Sep 14, 2015

Unlimited: An architect’s guide to timber systems

It's a huge responsibility taking an architect’s vision and turning it into a successful project. And as an architect, you'll know the pressure to ensure your client’s aspiration becomes a reality.

Doing that successfully is not without pitfalls. With increasing cost and time pressures prevailing upon clients, not to mention skill shortages across the country, there’s mounting pressure to design ‘all-singing, all-dancing’ buildings which are not only aesthetically pleasing and high performance, but also cost effective and can be built to demanding deadlines.

That's where we come in. Stewart Milne Timber Systems' market-leading build systems can help ensure the success of every single project. Our timber systems will dramatically increase the flexibility of your build while also allowing project savings and structures which are modern, sustainable and high performance.

Regardless of the sector you're working in, be it private or social housing, medical, hospitality or education, our products are right for you. Here's why:

1. Flexibility

Timber systems’ design is easily adaptable and can be precision-engineered to any blueprint and help bring your designs to life, however complex. Working in partnership from the earliest stages of the project is absolutely key to success, since it allows us to tailor a solution to deliver your vision.

For example, we worked closely with the design team on The Serpentine, an ambitious development consisting of 94 houses and flats for Thames Valley Housing Association, to achieve the unique building shape required by the client. Page 6 of our downloadable brochure describes how we can bring most value to a project if we’re involved from the early stages.

2. Performance

The credentials of timber frame as a sustainable building material are unsurpassed, representing an average 30% reduction in carbon emissions for the lifetime of the building.  If you use a fabric first approach, these improvements can be even greater, with many builds we undertake designed to achieve BREEAM status.

Our timber systems are inherently low-carbon, minimising air leakage and maximising thermal performance. In 2011, we were a partner in the build of Plymouth University's BREEAM Excellent £8.5million on-campus accommodation project at Truro, comprising seven blocks of four-storey units.

Working with timber systems will enhance the performance of your building, and make it easier to achieve impressive thermal comfort, air tightness and acoustics. Learn more on page 5 of our brochure.  

3. Cost effectiveness

When you design with timber frame in mind, you are choosing an extremely cost-effective construction material. Components are manufactured offsite and delivered ready to erect. This significantly reduces the time it takes to complete a building, meaning site prelims are lower because less time is required on site to complete a building.

There's also an associated reduction in labour, less material waste, less on-site scaffolding and plant hire costs, and potentially even reduced joinery costs because windows and door frames can be factory fitted. For example, on a project of 10 blocks of terraced homes, you could save £25,000 or five weeks in construction time over masonry construction.

Another advantage of using our timber systems is that they can be erected and made weather-proof and fully insulated within 72 hours, overcoming any efforts the British weather might make to delay your project.

Don't just take our word for it - come and see for yourself.

Our precision-engineered build systems make simple work of everything from a straightforward single-storey extension to a complicated multi-wing office block.

Homes For Scotland Home Builders Federation National House-Building Council Royal Institute of British Architects Structural Timber Association Constructionline British Board of Agrement Wood Campus Build Off Site Building Research Establishment WOOD FOR GOOD

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