts for 90% of low-rise buildings.

Timber frame is the most popular form of constructing houses in Scotland, thanks largely to its suitability for a cold climate where homes need to be able to be built fast, be very energy efficient and keep people comfortable throughout the year.

Timber frame housing is also used effectively in hot and humid climates, including parts of Australia, Malaysia and elsewhere – proof that it can cope with climate change in the UK.

In the UK 90% of self-builders use timber frame construction because no other system is as simple, versatile or cost effective.

The Environmental Benefits of Building in Timber Frame

Timber is an organic, non-toxic and naturally renewable building material.

Although worldwide, deforestation remains a significant issue, it is not caused by the European construction industry which mainly uses softwood.

Over 90% of all wood consumed in Europe is sourced from European forests.

UK timber frame uses 99% European softwood.

The more wood we use, the more our forests grow, because in Europe we are committed to planting more trees than we harvest.

Every year our forests grow by over 3,500 square miles – equivalent to an area the size of Cyprus.

Forests act as huge carbon sinks. The total carbon sequestered in Europe’s forests is over 9.5 million tonnes.

Wood is effectively a carbon-neutral material (even allowing for transport).

Timber frame has the lowest CO2 cost of any commercially available building material.

For every cubic metre of wood used instead of other building materials, 0.8 tonne of CO2 is saved from the atmosphere.

77% of the energy used in the production of wood products comes from wood residues and recovered wood.

Strength for strength, concrete uses 5 times (and steel uses 6 times) more energy to produce than timber.

Waste and ‘end of life’ wood can be easily recycled.

Typical 100 square metre two-storey detached timber frame houses contain 5-6 cubic metres more wood than the equivalent masonry houses. Consequently, every timber frame house saves about 4 tonnes of CO2 (about the amount produced by driving 14,000 miles).

In addition to these CO2 savings, the operational cost of a house can be reduced due to timber’s thermal efficiency.

If all UK houses built since 1945 had been timber frame, then over 300 million tonnes of CO2 would have been saved.

Most wood products, from timber frame systems to joinery, can help designers and developers improve their EcoHomes ratings.

The Construction Benefits of Timber Frame

Timber frame houses can be erected in around 2 weeks after the arrival of the erection team on-site. Since the framework and all other timber components are manufactured off-site, this can be done in parallel with foundation laying. Once the timber frame structure is in place, other tradesmen have access to the house to work, shielded from the weather. The level of parallel working that this affords speeds up the construction lifecycle significantly.

The entire timber frame structure is designed using advanced computer aided design. This means every detail of the building can be checked thoroughly. Any construction issues or errors are found in the design office prior to construction starting and not on site.

Timber frame construction helps to promote greater partnering, better control and project savings through improved supply chain integration.