Diary Entry No.12 - The Timber Frame Arrives!

So the big day is here, the timber frame kit has finally arrived! We will have lots of photos documenting the frame as it is erected over the next few weeks, so keep your eyes peeled. For now the photograph below shows the frame unloaded on to the site ready for construction to commence tomorrow.  

Sip Panels arrive on site

Sip Panels arrive on site

So why did we choose timber frame?

After much research and testing we choose timber frame construction for the Crawfordsburn passive house. We had many reasons for choosing it over other construction methods, including:

  • Not only meets but exceeds all building regulations requirements.
  • Airtight construction is easily facilitated.
  • Energy savings both at the outset and also in the future.
  • Quality timber from sustainable sources.
  • Reduced costs in comparison to conventional methods.
  • Efficient on site assembly – up to 30% faster than conventional method. A typical timber frame house can be weather-tight in less than 5 days. The first and second fixing can be made inside while the exterior skin of brick or cladding is applied. Other trades can do their jobs at an earlier and predictable time with timber frame construction.
  • The frames are made to measure before onsite assembly resulting in minimal wastage.
  • Excellent resistance to rot and insect damage.
  • Improved health and safety on-site.
  • Natural material and therefore offers improved insulation.

Our configuration of timber frame and airtightness barriers has been extensively modelled and tested in the Passivhaus Planning Package (PHPP). This has offered us the confidence that the dwelling will perform on an excellent level in terms of sustainability and overall efficiency.

We should probably at this point explain that a passive house does not necessarily have to be designed using timber frame. It can also work as effectively using blockwork, just like traditional building methods. Although the potential downside of cavity wall construction is that it relies heavily on wet plaster to act as the airtightness barrier on walls and junctions with doors, windows, floors and the roof. Whereas timber frame construction can be lined with vapour barriers and airtightness tapes etc. A cavity wall passive house will demand greater attention to airtightness detailing in order to be successful.