Benefits of timber frame explained.

Comfort and cost report works out the value of low carbon homes

Published:  23 November, 2009

SCOTLAND: Research and guidance for housebuilders looking for cost-effective routes to reach levels 3 to 6 of the Code for Sustainable Homes has been published by the UK Timber Frame Association (UKTFA) and wood for good.

The 'Comfort and Cost' report combines all the findings of the latest research studies by UKTFA, wood for good, ESD and Buro Happold.

Findings from the research include new data on the costs of reaching the higher levels of the Code, comfort levels of homes in the face of rising temperatures to 2080, and how to manage such things as the effects of solar gain, thermal efficiency and thermal mass.

The research findings also underpin the UKTFA's latest campaign, Fabric First, which emphasises the critical need for a high performance building fabric, maximising thermal performance and minimising air leakage, as the base for low and zero carbon homes.

Steven Streets, technical manager at the UKTFA said: "Achieving higher Code levels is going to be more expensive, whichever way you build, as you're paying for a thermally enhanced fabric and a new suite of energy generation and water-saving technologies.

"To keep costs in check it does matter what build method you choose. This research shows that the percentage cost uplifts to achieve Code compliance for a masonry building are always higher than for a timber frame building.

"The key to success is in the Fabric First approach: working to achieve a high performance building fabric which maximises thermal performance, minimises air leakage and future-proofs the building envelope so that it will ensure energy efficiency for years to come."

For a copy of the report, go to the 'Comfort and Cost' website.

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