We can’t afford to add another floor, can we?
Extending existing buildings with timber construction.
Why does it matter?
When looking at a development opportunity, you will ask the question ‘how much extra space can we get?’ As two floors of timber construction weighs about the same as a single floor in concrete construction, the answer may be more than you think.
01 / Efficiency
Modern timber construction utilises laminated timber to increase the natural strength and stability of the structural elements, allowing large spans that are lighter than concrete or steel.
Imagine you see the opportunity to add a floor to a five storey concrete building. Adding a floor in traditional construction requires you to strengthen the existing structure, but the building is tenanted. If weight saving from timber avoids the need for reinforcement, you’ve unlocked a potential gain.
On a recent project, we found we could add 2 floors in timber construction, where the building could only take one in concrete.
02 / Speed on Site
As with steelwork, most structural timber is constructed off site, for assembly on site. With Structural Insulated Panels and Cross Laminated timber, whole panels are brought to site. This reduces construction time and minimises trips to site (as you can get much more timber on a single lorry due to the lighter weight). All of which can lead to savings on programme and budget.
03 / Quiet Construction
The fixing of structural pieces and panels is generally carried on with screwdrivers and nail guns; no noisy tools to upset your neighbours. In tight urban environments where the adjacent occupiers can halt a development’s progress, this can be a real advantage. It also creates a safe and pleasant work environment for the builders on site.
04 / Green Credentials
Wood is one of the only fully renewable building materials, which is increasingly favoured by planning departments looking to improve the performance of the existing building stock.
CO2 absorbed during tree growth is locked in the building structure. The more timber that’s grown the better for environment, so timber construction meets the highest BREEAM certifications.
CLT – Cross laminated Timber
SIPs – Structural Insulated panels
LVL or Glulam structural frame