Whether you’re planning to build a cottage or a large house, timber houses offer a number of advantages. Not only can they be built to a high standard and in a variety of styles, but they also contribute to a low carbon footprint and are draught free.
High u-values without increasing wall width
Using the Scotframe Val-U-Therm building system, you can build a PassivHaus house in just 65 days. It is an independently accredited building system, with its own BBA Certificate. It is a low maintenance, durable system. It can be built to PassivHaus standards, as well as to existing Building Regulations.
The Val-U-Therm PLUS closed panel building system has a BRE Green Guide A+ rating. This means that the insulation inside the wall panels has a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of less than 5. It is a highly recyclable system that can be used for both roof and wall panels. It is also a Fit and Forget solution, which means that the building will not need to be replaced during the lifetime of the home.
The Val-U-Therm system is also designed to achieve very high levels of air tightness. The insulation inside the wall panels has a thermal conductivity of 0.035 W/mK. The thermal conductivity of the insulation is more than enough to meet the PassivHaus criteria.
Scotframe’s Val-U-Therm building system has been used in over 8,000 homes. It has an independently accredited BBA Certificate 17/5421. The Val-U-Therm PLUS is an excellent building system that can be used to construct typical family homes.
The Scottish timber frame specialists at Scotframe have had extensive experience in PassivHaus builds. They can advise on PassivHaus standards and offer advice on different insulation types.
Using a timber frame can also help to achieve good u-values, without having to increase the size of the wall. The latest twin stud systems can achieve 0.1 U-values.
Approximately 83% of new builds in Scotland are built with timber frame systems. These houses are draught-free, energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Timber frame construction gives homeowners a high level of design flexibility and internal construction accuracy. They are also well ventilated in the summer, and cool in the winter.
Scotframe has been at the forefront of energy efficient building in the UK for many years. Its timber frame system has been independently accredited by the British Board of Agrement. It has been involved in the building of over 8,500 homes. Its timber frame kit packages are available to self-builders throughout the UK.
Scotframe has a range of showrooms in Scotland and the South. These display timber frame kits, and are also home to the National Self Build and Renovation Centre. Their showrooms are equipped with design software and touch screen technology. Customers can view potential house layouts and customise finishes.
A new showroom has recently opened in Cumbernauld. The showrooms also feature a bespoke appointment-only service. It is an ideal opportunity for customers to view potential layouts, as well as timber frame products and a timber frame kit package.
The Scottish timber frame specialists have a number of PassivHaus projects under their belt. They also have a base in Aberdeenshire. They have a wealth of knowledge in PassivHaus design and construction, and were involved in the initial discussions.
Using timber in the construction of a new house provides many benefits. It is a natural insulator, keeping the building warm in winter and cool in summer. It also increases the efficiency of the insulation materials used.
In Scotland, timber frame systems are the norm for new build homes. They offer a range of benefits, such as a sturdy structure, a dimensionally accurate floor plan, and a draught-free home. In addition, timber frame construction has high insulation values, making it an ideal choice for self-builders.
Using timber in the construction of a new house also provides a cost-effective means of heating the building. This can reduce the amount of energy required to heat the building, which means lower energy bills.
The energy assessment process used to determine the Passivhaus standard involved a number of steps. The first was to evaluate energy use, which was based on incrementally increasing insulation levels. The result was a range of options for a Passivhaus standard.
The second step involved a ‘Fit and Forget’ solution that will last the life of the building. The system is called Valutherm+ and incorporates wall, floor and roof panels that have 25mm continuous inner insulation. It also includes a vapour control membrane that alters the surface emissivity of the panels.
The finished house also demonstrates the benefits of a timber frame system. It is a three storey Tudor-inspired farmhouse, nestled into a beautiful rural setting. The finished house boasts uninterrupted views of the surrounding countryside. The home is also draught-free, requiring a lot less energy to heat the building.
Spectacular views of the countryside
Among the most exciting of Scotframe’s many projects is a pair of timber houses located in a tiny hamlet a short hop from Inverurie. Using the company’s Val-U-Therm Plus factory-built envelope, the home boasts a 315m2 floor plan. The house isn’t the only one on the site – five more are currently under construction – but the most impressive of the group is undoubtedly the main abode. In addition to its impressive sizing, the property boasts a plethora of high-tech features. The most impressive is a mechanical ventilation and heat recovery system that provides fresh air and heat to every nook and cranny of the property.
The Val-U-Therm Plus’s aforementioned posi-joist cassette floor also provides an excellent thermal performance, and the house trumps the average prefabricated construction in the thermal efficiency department. The home also boasts a posh interior with a modern kitchen, a family bathroom, and two large bedrooms with an en suite. The house is also complemented by an integral garage and a handy front porch for the summer months.
The company has been in business since 1985, and has a plethora of other noteworthy projects to its name, ranging from bespoke timber houses to cutting edge design and building technology. With a wealth of experience under its belt, it’s no wonder that the company is often called upon to provide innovative solutions for complex design challenges.
Low carbon dioxide emissions
Using timber houses for house building can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 19 tonnes per year. This is equivalent to removing 648131 cars from UK roads. Timber frames are already in use by the UK’s largest housebuilders. Housebuilders can work with specialist timber frame manufacturers to resolve construction issues.
Cairnrowan Homes specialises in bespoke, energy efficient houses. The company is based in Aberdeenshire and focuses on innovative designs and a focus on energy efficiency. The Black House in Udny, Aberdeenshire, is a high spec, sustainable home with an energy efficiency rating of 100%.
The home’s heating load was calculated to suit the Scottish climate. It is insulated with timber products, including a sedum roof, photo-voltaic panels, and air-source heat pumps.
The design and construction of the timber frame homes demonstrates design and construction skills in Scotland. This project is a demonstration of how low-carbon technologies can be implemented in future housing developments throughout the UK.
The project will provide a visual demonstration of low carbon technologies, as well as wide-ranging long-term benefits for the Scottish economy. It will also provide a template for future housebuilders in Scotland. The timber frame homes have been designed to meet Passivhaus standards. This will contribute to the UK government’s carbon neutral target.
The Low Carbon Scotland project will showcase the potential for the Passivhaus standard to be adopted in future housing developments across the UK. The project also creates long-term benefits for the environment and occupiers.
Impact on landscape and topography
Having a well designed site can save you a bundle on running costs. The design is not limited to the house; there are several other considerations to make such as landscaping and hard surfacing.
Choosing the right material for the job is also important. A well-built house has a long lifespan and pays off in the form of lower energy bills.
This thesis takes a more holistic approach to new housing by considering the impact of new house designs on the surrounding landscape. Using a case study based on a rural district in Scotland, the main findings are: a. Aside from the obvious impact of new housing on existing properties, it is also important to consider the long-term effects of development on the local landscape. A ridge is a good example of the abovementioned effect. Having a ridge would enhance the appearance of a new house.
Having a house built using structural insulated panels is a good way to cut energy costs. Besides, having a house that has been built using low carbon building materials is good for the environment. It also means fewer trees will need to be felled to meet the planning rules.
The biggest surprise is that the Scottish Government has not been shy about highlighting the benefits of good rural house design. The good news is that they have provided designers with a set of guidelines to follow.