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Timber frame kit house to Passivhaus standard

More than any other topic, the subject of self build timber frame kit houses attracts the most comments and requests for information on this web site. Particularly the Walter Segalrefers to a simple self build timber frame form of construction pioneered by the architect Walter Segal. see details of the systemThe architect who devised a […]

LILAC cohousing, Leeds

LILAC (Low Impact Living Affordable Community) is a recent cohousing development in Bramley, west Leeds. See their web site.

It is a remarkable development for two reasons: the high quality of ecological design and the unique financial model adopted.

Green standards

The scheme of twenty households, built on the site of a former school includes […]

Timber frame

overview

‘Timber frame’ can have several meanings:

Platform frame where walls are assembled on site into storey[for the purposes of part B (fire) of the Approved Documents to the Building Regulations] this includes – (a) any gallery[for the purposes of part B of the Approved Documents] – A raised area or platform around the […]

UK self build context

AlmereAlmere is an area of new self build near Amsterdam where people have been given a great deal of freedom concerning the design of houses has over 700 plots including 3000 houses and flats

There is a rapidly growing interest in self build in the UK, but what is self build?

Well it tends […]

Structural principles

The Building Regulations

The Building RegulationsThese are the mass of regulations that cover safety, health, welfare, convenience, energy efficiency etc. in the way buildings are constructed. Not to be confused with Planning consent (which is more to do with whether you can put up the building in the first place). See more on the regulations […]

Timber roof structures

Type of structure

Whether living space is required in the roof is the most crucial decision from a structural point of view because it decides whether you can use prefabricated gang nail roof trusses or whether you have to build a traditional roof. The roof trusses are cheaper and much faster (two people can lift […]

Main structure

see also Balconies Chimneys Insulation and wall thickness SIPs E – Sound resistance Steel frame Structural principles Structural Timber Timber frame Timber frame kit house to Passivhaus standard Walter Segal

timber frame houses in the Field of Dreams, Findhorn FoundationThe Findhorn Foundation is a large community near Inverness. There is a strong emphasis on […]

Lammas eco village

summer 2011

The Lammas self build project at Tir y Gafel, Glandwr, Pembrokeshire, is Wales’ first collective initiative based on what is now the (TAN)6 national planning guidance for sustainable rural communities. (One Planet Development).

Planning permissionthe legal basis for being allowed to do some form of development such as building a house. (not […]

Larch and Lime passivhauses

Larch house entrance

Although not self build, the two passivhauses at Ebbw Vale may be very relevant to many self builders. Built in 2010 as show houses mainly for the attention of housing associations, they are attractive and innovative while being relatively modest. The 3 bed Larch House is clad with a locally sourced […]

Van Midden House

The Van Midden house is at the Lembas Organics farm at the Bridge of Muchalls, Stonehaven. It is a very low energy house due to high levels of insulation and the use of timber I beamsprefabricated timber beams with a web of OSBOriented Strand Board and softwood flanges. They are very light, efficient and […]

The Tree House

The Tree House in Clapham, London is a recently completed and very elegant example of a self build detached house. It has, on occasion, been open to the public as part of the London Open House programme. Situated on a small urban plot of land dominated by a large sycamore tree it has taken […]

Rowangarth

October ’09

Jim and Jo Monahan are nearing completion of their passive solar house in Spinningdale, Sutherland. This is a timber frame,self build project which utilizes roundwood for many of the structural members. This is a way of using timber at its maximum strength because it is not cut across the grain. The timber […]

Kirk Park

Aberfeldy, October 2009

This is a self build timber frame house of 76 sq,m. built in 2001. In terms of heating it benefits from its double storey[for the purposes of part B (fire) of the Approved Documents to the Building Regulations] this includes – (a) any gallery[for the purposes of part B of the […]

Kashentroch, Banchory

October ’09

Home of Alexander and Vinny Burnett, Kashentroch is an elegant and well designed open plan timber frame house in a beautiful setting close to the Dee. The original part of the house (with the pitched roof on the right of the picture), built about 5 years ago, has recently had an addition […]

Houses by Ecos

ECOS, (formerly known as the Somerset Trust for Sustainable Development) is a charity which has been behind several green house building initiatives. Although not self build, their houses are excellent examples of what is possible and are open to viewing on certain occasions. At present there are two schemes which are complete or nearing completion […]

Timber

January ’13

Advantages of timber

Constructing with FSCForest Stewardship Council (who accredit timber) see their database timber (or another accreditation organisation such as PEFCProgramme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification. See their web site) is potentially one of the greenest ways of building for several reasons.

Timber itself captures and locks up CO² as […]

SIPs

Structural insulated panels have been around for decades but have only recently achieved the interest they deserve. They are large factory made panels including walls floors and roofs and are fixed together on site. A lot of the kit houses in the UK are based on SIPs.

Several factors distinguish them from traditional building […]

Wall construction

see also Brick Cob Concrete blocks Hemp / Lime Insulating concrete forms Rammed Earth Solid timber Steel frame Stonework Straw Bale Ziegel blocks What’s the most eco-friendly wall?

Well there are several angles on that. Some of the most important aspects of walls are their insulation values, their air-tightnessA measure of how leaky […]

Designing with timber

timber house in the Field of Dreams, Findhorn FoundationThe Findhorn Foundation is a large community near Inverness. There is a strong emphasis on sustainable building.

designing with timber

Are the British inherently nervous of timber buildings? Does this go back to the Great Fire of London? Is this still valid considering how many […]

Walter Segal

a Segalrefers to a simple self build timber frame form of construction pioneered by the architect Walter Segal. see details of the system self build house in Brighton

the system

The Walter Segal self build approach to construction is uniquely organised so that anyone who can use basic tools such as a saw, hammer, […]

Window design

There are many purposes a window can serve and several of these have important ecological considerations:

Letting light in Collecting solar heat Providing a view Acting as a door The visual character of a house

Windows may have associated drawbacks to consider:

They may let in too much light at certain times Too much […]

Structural Timber

From a green standpoint the main thing to remember is that timber should be woodmarked and sourced as locally as possible, preferably in the UK.

Structural timber has the advantage over most other structural materials of being renewable and also a relatively good thermal insulation material.

Structural timber is usually of the following types

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