If there’s one phrase that the construction industry hears a lot of in recent times, it’s ‘sustainable construction’ – the idea that as much as possible of a project should be made from environmentally friendly, sustainable materials and done in a way to reduce project time and therefore associated costs. From the single self-build home to a huge housing estate, there is an emphasis on considering the planet in all that we do. And that is just one reason that oak frame construction is a clear way forward for home building and extending.
What is oak frame?
Timber and oak frame construction involves using treated wood to create the framework of a house or extension to a property. It uses a system of studs and rails paired with structural sheathing board to create a frame that transits loads to the foundations. There are different styles and variations in use around the country with platform frame being one of the most popular.
In addition to building the entire house, oak frame construction can be used on extensions to the property. Oak framed garages are one example while orangeries and even full single storey extensions are all possible.
Benefits of oak frame
Aside from its environmental credentials, there are other practical benefits for people looking to use this system. For example, construction time can be reduced – by as much as a third in some cases – due to the creation of parts of the frame offsite. This also means that the weather has less impact on the project.
Oak frame is lighter than other structural types and this makes it suitable for more ground types, especially if there are poor ground conditions. And because it is a dry form of construction, there is no drying out period where cracks can appear.
Timber has an impressive whole life – it is effectively carbon neutral even when taking transport into account. It has the lowest CO2 of any building material and 77% of the energy used in the production of wood come from wood residues and recovered wood. Converting timber into a building material uses less energy and therefore creates less pollution than other alternatives such as concrete, brick or steel. And when the end of life does come, the material can easily be recycled so there is little waste.
Living in oak framed homes
Additional benefits come when you are living in an oak framed home. The system makes for better internal insulation, meaning heat is contained within each space within the home. This can help cut down on energy bills. They also offer better sound insulation, keeping the outside noises from intruding into the home and sounds travelling from one room to another less.
One thing people do worry about if they are buying an existing wood frame building is the prospect of woodworm. While this is highly unlikely in most cases due to the treatment used on timber before it is put into the construction, if you are buying an older property with timber frame that pre-dates many current treatments, you can always have an expert such as Tapco HomeDry check out the property to ensure there are no problems.
A winning option
Because oak frame construction is made to order, there is a great deal of flexibility about design. This means you can have the home or extension that you want in a shorter time frame than with other methods. And you have a property at the end of it with top sustainable credentials that will last the longest time and make for a pleasant place for your family to live in for generations to come.