Choosing a timber frame system requires careful consideration and assessment. From inception to post-project completion, embracing early collaboration and ensuring safety while prioritising sustainable construction practices, and more are critical.
Here, Kevin Paddock, Associate Director shares his top tips for success.
1. Early design integration
Involve the supplier early in the design process to utilise their expertise.
Collaborate with the architects and engineers from the outset to help optimise the design and address potential challenges.
2. Integration of MEP services
Consider integrating mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) services within the timber frame system.
Coordinate with MEP specialists to accommodate the required services effectively, ensuring proper positioning of conduits, ducts, and service openings.
3. Structural design considerations
Prioritise careful consideration of structural design by working closely with structural engineers to ensure the design meets the requirements of structural stability, durability, and safety.
4. Sustainability and environmental impact
Evaluate the sustainability credentials of the timber frame system, including the sourcing of timber and its carbon footprint.
Select suppliers and products with sustainable certifications, such as Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification, to promote responsible construction practices.
5. Quality Assurance and certification
Ensure the timber frame system meets the required quality standards and certifications.
Look for suppliers with relevant certifications, such as the Timber Research and Development Association (TRADA) and the Structural Timber Association (STA). Ensure that the system has warranty approval and is mortgageable.
6. Cost analysis and budgeting
Conduct thorough cost analysis and budgeting when considering timber frame construction.
Evaluate the overall cost-effectiveness of the system, assessing factors such as initial costs, potential time savings, energy efficiency benefits, and long-term maintenance requirements.
7. Site safety and installation
Prioritise site safety during the installation of timber.
Provide proper training, equipment, and safety measures to protect workers during assembly, lifting, and installation activities. Ensure the construction team and subcontractors have necessary training and skills.
8. Site preparation and logistics
Plan and prepare the construction site to accommodate specific requirements, which may include: ensuring appropriate access for deliveries, storage of components, and coordination with other trades involved in the construction process.
Maintain the correct programming of technical approvals/design coordination to ensure the speed to build efficiencies aren’t compromised by other aspects of the build.
9. Post-construction evaluation
Conduct a post-construction evaluation once the construction is completed and gather feedback from occupants to help assess the system’s performance and gain valuable insights for future projects and continuous improvement.
10. Consideration of future alterations
Anticipate future alterations or extensions to the building and plan the timber frame construction accordingly.
Incorporate flexibility into the design to accommodate potential modifications, allowing for adaptability in the future.
Kevin has over 35 years’ experience in the social housing sector, specialising in technical design. Previously, he headed up the in-house architectural department at GreenSquareAccord, leading project delivery across the entire design process.
He was instrumental in setting up Local Homes, a timber frame factory MMC factory and has extensive experience adopting Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) across a range of projects.
Kevin delivered various award-winning projects including affordable housing schemes: Woden Road and Portabello in Wolverhampton, from inception through to successful completion.
Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) is accelerating much-needed, transformational change in the UK housing market, helping to tackle the shortage crisis and deliver more affordable and sustainable homes.
Timber frame systems are becoming increasingly popular and can significantly contribute to reducing a building’s overall carbon footprint. Here, Kevin Paddock, Associate Director for Architecture and Affordable Housing, discuss the role they play in the construction of energy-efficient homes.
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