Introduction to timber frame construction

Date Published

11 August 2022

Document Type

Category

Author

TRADA
Summary

Timber frame construction of some description is a method which has been around for millennia; however over time it has become a tremendously refined practice to the point that – as buildings of up to six storeys become widely used in England and Wales – timber frame constructions of today are unrecognisable next to their ancestors.

Modern methods of timber frame construction were introduced into the UK in the 1960s and are a fully accepted method of building. While not suitable for every construction situation, timber frame construction has its own range of strengths compared to alternative materials the most appealing being the quick assembly time due to the ability to prefabricate elements.

This Wood Information Sheet will give readers a solid understanding of timber frame construction and contains information on the benefits of its use, as well as the ways in which it can work with other construction materials such as external cladding on brick walls.

This WIS serves as a starting point for anyone interested in expanding their knowledge of timber framed construction and contains a list of other useful references and reading examples.

Key Information

The method of timber frame construction generally used in the UK is known as a platform frame.

Timber framed constructino reduces site work and allows fast completion, due to prefabrication. As there need not be any wet traces, this avoids the drying out time necessary with masonry construction and reduces the remedial ‘snagging’ required.

When installed, upper floor decks form further working platforms for wall panels to be erected.

The proposed revisions to building regulations in 2020 will impose a further step change in thermal performance, which will prompt another rethink of all building systems.

Case studies

The new building is the headquarters of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Authority, which covers an area of over 700 square miles to the north and west of Balloch.

A new workshop/shelter for project work at the Architectural Association’s Hooke Park campus has been built and designed by the students themselves. The workshop is the latest in the collection of innovative timber buildings at Hooke Park.