The construction of timber frame based structures utilises factory manufactured wall panels, alongside floor and roof panels, which are often referred to as cassettes. The systems used are classified as either open panel or closed panel. Open panels are timber frame wall panels, comprising studs, rails, sheathing on one face and a breather membrane. Alternatively, closed panels are made from studs, rails and insulation, with sheathings and/or linings on the faces of the panel. A vapour barrier is also provided on the warm side of the insulation and a breather membrane on the outer face of the panel. If desired, closed panels may also include fitted windows and internal service zone battens, for ease of installation and construction.
As with all forms of structural timber, timber frame has superb environment credentials, as well as being quick and easy to construct.
Timber frame currently accounts for around a quarter of new homes in the UK, with over 75% of self-builders using the product as their primary build method. This type of build method is utilised by every sector of the construction industry, and is very popular for hotels and student accommodation.