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TIMBER FRAME EXPLAINED

Timber Frame is the preferred method of construction worldwide and over 70% of people in the developed world live in timber frame housing. In the USA, Scandinavia and Canada it accounts for 90% of low-rise buildings.

TIMBER FRAME BUILDING
There is a great deal of confusion concerning this modern method of construction and in many instances, Wooden Houses, Log Cabins and Garden Buildings are mistaken for Timber Frame - they are not.

WHAT IS TIMBER FRAME?
Timber Frame Construction is exactly what it implies. It is the "bones" of a building. Just like the human skeleton, it is extremely strong and supports everything inside it and has an outside skin, usually brick, stone or render. The timber frame is an engineered solution and replaces the almost redundant internal load-bearing block wall.

HOW DO YOU KNOW IF A BUILDING IS TIMBER FRAME?
The short answer is "You don't". Timber Frame buildings look exactly like any other except that they have many, many more advantages over old traditional methods of construction. (Benefits are explained later). Timber Frame can be anything from a small home extension to a 7 floor high block of apartments or a school building to a 300-bedroom hotel. In fact ANY building can be constructed using this technology.

ARE THE HOUSES ALL STANDARD DESIGNS?
No, none of them are, except the Hybrid range, (and we will alter them to suit our clients needs!) each property is bespoke and designed to the client's own specifications. On receipt of planning drawings we then undertake engineering calculations, and each individual project is re-designed taking into account many different factors including site location, wind speeds over a long period, snow-loadings, building heights, elevations and geographic information and so forth. Using these complicated formulae we then produce drawings for manufacture and site erecting, which is all part of the service we provide.

APARTMENTS
HOTELS
MEWS HOUSES
TOWN HOUSES
DETACHED HOUSES
LOG BUILDINGS

TIMBER INFORMATION

All timber used by our company MUST be of a recognised type and origin. It also must pass certain test rules and treatments:

  • The only timber used by us is the type classified as Spruce/Pine/Fir. All supplies are from Northern Europe, Russia or Canada and all MUST come from replenish able sources, under a chain of custody suppliers agreement. A "PEFC - TRADA" certificate must be in force at the time of supply.

  • As subscribers to the system we contribute to growing 252 million m3 of wood SURPLUS to requirements (after harvest) EACH YEAR. This means that we add a forest in Northern Europe the area of Cyprus EVERY YEAR, besides replacing all the harvested timber.

  • The wood is sent to mills to be converted to Canadian Lumber Standards (CLS) this is planed all round and thicknessed to ensure close tolerances can be achieved.

  • All the planks are then stress tested to ensure that they will meet the stringent conditions laid down by various European codes.

  • The planks are then Vac-Vac Treated as follows:

    • Planks are placed into a treatment vessel

    • A vacuum pulls the air out of the wood and the vessel

    • Osmose preserve is then flooded into the vessel

    • The vessel is then pressurized, forcing the preservation fluid into the timber.

    • The fluids are then removed, and a final vacuum is applied sucking out all excess fluid

    • The timber has now been treated against Wood boring Insect and Fungal Decay

  • The fluid used is a water-borne borate base which is harmless to any wildlife and is environmentally accepted globally.

  • The last operation is KILN DRYING. All timbers must be kiln dried to max 19% moisture content, to avoid any problems post-construction.

ALL TIMBER FRAME MUST MEET:

  • U.K. Building Regulations

  • Trada

  • British Standard Institute (BS5268)

  • Robust Detail

  • SAP Energy Rating

  • NHBC

  • Etag 007

  • Euro Code 5

  • European Technical Approvals (ETAs)

  • CPD: EN 13986

PRESERVING TIMBER IN TIMBER FRAME BUILDINGS

There are basically two types of preservatives used in our industry known simply as "In Ground" or "Above Ground". In both cases the timber should go through a Vac-Vac treatment and this is what happens:

  • Milled planks of timber are placed in a treatment vessel.

  • A vacuum pulls the air out of the wood and the vessel

  • Osmose preservative is then flooded into the vessel

  • The vessel is then pressurized, forcing the preservation fluid into the timber

  • The preservative fluid is removed and a final vacuum is applied sucking out all excess fluid.

  • The timber has now been Vacuum impregnated

In Ground Applications: A copper base is used in preserving fluids for in ground external applications. Alkaline copper quaternary systems have been in use over 10 years now all over the world, very successfully on Fencing, Timber Decking, Landscaping and Playground Equipment.
Above Ground:) A borate base is used mainly, and protects against: wood-boring Insects and Fungal Decay. Is used on both internal and weather protected external timbers above ground.
Note: CAA (chromate copper arsenate) is now illegal in most countries because of its carcinogenic implications. All formulations which have replaced CAA MUST meet full European Standards BS8417

Attack Resistant to:

  • Ground Termites

  • Formosan Termites

  • Carpenter Ants

  • Woodboring Insects ( Inc. Anobium and Xestobium)

After treatment ALL timbers must be kiln-dried (KDAT) to a maximum moisture content of 19% Timber and 18% Board/Sheet materials.

Typical Timbers to be used:

  • Southern Yellow Pine

  • Douglas Fir

  • Hem-Fir

  • Spruce-Pine-Fir (S-P-F) is mainly our classification in Timber Frames)

Standard: Known as AWPA - C9 Plywood - C31 Above ground ooc (out of contact with) P5 Environmental compliance

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