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The Growing Popularity of Timber Frame

Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) have been a stalwart of the timber industry for decades, with timber frame a key part of that – 83% of new homes built in Scotland already use timber frame, and the rest of the UK is starting to follow.

Timber is a great material from a sustainability point of view, storing carbon and replacing other high-impact materials. 

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Research published in the 2019 Report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Timber Industries Research also shows that if 270,000 new timber frame houses were built, there would be an increase of 3Mt of stored carbon in UK homes. This equates to greenhouse gas emissions which 636,943 vehicles will emit in a year.  

Factory built timber frame structures provide up to 30% quicker on-site build times than traditional masonry according to the STA, as well as over longer term having the potential to provide 30% in cost savings.

There are many reasons why timber frame construction makes sense; quieter assembly, fewer deliveries, fewer defects as well as significant cost savings – longer term use of timber frame can bring cost savings of 30% compared to other traditional methods.  The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors describe timber frame construction as “mainstream and intelligent way to build, it presents cost effectiveness, speed and energy-efficiency advantages from inception to construction”.

RML’s timber frame manufacturing facilities complement its long-established truss and joist production. Sandeep Channa, Senior Manager for RML Timber Frame commented in a recent interview:

“The main benefit of timber frame within the construction industry is its precision engineered nature, making the structure incredibly strong as well as durable. Panels are pre-fabricated in a fast and effective manner through manufacturing in a controlled factory environment. Timber frame also brings environmental benefits, as it has the lowest CO2 cost of any commercially available building material and its own thermal efficiency due to timber being a natural insulator which aids in reduced energy levels.”

The UK is not alone in the increasing popularity of timber frame use in housebuilding. You would expect this in major timber producers like Sweden and Estonia, but across Europe and worldwide, its popularity is growing as the benefits in carbon reduction become more apparent.