Tag: timber frame

Architecture & Building

Timber Construction in the UK: Embracing Sustainable Solutions

Timber construction has emerged as a popular choice for builders and architects in the United Kingdom. As it offers numerous benefits ranging from sustainability and energy efficiency to aesthetic appeal and versatility. This blog post explores the growing trend of timber construction in the UK, highlighting its advantages, prominent projects, regulations, and the future outlook for this eco-friendly building method.

The Sustainability Advantage:

Timber construction stands out as an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional building materials like concrete and steel. Timber is a renewable resource that can be responsibly harvested and replenished, reducing the carbon footprint associated with building. It also stores carbon dioxide, helping to mitigate climate change. The UK government and various industry bodies are actively promoting sustainable building practices, making timber an attractive choice for meeting green building standards.

Energy Efficiency and Thermal Performance:

Timber possesses excellent thermal insulation properties, leading to reduced energy consumption and lower heating bills. Timber structures can be designed to minimize thermal bridging and achieve high levels of airtightness, ensuring optimal energy efficiency. This advantage aligns with the UK’s focus on reducing carbon emissions and improving energy performance in buildings.

Aesthetics and Design Versatility:

Timber construction offers architects and designers endless possibilities in terms of aesthetics and design flexibility. From traditional timber-framed buildings to contemporary timber-clad structures, timber can complement any architectural style. It can be used for both load-bearing structures and decorative elements, creating visually appealing and unique spaces.

Regulations and Standards:

The use of timber in construction is governed by several regulations and standards in the UK. Building regulations, provide guidelines for the structural performance, fire safety, and durability of timber structures. The British Standards Institution (BSI) has also developed standards specific to timber construction. Including BS EN 1995 (Eurocode 5), which covers the design of timber structures.

In addition to building regulations, various certification schemes and voluntary standards promote sustainable timber sourcing and responsible forest management. These include the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). These certifications ensure that timber used in projects comes from well-managed forests and supports sustainable practices.

The Future of Timber Construction in the UK:

The future of timber construction in the UK looks promising, with growing awareness of the environmental benefits and advancements in wood technology. Architects, engineers, and builders are increasingly incorporating timber into their designs to meet sustainability targets and reduce the carbon footprint of buildings.

The UK government’s commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and its focus on sustainable building practices further supports the growth of this type of build. Initiatives such as the Timber Innovation Fund and the Future Homes Standard are encouraging the use of timber as a primary building material.


Timber construction has gained significant traction in the UK due to its sustainability, energy efficiency, aesthetic appeal, and design versatility. As a renewable resource, timber aligns with the country’s environmental goals and regulations. Prominent timber construction projects in the UK showcase the beauty and strength of this building method. With the support of regulations, standards, and technological advancements, timber construction is poised to play an even more significant role in the future of sustainable building in the UK.

Credit – https://www.glasgowarchitecture.co.uk/benefits-of-timber-frame-houses

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Timber Frame Extension: Learn About Planning, Finishes, and Costs

There are several great benefits of a timber frame extension other than the added value and extra space for your home. It is possible to achieve a weathertight stage in days with this extension. It also means that you need to spend less time on-site and it does not depend on the weather conditions.

Once you have built a timber frame extension, it can sustain for longer. Furthermore, it provides good airtightness and thermal performance. So, if you are planning this extension, then it is essential to consider a proper frame manufacturer and best exterior finish. However, it all depends on your budget and whether the projects need planning permission.

Is A Timber Frame Extension Cheaper Than Other Extensions?

If we talk about the cost of timber frame extension then yes, it is an affordable choice compared to other traditionally-built extensions. One of the reasons is that it requires few labour hours to complete the work.

Furthermore, it is easy to estimate the time required to complete the project because it does not depend on the weather conditions. You can even carry out the work in winter months. If you are planning to apply for a mortgage, then you should keep in mind that your external finish is of primary importance. Many lenders are limited to external finish they accept, which can limit your choice of lenders.

Another important thing that you should keep in mind is that your project should add value to your house.

Do You Need Planning Permission?

Well, you do not need planning permission if you meet specific criteria, then you can build a timber frame extension under permitted development rights. But if your criteria are outside the scope, then you need planning permission from the local council.

We always recommend our readers to double-check the authorities before they start working. But if your property is located in a conservation area, then it is necessary to apply for planning permission.

Does it Can Be Built on Site

Most of this extension built using timber frame and all of the panels for the structure are made up on site. They do not get manufactured in a factory. You will need the help of a structural engineer to design it and prepare the specifications such as grade and size of timbers. After that, a joiner will make up the frame panels on site.

You will also find out that the manufacturers do not provide any quote for the extension projects. The reason is that they need lots of technical input for a new build.

Exterior Finishes for the Timber Frame Extension

You can use a variety of materials for the exterior finish, including:

  • Rendered brickwork
  • Facing Brick
  • Reconstituted Stone
  • Brick Slips
  • Natural Stone
  • Fibre Cement Cladding
  • Render board system
  • Timber
  • Metal Cladding

Tips for Building Timber Frame Extension

  • First of all, you need an architectural services provider with years of experience with timber frame extensions
  • We will recommend you to take quotes from at least three architectural services providers to make sure you are getting the best rates
  • We always advise our clients to have a 10% buffer budget for any unforeseen expense.

Types of Timber Frame Construction

Open-Panel Systems

In this construction as sheet material is fixed to the softwood frame. However, the inner face is left open for the plumbing, insulation and electrics. Once every work is done, the structure is closed up.

Closed-Panel Systems

It is same as the open-panel systems, but the main difference is that the insulation is already fitted and ducts are in place for the services.

Keep in mind that the panels are provided without windows and doors. However, some manufacturers give the panels fully glazed external joinery.

Cost of Timber Frame Extension

As we mentioned earlier that this extension costs less than other traditional extensions. The main reason is that you need fewer labour hours. A person should expect to pay £1,800 per square meter.

There are some expensive materials such as oak, which will you around £2,400 per square meter. In short, it is the most cost-effective extension in Scotland but can cost more in Wales, Northern Ireland, and England. You should keep in mind that the original cost of any extension depends on what you want. For example, if you need an additional storey roof, then the price will be higher. However, it is still cost-effective if the structure is made of timber.

Factors that can affect the cost include:

  • Frame type
  • Amount of Insulation and its type
  • The thickness of the frame
  • Prefabrication
  • Specifications of glazing
  • Location and choice of external cladding.

Benefits of Timber Frame Extension

  • One of the best benefits is that timber is lightweight compare to other choices. Due to the lightweight, it is easy to deliver the large modules made off-site.
  • If your house is small and has limited space, then you can manufacture the modules off-site.
  • Furthermore, it allows you to create large rooms, galleried ceilings with character, and you can use different finishes outside the house.
Conversions, Extensions

Are Timber frame orangeries worth building? Here’s what to know

Timber frame orangeries are an excellent choice if you require the light and spacious feeling of a conservatory, but want the warmth and solid structure of a brick extension.  

What is a timber frame orangery?  

A timber orangery consists of timber window frames, doors at the sides, and sometimes separate timber glazed roof lanterns built-in.  Some experts like to use the 75% rule. If the extension has less than 75% glass it is classed as an orangery rather than a conservatory. Orangeries tend to have a brick base or more brickwork than a conservatory.  

Do you need planning permission for an orangery?  

An orangery can be seen as halfway between a conservatory and an extension. It’s an extended space that has the insulation of brick walls but the benefit of lots of light and good views.  

For planning purposes, an orangery is considered a single-story extension on and has the same building regulations as an extension. However, you won’t need planning permission for an orangery if you build within permitted development. 

Advantages and disadvantages of a timber orangery –  

Here are some of the main advantages of a timber orangery –  

  • Can be built to exceed 60-year design life  
  • Fast heating due to low thermal mass 
  • Energy efficient when constructed 
  • Quick build time 
  • Reduces site labour 
  • Recyclable  
  • Renewable 
  • Reduced construction waste 

And here are some disadvantages –  

  • Acoustics  
  • May decay when exposed to excessive moisture 
  • Subjected to risk of fire  
  • Lack of experienced builders and erection crews 
  • Transportation and carriage access  
  • Deficiency of site quality control 
  • Requires regular maintenance  

How much will a timer frame orangery cost?  

Building an orangery is often cheaper than building a single-storey extension based of a structure that is similar in size. Orangeries are one of the most affordable ways to create more space.  

As of 2021, the average price of an orangery stands around £19,000. Although, because of the material shortage wood has become a bit more expensive. This means the average price can be from £20,000 onwards.  

However, orangeries are a good investment because they can increase the value of your home. They are known to add around 11% more value to your property.  

Orangeries aren’t just for the summer –  

In addition, how you use your orangery is completely down to you. However, they have so much more potential than just being a sunroom, it is an improvement to the heart of your home. They are perfect spaces for entertaining and hosting friends and family all year round. 

Photographs: Richard Downer Photography