Technical Information

Technical Information

This section provides information on how timber frame structures can help you meet and exceed planning and building regulations on air tightness, energy efficiency, sustainability and u-values, as well as technical information on embodied energy, floor protection membranes, insulation materials, breather papers and much more.

As a member of the Structural Timber Association (STA), SilvaFrame's partner company, SC4 Carpenters Ltd, benefits from excellent technical knowledge ensuring that our timber frame is installed to the highest standard and that designed levels of air tightness, insulation, u values, etc. are achieved.

Air tightness

Air tightness measures how much air (and hence heat) leaks from a building. Buildings with low air tightness are generally less energy efficient and more prone to interior damp. Building regulations specific a minimum air tightness of 7m3/h/m2. Air tightness (and hence thermal efficiency) is typically increased by the use of timber frame structures, which are more air tight than brick or steel structures.

More information on the air tightness of timberframe panels is provided by our supplier Protect in its brochure on the Buildtight™ range of barrier materials and sealing tapes.

Building regulations covering energy efficiency

Part L of the Building Regulations requires that throughout the building process greater attention be paid to every factor that contributes to the energy consumption or heat loss of a building. As this Regulation now requires a ‘whole house’ approach to demonstrating compliance, developers are required to meet an overall energy performance target. There is also a greater emphasis on ensuring that the building construction meets the standards assumed at the design stage.

As the energy efficiency standards in Approved Document Part L are further strengthened in the 2010 amendments, requiring a 25% decrease in target CO2 emissions and lower levels of unwanted air-leakage, the high performance building fabric of timber frame makes the new targets easily achievable.

SAP (Standard Assessment Procedure) is a government-defined process that calculates the energy performance of new dwellings. The SAP rating examines the built structure of domestic buildings, along with the heating, lighting and hot water system, plus any renewable technologies used. It then assigns a score from 1 to 100+ to indicate the dwelling’s annual energy costs. The higher the number, the lower the fuel running costs - with 100 representing zero energy cost. Homes with a rating in excess of 100 create more energy than they use.

Code for Sustainable Homes

Following the technical housing standards review, the government has issued a written ministerial statement withdrawing the code for sustainable homes, aside from the management of legacy cases.

The government proposes no additional national standards for energy. The preferred option is to move towards a Building Regulations only approach. The reasons for this approach are set out in the consultation document. Views have been invited on the preferred option.

Embodied energy

Embodied energy is a measure of the total energy used to produce raw building materials, turn them into products, transport them to the construction site, and use them to build a property. Timber frame houses have a lower embodied energy than traditional houses (i.e. it requires less energy overall to build them).

Floor protection membranes

Our supplier, Protect, provides technical information on the high-performance floor protection membranes used by SilvaFrame.

k-value for insulation materials

The effectiveness of insulation materials is measured by k-values 032, 035, 040, 043 (the lower the number, the greater the insulation effect).

Reflective breather paper

Reflective breather paper is often specified as an easy way to lower the u-value of timber frame panels, by increasing 'thermal resistance' (making it harder for heat to escape).

U-value for building insulation

The u-value is a measurement of the thermal insulation of a building (in other words, its ability to keep in heat). The external walls of new builds must have a u-value of less than 0.30 W/m2K. Typically, timber frame buildings have an entry level u-value of around 0.24 W/m2K. Even better u-values can be achieved by upgrading insulation, see for example our SilvaStandard Plus / SilvaSelect timber frame panels. This helps achieve higher ratings for the sustainability and energy efficiency of a building.

Technical Enquiries

Standard Details

Download Standard Details in PDF format or contact us for further information.

Download PDFs

Our Environmental Policy

SilvaFrame is fully aware of the possible impacts our activities could have upon the environment and of our obligation to protect the health and safety of our clients and employees. Silvaframe has located our manufacturing facility close to the import hub of timber to reduce the carbon footprint on transport.

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