The best sustainable materials for your home
The increase in popularity of timber-frame housing should not come as a surprise. Timber-frame has many other advantages over other construction types, including performance and environmental advantages. Read more benefits.
Nobody could fail to notice that the environment is the hot topic in the media. But while the debate about climate change rages on, even the harshest cynics are finding themselves affected, if not directly by the physical consequences of climate change itself, but by legislation and economics.
Nowhere is this more so than in the property market and in the home, where so much of the legislation and cost counting is being focussed.
A popular statistic used when discussing CO2 emissions is the one that states domestic dwellings are responsible for 27% of emissions. Clearly this is an area that deserves the attention it is receiving at a legislative level.
Recent changes to the Building Regulations, in order to deliver a future housing stock, which is far more energy efficient, are certainly justified. This is opening up the domestic housing market to companies that can deliver more energy-efficiency and the timber-frame market in particular is well placed to benefit from these changes.
Solar panels are also a great addition to any home looking to become more environmentally friendly.
Choosing a sustainable material
The advantages of timber-frame construction are well understood and appreciated.
Timber-frame buildings are naturally more thermally efficient than most other construction types. In contrast to what people have believed in the past, wood is a sustainable material and the raw material can be replaced with ease. See: Best Eco-Friendly Construction Materials.
It also has a low embodied energy; wood itself does not have a negative environmental impact when it is growing, and takes a lot less energy to turn it into building material. The same cannot be said of concrete or steel.
New builds in the UK
Timber-frame construction now accounts for 20% of all new build homes in the UK and that figure is rapidly rising, largely due to the housing market increasingly recognising the environmental and performance advantages of wood as a construction material.
Rubber roofing, along with timber-frame, accounts for over 56% of materials used in household renovations. Rubber roofing is chosen as it is completely resistant to cracks, rotting and blistering and is a far superior material compared to felt. EPDM roofing is a long lasting, yet low maintenance solution for any flat roof. See benefits here.
Soaring energy prices and a growing culture of environmental awareness and ethical consumer habits, set against a background of stricter legislation, are all working in favour of timber-frame construction.