52 BUILDING PRODUCTS | APRIL 2018
Last year, Sajid Javid MP declared a ‘bold
and radical vision’ for the future of UK
housing. Set out in the Housing White
Paper was a desire to diversify the UK’s
Around 60% of houses in the UK are built by
just 10 housebuilders; creating a competitive
marketplace will encourage investment in
businesses, skills and technology.
This diversity translates to far more than
SME builders and housing associations. The
government says it ‘will support efficient,
innovative and under-used methods of
construction, such as off-site factory builds’ –
welcome recognition of off-site construction.
Fast-forward 13 months, and the changes to
the planning rules, announced by Prime Minister
Theresa May, in March, emphasised the need
for speed: “We’re giving councils and developers
the backing they need to get more homes built
more quickly… The new rules will see around
80 of the proposals set out in the Housing White
Paper implemented, including using land more
efficiently, fast tracking planning permissions into
homes, giving greater certainty to local authorities
and putting plans in place to give communities
The PM also made it clear that “it’s also time for
builders and developers to step-up and do their
bit.” The same can be said of building product
manufacturers and suppliers as they respond to
the demands of the house building industry.
With a reliable supply chain, a respected track
record and in many cases, capacity, the UK’s offsite
construction industry is essential to building
more high-quality homes, quickly.
Why timber frame?
Timber frame is a proven off-site construction
method, tried and trusted over hundreds of
years. Modern timber frame is a far cry from the
traditional methods recognised by generations
of homeowners. Today, frames are precision
engineered, strong and durable. The timber frame
represents the basic means of structural support,
combined with factory manufactured wall,
floor and roof panels. Investment in software,
equipment and skills has generated a robust and
resilient house building option.
With cost and time efficiencies, combined
with impressive environmental credentials, it’s
no surprise that more and more builders and
contractors are selecting timber frame as their
building method of choice.
Accuracy is an added-value benefit. Build
components can be manufactured in factories
under a quality assurance scheme while software,
such as MiTek enables design teams to send
drawings and cutting lists direct to the saws for
Off-site construction enables a rapid build.
Managed properly, the build is not adversely
affected by inclement weather. A typical threefour
bed timber frame kit can be erected in less
With speed and efficiency in the
build process crucial factors in
tackling the UK housing crisis,
there’s never been a better time
to unlock the potential of offsite
timber frame construction,
according to Steve Griffiths,
senior technical manager, Taylor
Lane Timber Frame.