Why timber homes are the past, present and future of homebuilding
Posted 13 November 2015
You would be forgiven for thinking that building timber-framed homes is at odds with the concept of a 21st century home. After all, we’ve been using wood as a building material for millennia and with the advent of modern engineering, surely there are materials and techniques out there that are more . . . well, modern.
In actual fact there are a number of reasons why timber-framed homes deserve to be as celebrated today as they were in generations gone by. We only need to look at Scandinavia, where timber structures have always been relied upon, to unearth the secret behind wood-based builds.
Here are some of the most important reasons why timber should have a place in your next home.
The cold, harsh climate of countries such as Sweden make it imperative to build homes that are both robust and well insulated, in order to retain as much precious heat as possible.
Timber frame construction is by far the most popular form of building construction in Scandinavian countries because it offers incredible thermal performance compared to the likes of concrete or steel. Wood transmits heat 1650 times slower than steel and even 23 times slower than glass, making it incredibly energy efficient.
In fact, high thermal insulation can be achieved even with relatively slender walls. This allows more space for packing insulation into walls, and enables homeowners to maximise usable floor space on their plot.
Sustainable and environmentally friendly
Timber-framed homes such as those built by Trivselhus by Esh are sourced from sustainable forests. Our own wood comes from Swedish forestry collective, Sodra, where emphasis is placed on minimising waste and CO2 emissions. A sustainable forest means trees are constantly being planted to replace those that are felled.
As less material is used in the build, the energy required to manufacture and transport timber frames is significantly lower than that of other building materials, helping to further reduce the carbon footprint.
Once the build is completed, timber framed homes really come into their own. Their impressive heat retention significantly reduces the energy required to heat living spaces. Indeed, thanks to the use of solar photovoltaics in Trivselhus by Esh homes, it is possible for a conscientious family of four to achieve zero regulated energy bills.
The fabric first approach used by Trivselhus by Esh also means that a faster, more precise and more energy efficient build is possible. Frames are constructed in factory conditions to exact specifications with minimal waste. Energy saving features such as mineral wool, airtight membranes and triple glazed windows can be added during the build, meaning that minimal construction work takes place on-site and is therefore less dependant on weather conditions.
Timber framed homes are also lightweight and are more suitable for housing developments on brownfield sites where land conditions would otherwise present problems. Needless to say the transportation of lighter materials is also more cost effective and results in lower carbon emissions.
Being able to achieve greater energy efficiency whilst using less material is a huge benefit to construction firms and homeowners alike. It goes without saying that using less material helps to lower the cost of a build – both in terms of the price of materials and the cost implications of running machinery and man power.
Modern timber framed homes are precision-engineered, thermally efficient, durable and incredibly strong – and none more so than Trivselhus by Esh homes. If you like the idea of living in one of our homes, why not get in touch today?
Fabric First Approach