A sort of follow-on from the post about how you rethink things following CPD:
The benefits of a timber frame are significant; from increased u-values to increased levels of airtightness and speed of construction; so why do we still rely on builders putting one block on top of another?
Even when it’s specified, it still frequently comes back to this familiar and comfortable method of construction. Builders are well versed in laying blocks, but the actual construction of a timber frame is straightfoward, fast to construct, easier to insulate and more straightforward to air-tighten.
There are timber frame companies around but these tend to be for the larger jobs and for the smaller extension or simple works to a house they are frequently over-priced. What we need are more smaller builders that are used to different methods of construction; a training scheme if you like for the general jobbing builder that can teach him/her that there are other ways of building than laying blocks.
The house featured in the CPD Blog Post is significant in terms of its construction as it omits the outside skin of blockwork entirely (as is common with most timber frames) and the outside skin is a rendered rainscreen that is fixed to the Gutex external insulation. I can’t think of a single builder in this area who would be able to construct in this manner. If you know one please let me know!
So who’s with me, what’s needed is a nationwide training academy that can teach these new skills; now I know that there are PassivHaus Tradesmen courses but what I’m talking about is more fundamental – a complete shift in our way of thinking in how a building is constructed – not just the insulation and the airtightness.