timber frame house
Building plans began with the standard off the shelf timber frame provided by Scotframe. The plans were customised to incorporate two wings – a sunroom and office with utility room and big room above. A timber frame structure was selected as it is lightweight and well insulated which, in-turn, takes less energy to heat.
The whole of the UK, including Shetland, is viewed as a maritime environment. Lightweight structures operate much more efficiently in this kind of environment, taking less time to heat. The design of the structure had to take into account the severe weather conditions of Unst. The Scotframe structure is very substantial - not a stick frame structure - and the wall plate is anchored to the underbuild at 400mm centres using stainless steel bolts which should allow the building to endure the extremely strong winds that can often occur in this area.
The house was shipped to Unst on two articulated loads. These loads included the complete house, minus the roof e.g. frame, insulation, doors, windows, plasterboard and flooring.
We decided to overspec the house insulation. All external walls and the entire roof are insulated with 140mm of Celotex expanding foam which gives excellent thermal properties. The windows are filled with argon gas – again this enhances the heating for the house.
The entire structure of the house is timber and is clad with shiplapp timber from sustainable resources. Not including the block work for the foundation underbuild, the structure is made from stored carbon; 30 per cent of the density of timber is stored carbon. No substantial energy has been used for the manufacture of building materials traditionally used in the construction of a conventional structure aside from the energy, labour and transportation of the timber.
The complete house kit can be shipped to virtually any location and assembled by local labour, thus aiding local economies in terms of employment. This is important in a fragile economy like Unst.
We are also proposing to light the entire house using the same energy consumption as a 100w bulb, with the aid of LEDs.
View house schematic