Construction with Timber or Brick?
The question of which is better, brick and block construction or timber frame, isn’t one for a straightforward answer, as a rule no one method is intrinsically better than the other.
The options depend on the preferences of the builder, the project owner, the environmental requirements and factors including site compatibility and restrictions.
The project will start, regardless of being timber or brick in pretty much the same way whichever. Ground survey and foundation digging will not alter, and blockwork or concrete to ground level is similar for both types of construction.
Traditionalists will maintain that brick and block will prove more energy efficient than the timber frame. Advances in modern technology now make the differences in energy performance negligible.
The key is in the design and application of insulation, and its application within the quality and exactness of the construction, the design and specifications are more relevant than the choice between timber or masonry.
The one certain criteria is that the timber frame system will spend far less time in the on-site construction stages, than the traditional brick and block build. The timber frame can be erected in a matter of days after it has been delivered to site.
Modern construction machinery such as that provided by Hanlon CASE, helps to make the construction process fast and low labour.
The time saved on site, has actually been used elsewhere. The design and prefabricated manufacturing can take two to three months to complete, before shipment.
Benefits of Timber or Brick Construction
Another time advantage with the timber frame build is that the trades that need to work on any site, electricians, plumbers etc. can’t do so in exposed weather conditions. This means that they can only start when the inside of the building is weather and water proof. This can be ready within days of the initial erection of the framework.
The masonry built house, by contrast, has to allow considerable time, depending on atmospheric conditions, for the mortar on internal walls to go off enough to allow plastering. The plaster can take a considerable amount of time to dry. The internal walls in the timber frame will be dry lined with plaster board.
The manufacture and construction techniques for timber frame houses are exacting and design has to be carefully and accurately followed on site, following the manufacturer’s specifications to ensure precise construction.
The block and brick build will allow a more flexible approach to the process. Altering or extending the mortar based construction can be absorbed within the project, unlike the timber frame which would require integral structural advice.